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East Carolina University is a public, coeducational, engaged doctoral/research university located in Greenvillemarker, North Carolinamarker, 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 2009 enrollment of 27,703 students, it is the fastest-growing campus in the University of North Carolinamarker system for six consecutive years.

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. 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 universities academic facilities are located on four properties: Main, Health Sciences, West Research facility, and the Field Station for Coastal Studies in New Hollandmarker, North Carolinamarker. The nine undergraduate colleges, graduate school, and two professional schools are all located on these four properties. All of the non-health sciences majors are located on the main campus. The College of Nursing, College of Allied Health Sciences, Brody School of Medicine and School of Dentistry are located on the 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 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 20,974 undergraduate and 6,417 graduate students, including the 286 Brody School of Medicine students.


East Carolina is separated into three distinct campuses: Main Campus, Health Sciences Campus, and West Research Campus. It owns two sports complexes: Blount Recreational Sports Complex and North Recreational Complex. It owns a field station in New Hollandmarker, North Carolinamarker.


The main campus, also known as the east 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 original Austin building.

Health Sciences

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, Leo Jenkins Cancer Center, and the Allied Health "Learning Village" composed of the School of Nursing, Laupus Medical Library and College 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.

Field Station for Coastal Studies

The field station is located in New Hollandmarker, North Carolinamarker. 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 Refugemarker.

North Recreational Complex

North Recreational Complex (NRC) is an athletic complex located on a parcel of land north of East Carolina University’s main campus. The NRC is 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 were completed in March 2008. Phase one includes eight lighted fields, a lake with a beach, walking trails/areas, and a field house. The complex is located near the intersection of the NC 33 and US 264.

Colleges and school

ECU is home to nine undergraduate colleges, graduate school, and two professional schools. The oldest school is the modern day College of Education. The Dental school is under construction and will increase the professional schools to two.
The Edward Gaskill Flanagan Building, built in 1939.

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 and largest 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 in 2006. 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 Joyner Library clock tower.
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 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. In 2009 the College's Construction Management program has been Ranked First in the United States by the accrediting entity.

The College 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 nine colleges. The School also runs the non–professional degree programs of the professional School of Medicine.

Brody School of Medicine is a professional school at the university. It is comprised of seven graduate majors, plus the medical degree, all located on the Health Sciences Campus. The first appropriations were approved in 1974, with the first medical students arriving in 1977. The medical school is one of four in North Carolina.

The School of Dentistry is a professional school at the university. The school graduates one degree, dentistry. It was founded on February 24, 2006 at the East Carolina Board of Trustees meeting. The dental school was unanimously approved by the UNC System Board of Governors as well. The facilities are located on the Health Sciences Campus and will house the first three years of education. Dental students will complete their final year at one of the ten Community Dental Centers located throughout the state.

Student life


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.

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. The football team is supported by world-class spirit groups, such as the East Carolina University Marching Pirates, National Award winning Cheerleading squads, and spirit teams. Facilities include the 43,000 seat Dowdy-Ficklen Stadiummarker for football, the 8,000–seat Williams Arena at Minges Coliseummarker for men's and women's basketball, and Clark-LeClair Stadiummarker, 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.


There have been six presidents and seven Chancellor in the university's history. Robert Herring Wright was inaugurated as the first president of ECTTS on November 13, 1909. The chief administrator changed names after ECU joined the UNC System in 1972. 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 current chancellor, Steven Ballard, has held that post since replacing interim chancellor William E. Shelton on June 1, 2004.

The University of North Carolina Board of Governors are the policy-making body legally charged with "the general determination, control, supervision, management, and governance of all affairs of the constituent institutions." It is comprised of 32 voting members and are elected by the General Assembly for four-year terms. The current president of the University of North Carolina is Erskine Bowles.


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

In the 2009 edition of U.S.News & World Report, The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina is ranked 17th in the country for primary care physician preparation and 6th in the rural medicine specialty.ECU is currently classified by U.S. News & World Report as a National University in its fourth-tier rankings.East Carolina University was named a Best Buy for affordability and quality in the Online MBA (AACSB-accredited) category in fall 2007. In 2009 the College of Technology and Computer Science's Construction Management program has been Ranked First in the United States by the accrediting entity.

Notable people

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 Atlantamarker, Georgiamarker. Actress Emily Procter, Beth Grant, and screenwriter Kevin Williamson, creator of Scream and Dawson’s Creekmarker, 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, 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. Chris Johnson was drafted by the Tennessee Titans in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft. World Wrestling Entertainment chairman Vincent K. McMahon and his wife Linda McMahon both graduated with a degree in business administration as well.


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