Take the Plunge


Take the Plunge

Don’t just be a student; be a Pirate! East Carolina University’s Plunge Into Purple offers activities that help students adjust to college life and form connections within the university community.

Departments on campus and the Plunge Into Purple Committee work together to offer these events. By offering a wide range of activities, the Plunge, which starts August 18 and runs for six weeks, truly has something for everyone, said Karen Smith, associate director in the Office of Student Transitions and First Year Programs.

“This coordinated approach is a great way to let students know when events are happening, and it also helps departments as they are planning events,” said Smith. “Individuals are able to find out what events someone else is planning and they can collaborate. The Plunge committee also looks to fill in the gaps and sees where the activities flow to make sure the calendar fits together well.”

According to Smith, participating in the Plunge is truly beneficial for ECU students.

“Research has shown that when coming into college, a lot of students make the decision about whether to stay within the first six weeks of school. So, that first six weeks is really critical for incoming students,” said Smith. “The Plunge gives our students lots of different ways they can get involved and connected on campus and shows them what resources are available.”

Smith added that reasons students choose to leave may be homesickness, not making friends, not feeling connected, or they may be having a difficult time adjusting to life away from home.

“There are so many things that could be going on, and it can be really overwhelming for new students,” said Smith. “The Plunge is a great way for the university to provide opportunities to help our students to be successful. We want them to have the best experience possible here at ECU.”

Plunge Into Purple Events

Some of the most beloved ECU events happen through the Plunge including Meet the Pirates, Pirate Palooza, New Student Welcome and Convocation, and the Homecoming Cannon Ball Dance.

Meet the Pirates will be held on August 18 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. This is a fan fest that gives Pirates the chance to get autographs and pictures with ECU coaches and student-athletes.

This year the New Student Welcome and Convocation is scheduled for August 20 at 4:00 p.m. in Minges Coliseum. This event is incoming students’ official welcome to ECU and their first step towards creating a legacy as a Pirate.

Pirate Palooza, an ECU tradition, is a welcome back event that features inflatables, novelties, live band karaoke, and free food, will be held on August 20 from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

The Homecoming Cannon Ball Dance, scheduled for 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. on October 4 at the Greenville Convention Center, is the first time the top five Homecoming queen and king candidates are introduced. There will be live music.

Other popular events include ECU Stars, Ship Your Crew to Target, Get a Clue, Connect at the Cupola, and faculty lunches.

ECU Stars, the university’s version of American Idol, will be held at Wright Auditorium August 19 at 6:30 p.m. This event showcases some of ECU’s most talented vocalists.

Ship Your Crew to Target, which gives ECU students the opportunity to shop for school supplies at Target after hours, was held for the first time last year. Smith said the event was extremely successful with more than 4,000 students attending. This year, the event will be August 19 from 9:30-11:30 p.m. Shuttles will pick up the students on campus and take them to Target, where prizes and giveaways will also be available.

Get a Clue, scheduled for August 30 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. on the ECU Mall, is a great opportunity for students to meet organizations, campus departments, and community businesses. Students will also be able to learn more about volunteer opportunities available.

Another event, Connect at the Cupola, give students the chance to meet with faculty and advisers and learn more about academic resources. Connect will be held September 20 from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. on the ECU Mall.

Faculty lunches give students the chance to have lunch with faculty members outside of the classroom. The lunches are held at different times in the Green Room at Croatan. To find out specific times and for a full list of Plunge Into Purple events visit


By Meagan Williford
University Marketing