East Carolina University

East Carolina University is a public, coeducational, doctoral/research university located in Greenville, North Carolina, United States. Named East Carolina University by statute and commonly known as ECU or East Carolina, the university is the largest institution of higher learning in eastern North Carolina and the third-largest university in North Carolina. With a Fall 2008 enrollment of 27,947 students, it is the fastest-growing campus in the University of North Carolina system.

The North Carolina General Assembly founded ECU on March 8, 1907 as a teacher training school and selected Greenville as its seat on July 2, 1908 with the first classes beginning in 1909. While East Carolina has historical strengths in education, nursing, business, music, theater, and medicine, it offers over 100 Bachelor degree areas of study including mathematics, hospitality management, engineering, construction management, computer science, exercise physiology, political science, social work,and environmental health.

East Carolina's name changed from East Carolina Teachers Training School (ECTTS) in 1907 to East Carolina Teachers College (ECTC), then East Carolina College (ECC), and finally, in 1967, to East Carolina University (ECU). The change in its name reflects the changed mission. Originally the school was established to train teachers for North Carolina, specifically the eastern part of the state. Today, ECU continues to serve eastern North Carolina in a larger capacity. The medical school brings much needed medical care to the impoverished area. In early August 2007, it was announced that the General Assembly had approved and Governor Easley signed the budget to include $25 Million for a new School of Dentistry. The Small Business Institute, through the College of Business, offers assistance and advice to small business owners. East Carolina has grown from in 1907 to almost today. The university today is located on four properties: main, hospital/health science, west research facility, and the Mattamuskeet field station. The seven undergraduate colleges, two undergraduate schools, graduate school, and one professional school are all located on these four properties. The majority of the non-allied health majors are located on the main campus. The School of Nursing, Brody School of Medicine, and some of the Allied Health majors are located on the hospital/health science campus. There are nine social sororities ,16 social fraternities, four historically black sororities, five historically black fraternities, one Native American fraternity, and one Native American sorority. Along with Greek life, there are over 300 registered clubs on campus.


Public Laws of North Carolina, 1907, Chapter 820 titled An Act to Stimulate High School Instruction in the Public Schools of the State and Teacher Training is the official law chartering East Carolina Teachers Training School (ECTTS) on March 8, 1907 by the North Carolina General Assembly. The chairman of its original Board of Trustees, Thomas Jordan (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 in Greenville, North Carolina and 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 1920, ECTTS became a four–year institution and renamed East Carolina Teachers College (ECTC); its first bachelor's degrees were awarded the following year in education. 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 bachelor of arts as a liberal arts degree, and the bachelor of science as a teaching degree. A change of name to East Carolina College in 1951 reflected this expanded mission. 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. The university did not remain independent for long; on July 1, 1972, it was incorporated into the University of North Carolina System, the successor to the Consolidated University. Today, ECU is the third–largest university in North Carolina with 18,587 undergraduate and 5,764 graduate students, including the 290 Brody School of Medicine students.

Future of East Carolina

Dental School

At the February 24, 2006 Board of Trustees meeting, the members unanimously passed a resolution to start a dental school. The dental school has also been unanimously approved by the UNC System Board of Governors. While the dental school found opposition from many practicing dentists, with half the members of the North Carolina Dental Society opposing the move for fear of too much competition and a possible oversupply of dentists the General Assembly of North Carolina and the Governor, noting the ECU Medical School's contribution to the citizens of North Carolina, funded this latest addition to East Carolina University. In early August 2007, it was announced that the General Assembly had approved the budget including $25 Million for the School of Dentistry (out of the total cost of $87 million). The first students are expected to enroll no later than 2011.

North Campus Recreation Complex

North Recreation Complex is an athletic complex located on a parcel of land north of East Carolina University’s main campus. When complete, the NRC will be one of the Nation's largest recreational complexes. It will augment the Blount Intramural Sports Fields located behind the Carol Belk Building on Charles Boulevard. The first of three phases of the complex will be completed by March 2008. Phase one includes eight lighted fields, a golf course, a lake with a beach, sunbathing area, and a field house. The complex is located near the intersection of the NC 33 and US 264.


East Carolina is separated into three distinct campuses: Main Campus, Health Sciences Campus, and West Research Campus. It has three libraries: J.Y. Joyner Library, The Music Library, and Laupus Library. ECU owns a field station in New Holland, North Carolina.



The main campus is about in an urban residential area of downtown Greenville. The 162 buildings on main campus comprise more than 4.7 million square feet (325,000 m²) of academic, research, and residential space. Many of the Main Campus buildings feature the Spanish–Mission style architecture; inspiration drawn from Thomas Jarvis' time as an ambassador to Brazil. He wanted to bring the unique architecture to Eastern North Carolina. On the main campus, there are 15 residence halls which are divided into three separate neighborhoods. The distinct feature of the main campus is the mall, which is a large tree–laden grassy area where many students go to relax. In the middle of the mall is the replica of the cupola on the old Austin (original Administrative and Classroom) building.

Health Sciences Campus/Pitt County Memorial Hospital

The Health Sciences campus is situated at Pitt County Memorial Hospital (PCMH). PCMH, a 745–bed flagship Level I Trauma Center facility in Greenville, serves as an academic medical center for the Brody School of Medicine. The University Health System also operates six additional hospitals and has affiliation agreements with six hospitals serving all of eastern North Carolina. The area is about west of Main Campus on with nearly of academic and research space in 39 buildings. Other buildings besides PCMH include the Brody School of Medicine, the East Carolina Heart Institute (under construction), Leo Jenkins Cancer Center, and the Allied Health "Learning Village" composed of the School of Nursing, Laupus Medical Library and School of Allied Health Sciences.

West Research

West Research Campus lies on approximately west of the Health Sciences Campus. It consists of a building on the former Voice of America site and large areas of biology, botany and other sciences field study sites. It has an environmental health onsite wastewater demonstration facility which is open to the public and all educators. It is also the home of the North Carolina Institute for Health and Safety in Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries with an administrative and several support buildings.


J.Y. Joyner Library is located on the main campus and holds nearly 1.3 million bound volumes, 2.5 million pieces of microform, 532,000 government documents, more than 24,000 journal subscriptions. Joyner Library is located beside the ECU Mall. The Music Library is a branch of Joyner housing almost 78,000 items. It is located on the first floor of A.J. Fletcher Music Center. Lastly, there is the Laupus Library. It holds 158,457 volumes (print and non–print) and 8,712 current print, non–print, and electronic serial titles.

Mattamuskeet field station

The field station is located in New Holland, North Carolina. The area serves as a field station for the coastal studies, coastal resource management, and biology programs. The main goal of the field station is economic development into the region through both environmental education and eco–tourism. It also serves as a facility for small retreats and as a base for research on coastal issues. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. It is adjacent to the Mattamuskeet Wildlife Refuge.

Colleges and schools

ECU is home to seven undergraduate colleges, two undergraduate schools, graduate school, and one professional school. The oldest school is the modern day College of Education.

The liberal arts college at East Carolina University is the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences. It consists of 16 departments, making it the fourth largest school at East Carolina University, after the College of Education, the College of Technology and Computer Science, and the College of Fine Arts and Communication. The liberal arts college has its roots in the beginning of the University.

The College of Business consists of five undergraduate majors with concentrations in each, plus a Master of Business Administration and Master of Science in Accounting program. The College beginnings came in 1936 when the Department of Commerce was organized. It later changed to the Department of Business Education, and then to the Department of Business. Finally, in 1960, the School of Business was formed. The college undergraduate programs was accredited in 1967, and the graduate programs was accredited in 1976 by The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. The college is a governing school of the Graduate Management Admission Council. The college runs a Small Business Institute to advise small business owners on how to succeed.

The College of Education is the oldest college at ECU. It houses and administers all of the education majors. There are 14 undergraduate majors in the College. ECU’s College of Education prepares more professionals for North Carolina schools than any other university in the state. The College scored higher than other North Carolina universities when the state board evaluated teacher education programs last year. In addition, the Institution of Higher Education Performance Report showed ECU was first in the number of graduates who were employed in public schools across the state. The college is considered one of the exemplary professional preparation programs according to the North Carolina State Board of Education’s Higher Education Performance Report.

The College of Fine Arts and Communication comprises four schools that range from dance to design and broadcast journalism. The college officially opened on July 1, 2003, but can trace its roots to ECU founding; the school hired art and music professionals in 1907 to train teachers.

The College of Health and Human Performance is made up of three departments and handles all of the recreational and exercise degrees at East Carolina University. It took on its name in 2003, but traces its legacy to the Department of Physical Education in 1930. It was the 1930 East Carolina Teachers College Planning Document number two priority. In 1938, the Department of Physical Education was established and PE became a specialty area for high school teachers. The college now houses the Department of Health Education and promotion, which includes an Environmental Health program, where students are trained in onsite wastewater treatment, public health pest management, air quality, environmental and industrial hygiene. Health departments across the state use the graduates of this program for their staffing needs.

The College of Human Ecology houses four departments and one school along with two institutes. It was first incorporated in 1968 and started to admit students in 1971. "The Carolyn Freeze Baynes Institute for Social Justice is an international forum for addressing questions, presenting ideas, and developing innovations. The Institute's focus in these activities is the identification of injustices and development of more just alternatives through systematic professional research, scholarship, and public presentation of findings and ideas.

The College of Technology and Computer Science comprises three departments. The college now offers a BS in Engineering. The college offers seven other degrees along with engineering.

The School of Allied Health Sciences encompasses the other health science majors. The school offers over 15 majors. All of the health sciences majors are located in the Allied Health Sciences building which is in the West Campus beside the Brody School of Medicine. It was established in the 1967–68 school year.

The College of Nursing comprises one undergraduate major, Nursing. The school was created in 1959 and now offers Bachelor of Science, Masters, and PhD program. The 100+ faculty teaches the students everything about the nursing field while practicing in the under served Eastern North Carolina. On October 12, 2007, the University of North Carolina Board of Governors permitted the re–designation of the School of Nursing to the College of Nursing.

The Graduate School consist of 69 masters degree, 41 certificate, and 18 doctoral programs. It coordinates the graduate offerings of all departments in the seven colleges and two schools. The college of Health and Human Performance has several excellent graduate programs, including an online (Distance Education) graduate degree in Environmental Health. The School also runs the non–professional degree programs of the professional School of Medicine.The Brody School of Medicine was envisioned in the early 1960s by a group of civic leaders in Eastern North Carolina looking for a way to provide more modern medical care in the East. The School was finally established in 1974. The mission of the school set by the legislators is: "to increase the supply of primary care physicians to serve the state, to improve health status of citizens in eastern North Carolina, and to enhance the access of minority and disadvantaged students to a medical education. One hundred percent of the 290 current students (to be expanded to 325 with the Fall Class of 2007) are North Carolina citizens. The it is the only school in the state that only accepts North Carolina residents.

ECU's graduate program in Maritime Studies is one of the only U.S. programs that grants degrees in the fields of Maritime History and Nautical Archaeology, making the University an important force in those fields.

Student life

Greek life

There are nine social sororities at the East Carolina Campus, all of which own a house located at or near 5th or 10th Street. There are currently 16 social fraternities at East Carolina. The majority are located off or near 5th Street or 10th Street. Of the 16 social fraternities, seven currently do not own a house. Greek life started in 1958 with the introduction of four social fraternities: Kappa Alpha Order, Lambda Chi Alpha, Pi Kappa Alpha, and Theta Chi. Two years later, eight of the nine social sororities were founded.

National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) has a presence on campus, as well. There are four historically black sororities and five historically black fraternities. There are over 18 honor and 13 service or religious fraternities or sororities at ECU.


ECU's sports teams, nicknamed the Pirates, compete in NCAA Division FBS as a full–member of the 12 team Conference USA. Terry Holland is the Pirate's Athletic Director. Facilities include the 43,000 seat Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium for football, the 8,000–seat Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum for men's and women's basketball, and Clark-LeClair Stadium, with a seating capacity of 3,000 (max capacity of 6,000+ when including outfield "Jungle" areas) for baseball. The Ward Sports Medicine building comprises and houses the athletic department, Pirate Club offices and the Human Performance Laboratory. Athletes train in the Murphy Center a edifice, housing the strength and conditioning facilities, along with banquet rooms, sport memorabilia, and an academic enhancement center. The Murphy Center was built for approximately $13 million and opened its doors to ECU student–athletes in June 2002.

Traditions and events

There are 314 registered organizations that contribute to a diverse and vibrant student life. Barefoot on the Mall is held every spring on the mall, gathering musicians from all genres for an all–day concert and features various games, rides, and food vendors. Freeboot Fridays are held every Friday evening before home football games in uptown Greenville. It offers free concerts, free food, children’s activities, and a beer and wine garden for adults. 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 including a pork barbecue team cookoff, a car show, a celebrity golf tournament, a parade, free live entertainment, and the annual Purple & Gold spring football game.


The current chancellor, Steven Ballard, has held that post since replacing interim chancellor William E. Shelton on June 1, 2004. There have been six presidents and seven chancellors in the university's history. The chancellor is chosen by the University of North Carolina Board of Governors on the recommendation of the board's president, and he reports to the 12–member Board of Trustees at ECU. Four of the twelve trustees are picked by the Governor of North Carolina, while the other eight are picked by the Board of Governors. The ECU student body president is an ex officio member of the Board of Trustees.


The university is ranked one of the "Best Value Colleges" by The Princeton Review in 2008.

The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina is ranked 9th in the country for primary care physician preparation and fifth in rural medicine by U.S.News & World Report. ECU is currently classified by U.S. News & World Report as a National University (a school conducting significant research and awarding degrees up to the doctoral level) in its fourth-tier rankings—i.e., within the lower 25 percent of schools in the National University category.

Notable alumni

Pirate graduates have been influential in teaching, business, and the arts. The most notable teaching alumnus is Ron Clark, a teacher, author, and founder of the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, Georgia. Actress Emily Procter and screenwriter Kevin Williamson, creator of Scream and Dawson’s Creek, graduated from East Carolina. Acclaimed screen actress Sandra Bullock attended, but graduated later after leaving to pursue her acting career. Class of 1974 Alumnus Rick Atkinson, Pulitzer Prize winner, wrote An Army at Dawn: The War in North Africa, 1942–1943 followed by "The Day of Battle, The War in Sicily, 1943–1944" and Dan Neil wrote criticism on automobiles; both received Pulitzer Prizes. James Maynard graduated with a degree in psychology and founded the Golden Corral restaurant chain. Kelly King is the current chief operating officer for BB&T and graduated with an undergraduate degree in business accounting and a master's of business administration. Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback David Garrard attended where he majored in Construction Management. World Wrestling Entertainment chairman Vincent K. McMahon graduated with a degree in business administration as well.


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