GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Sunday was the new student welcome and convocation for the students beginning their journeys at East Carolina University.
Over 4,500 freshman and transfer students filed into Minges Coliseum to kick off their academic careers before the first day of school Monday.
New students received their entering year pen at convocation to symbolize the start of their time as an East Carolinian.
“A thing to welcome us into the school I mean, to show our journey that we are getting ready to go through these next four years, like I am so excited,” incoming freshman Jordan Rudick said. “I’m ready!”
The keynote speaker this year was Lex Gilette, a world record holder and Paralympic medalist who sat in the Minges Coliseum as a freshman in the early 2000s.
“I think it’s really important for students to see someone that made it, out of these doors,” a member of the convocation staff, Whitney Kimble, said.
“It was absolutely amazing,” Rudick said. “It’s hard to believe that somebody else comes in and tells us about all these things they went through, I know I’m gonna go through too, so it was good to hear from someone else’s experience.”
ECU officials say the purpose of the event is to begin building traditions and get students involved early
“Wanting them to know what services we are available, letting them know, hey we are here to have fun, but we are also here to learn and to work hard, but again we want them to get pumped up and get excited about being here, because we are so excited, the energy of a new class coming in, there’s nothing like it,” Kimble said.
The new students say this is just the first step to a lifetime commitment of being an ECU Pirate.
“I think it was just bringing us together, and bringing like the whole spirit of ECU into one thing that we are going to have for the rest of our lives like this was like, 20-17, like the year we were here you know, the freshman year.” incoming freshman Catrina Espinosa said.
“I’ve been waiting for this for so long, and I’m so happy to be here,” Rudick said.
The ceremony lasted around 45 minutes.
It wrapped up with Pirate Palooza, a pep rally on the football field with music, food and games.
Classes begin Monday.