East Carolina University

From Academic Kids

East Carolina University (ECU) is a public university located in Greenville, North Carolina. As of 2004, ECU had 1,406 faculty members and an enrollment of 22,767 students (17,510 undergraduate, 4,964 graduate, 308 Doctoral, and 293 Medical). It offers 109 bachelorís, 79 masterís, and 17 doctoral degree programs.



Main Campus

  • About 520 acres (2.1 km²) in an urban residential area of Greenville; more than 3.5 million square feet (325,000 m²) of academic, research, and residential space in 124 buildings.

Health Sciences Campus (The Brody School of Medicine)

  • About 205 acres (0.8 km²) in a residential area of Greenville with nearly 750,000 square feet (70,000 m²) of academic and research space in thirty-nine buildings.

West Research Campus

  • About 650 acres (2.6 km²) with an administrative and several support buildings that house the North Carolina Institute for Health and Safety in Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries.

Pitt County Memorial Hospital

  • The 745-bed facility in Greenville serves as a teaching hospital for the Brody School of Medicine at ECU.


It was chartered by the General Assembly on March 8, 1907, as East Carolina Teachers Training School, a two-year institution. The chairman of its original board of trustees, T. J. Jarvis, a former Governor of North Carolina now known as the "Father of ECU," participated in groundbreaking ceremonies for the first buildings on July 2, 1908. ECTTS opened its doors on October 5, 1909. Although its purpose was to train "young white men and women," there were no male graduates until 1932.

In 1921 ECTTS became a four-year institution and was renamed East Carolina Teachers College; its first bachelor's degrees were awarded the following year. A master's degree program was authorized in 1929; the first such degree granted by ECTC was in 1933.

Progress toward full college status was made in 1948 with the designation of the B.A. as a liberal arts degree, and the B.S. as a teaching degree. A change of name to East Carolina College in 1951 reflected this expanded mission. Racial segregation ended in 1957. The years that followed saw the establishment of schools of nursing (1960), business (1960), art (1962), music (1962), and education (1963), as well as the College of Arts and Sciences (1964), later named for Thomas Harriot.

Over the objections of Governor Dan K. Moore, who opposed the creation of a university system separate from the Consolidated University of North Carolina, ECC was made a regional university effective July 1, 1967, and assumed its present name, East Carolina University. It did not, however, remain independent for long; on July 1, 1972, it was incorporated into the University of North Carolina System, the successor to the Consolidated University. Subsequent foundations at ECU include the School of Industry and Technology (1970; now called the College of Technology and Computer Science), the School of Medicine (authorized in 1974, opened in 1977, renamed the Brody School of Medicine in 1999), the School of Social Work (1986), and the College of Health and Human Performance (1993).

The University is home to a very active social setting. Halloween festivities each year attract people in the tens of thousands. The university's Greek system, which began in 1958, is home to over 19 national social fraternities and nine social sororities. There are over 400 recognized clubs that contribute to a diverse and vibrant student life. Also a number of active and semi-active benevolent and philanthropic secret societies such as: "Secret society of the seven","Secret Order of the Circle", and "The Order of the Cupola" exist.


ECU's sports teams, nicknamed the Pirates, compete in NCAA Division I-A as a member of Conference USA.

Facilities include the 48,000 seat Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, 7,500-seat Williams Arena in Minges Coliseum, and the new Clark-LeClair Baseball Stadium, with a capacity of over 8,000. The Ward Sports Medicine building of 82,095 square feet (7627 m²) houses the athletic department and the Human Performance Laboratory. Athletes train in the new Murphy Center.

Student demographics

  • Student-faculty ratio: 17:1
  • Average class size: 24 Students
  • Average SAT: 1160 for incoming 2005 freshman
  • Campus size: Over 1000 acres (4 km²)
  • Male:female ratio: 1:3
  • African American: 15%
  • Asian American: 3%
  • Caucasian: 77%
  • Hispanic: 3%
  • Native American: 2%

Noted ECU alumni

Famous graduates include Sandra Bullock, Jeff Blake, Vince McMahon, Linda McMahon, Blue Edwards, Maureen O'Boyle, Emily Proctor, Kevin Williamson, James Maynard, Mark Kemp, Ronnie Barnes, John C. Farren, Emanuel McDaniel, Hal Baird, David Garrard, George Koonce, Kay Yow, Ron Clark, Earnest Byner, John Jett, Ronald Dowdy, Carlester Crumpler, Sr., Owen Quirk, Vinson Smith, Tootie Robbins, and [[Rod Coleman].

  • Living alumni 100,000 plus

Traditions and events

  • Barefoot on the Mall, held in the Spring, gathers musicians from all genres for an all day concert and features various games, rides, and food vendors.

  • Freeboot Friday, held Friday evenings before home football games in uptown Greenville, offers free concerts, free food, childrenís activities, and a beer and wine garden for adults.

  • Pirate Palooza, held at the beginning of the fall semester, is a fun-filled event that features live bands, great food, inflatable games, a freestyle contest, a dance contest, a football pep rally, and the ECU Merchants Fair on the Mendenhall Student Center Brickyard. This event draws thousands of students and is a great way to kick off the fall semester.

  • Halloween draws tens of thousands of people from all over the east coast to downtown Greenville each year.

  • The Great Race, held in the Spring, features free food, rides, games and soapbox races down College Hill Drive.

  • The Billy Taylor Jazz Festival gathers musicians from all parts of the world to participate in this unique two day event.

  • The Purple & Gold Pigskin Pigout Party, held each spring, is a celebration of football at East Carolina. This event features a carnival, various cooking contests, world famous bar-b-cue, a car show, a celebrity golf tournament, a parade, free live entertainment, and the annual Purple & Gold spring football game.

  • King & Queen of the Halls, held every fall, attracts thousands of residence hall students to a variety of carnival-live games. Bragging rights and pride are at stake during this annual competition between residence halls.

  • Midnight Madness, held at the start of the basketball season, attracts many students and fans to Minges each fall. This event is a great chance for both students and fans to catch a sneak peak of the Pirate Men's and Women's basketball teams.


  • Robert Herring Wright (president, 1909-1934)
  • Leon Renfroe Meadows (president, 1934-1944)
  • Howard Justus McGinnis (interim president, 1944-1946)
  • Dennis Hargrove Cooke (president, 1946-1947)
  • John Decatur Messick (president, 1947-1959)
  • Leo Warren Jenkins (president, 1960-1972; chancellor, 1972-1978)
  • Thomas Bowman Brewer (chancellor, 1978-1981)
  • John McDade Howell (chancellor, 1982-1988)
  • Richard R. Eakin (chancellor, 1988-2001)
  • William Shelton (interim chancellor, 2003-2004)
  • Steve Ballard (chancellor, 2004-Present)

External links

Schools of the University of North Carolina System:

Appalachian | East Carolina | Elizabeth City | Fayetteville | NC A&T
NC Central | NC School of the Arts | NC State | UNC-Asheville | UNC-Chapel Hill
UNC-Charlotte | UNC-Greensboro | UNC-Pembroke | UNC-Wilmington
Western Carolina | Winston-Salem | NC School of Science and Math

Template:Conference USA


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