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Homecoming Legacy: ECU celebrates a rich history of traditions

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1909

Students voted on royal purple and old gold as ECU's school colors.

1912

The Athletic League was formed.

1916

Royal purple and old gold were officially standardized as ECU's colors.

1932

First Homecoming Weekend

On March 5 of this year the first Founder's Day was celebrated at East Carolina Teachers College, and this occasion was also a Homecoming for alumni of the college. The celebration honored the classes of 1911, 1912, 1913, and 1914.

1934

The ECU Teachers choose the name "Pirates" as the name for the college's sports teams.

1936

The first Homecoming to feature sports was celebrated on November 20 of this year. Morning programs started the day, followed by a barbecue dinner, football game in the afternoon, and a dance later that night.

1938

The College Band (ECU Marching Pirates) was formed this year.

1941

The first Homecoming parade took place on March 18, 1941.

Led by football coach John Christenbury, the football team celebrated its only undefeated season when it beat Bergen College 13-7.

1946

Dr. Leon Meadows, president of the college suspended Homecoming during World War II; therefore, no Homecoming celebration took place between 1941-1946. The first Homecoming since 1941 was celebrated on May 4 of this year. This Homecoming was called the Veterans Homecoming and May Day and honored all of the veterans who fought in the war.

1947

Homecoming moved to fall and the Homecoming Parade became a beloved Homecoming tradition.

1950

On October 14 of this year, the towering paper mache pirate Captain Teco, a symbol of ECU's school spirit, first appeared in the parade.

1953

Kitty Gerringer Brinson from Draper, NC, was crowned ECU's first Homecoming queen.

1957

The 50th Anniversary of the school was celebrated during Homecoming on October 12 of this year.

Pi Omega Pi and FLBLA designed a float for the Homecoming parade that looked like an anniversary cake for the university's 50th anniversary celebration.

1958

The first mascot at ECU, Buc, a Great Dane, was introduced.

1959

The Homecoming game this year appeared on WNCT and it was East Carolina University's first televised athletic event.

1961

This weekend, ECU allowed the first "Rock and Roll" concert on campus.

Also, this year at Homecoming recognized the centennial observance of the Civil War.

1964

During this weekend, for the first time, the queen was crowned during halftime, not the night before.

Also, 21 of the 35 members of the undefeated football team from 1941, the Christenbury team, returned to be honored at halftime.

1976

Jeri Barnes, the first African American Homecoming Queen, was crowned.

1983

This was the year the Pee Dee the Pirate became the university's official mascot. Elementary school students chose Pee Dee's name in a contest.

1997

ECU became a member of Conference USA.

1998

The theme for 1998 was "Purple Pride Through the Years....Retro '70s, '80s, & '90s."

2007

This year, ECU celebrated its 100th anniversary.

Also this year, the tradition of raising Jolly Roger and No Quarter flags was created. Now, the Jolly Roger flag is raised before kickoff, and the No Quarter flag is raised at the beginning of the fourth quarter.

2008

For the first time ever, ECU's football team won the Conference USA Championship let by coach Skip Holtz.

2009

ECU was the first team to win back-to-back Conference USA titles when it beat the University of Houston this year.

2010

End zone expansion in Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium was completed.

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