Greenville has awakened from its summer slumber and campus is once again alive with activity as students returned and classes began on Tuesday, August 24.
As the golden rays of summer began to fade, the ECU community eagerly anticipated the start of a brand-new school year. With this new year comes fresh beginnings, and the university strives to make this year the best one yet for new and returning students.
Eleanor Ray, senior in communication/public relations, advises freshmen to go to class and to avoid drama.
“I am excited to be back at ECU,” said Eleanor Ray, a senior in communication/public relations. “There is a lot for students to get involved in, like club sports.”
Similarly, Army ROTC members and juniors Justin Brown and Austin Dockery said that both East Carolina and the ROTC program have so much to offer students.
“Army ROTC is a great experience; I am really looking forward to the LDAC: Leadership Development and Assessment Course,” said Brown.
Dockery, who hopes to have a good academic semester and to help his ROTC peers, advised freshmen to take advantage of all the opportunities available to them at ECU. “Enjoy your four years because you only get them once,” he said.
With each new school year comes a new freshman class. ECU has welcomed a larger freshman class than last year’s, but with growth managed according to a comprehensive enrollment management plan designed to meet ECU’s current and future enrollment goals.
According to Anthony Britt, director of admissions, this two-fold enrollment management plan targets retention and graduation. The university strives to increase the number of first-year freshmen who return for a second year and to increase the number of students who graduate within a four-to-six-year period.
A stable enrollment figure is not available at this time because student census information is not finalized until the tenth day of classes. However, according to Britt, the enrollment goal for this semester was 4,122 freshmen, and there is every indication that the university will meet and exceed this goal.
It’s obvious that this newest class of freshmen eagerly awaits the new year and all of the excellent opportunities ECU has to offer.
Justin Brown and Austin Dockery, juniors in the Army ROTC program, encourage students to take advantage of all the wonderful opportunities the university offers.
“I am excited about living somewhere new and doing something different,” said Molly Hargrave, a freshman from Roanoke Rapids. “I knew that I wanted to come here because of the Brody School of Medicine; I hope to be a surgeon one day.”
Amanda Edwards, a freshman elementary education major from Dudley, echoed Hargave’s sentiments.
“I always wanted to come to ECU, and the university has a great education program,” said Edwards. “I am so excited about getting to know new people and making new friends. I hope to do well in school and to feel comfortable here.”
Also, according to Britt, there has been an increase in the number of North Carolinians who are attending the university, with one of the highest percentages of state residents in the last 10 years.
North Carolina resident and sophomore speech pathology major Mary Highsmith said she chose to attend ECU because of the excellent program in speech and hearing.
“This is a great campus; I visited and I liked it,” said Highsmith. “I visited other schools, but I felt like they really did not have anything to offer—not like ECU.”
Amanda Edwards, freshman in elementary education, is looking forward to getting to know people and making new friends.
Fellow North Carolinian Josh Meinel, a fifth-year senior in industrial distribution who is excited about getting back into the rhythm of school, agrees that ECU has a great atmosphere.
“I love the campus; the advisors and professors are so nice and helpful,” he said. “When I visited, I felt as though the faculty really cared about me.”
Seasoned students also had some words of advice for freshmen.
“Go to class and focus on your priorities,” said Cam Gillette, a senior in computer science. “Make sure you are looking at the big picture.”
Ray added that freshmen should be sure to stay focused. “Stick with what you came to do and go to class,” she said.
By Meagan Williford