The annual ECU Homecoming parade made its way down Fifth Street Oct. 4, featuring the ECU Marching Pirates, student organizations and honored alumni. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

Pirate pride takes center stage for ECU Homecoming

Oct. 6, 2014

By Joy Holster
ECU News Services

A satellite image of western North Carolina from the first weekend in October might reveal vibrant shades of fall. But in the East, purple and gold prevailed.

Pirate pride was evident across the region as East Carolina University celebrated Homecoming weekend Oct. 3 - 5 with events including alumni reunions, the annual Homecoming parade and a match-up at Dowdy-Ficklen stadium with the Pirates playing the Southern Methodist University Mustangs.

At the Alumni Awards ceremony Oct. 3, the university recognized service with presentation of the Virgil Clark ’50 Distinguished Service Award to Angela Allen ’81 and Carl W. Davis ’73.
ECU alumni Angela Allen, left, and Carl Davis were honored for service at the annual Alumni Awards Ceremony Oct. 3. (Photos courtesy of the ECU Alumni Association)

Allen is vice president of IBM’s global sales technical enablement organization, where she designs solutions and training to help solve customers’ technology problems. She is a member of the ECU Board of Visitors, former board member for the Women’s Roundtable and the ECU Foundation, charter member of the College of Engineering and Technology Advancement Council and member of the Department of Computer Science Advisory Council.

Davis is the eastern region sales manager for Electronics Research. He is the immediate past chair of the East Carolina Alumni Association, following two years as chair and earlier service as vice chair and treasurer. He created the financial strategies committee to better facilitate the investment of the alumni association’s endowments. Davis is a founding member of CommCrew, which supports the ECU School of Communication.

Honorary Alumni Awards were announced for E. Jackson Allison Jr., the founding chair and first medical director of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the Brody School of Medicine, and Robert Wright (1870-1934), the first president of East Carolina Teachers Training School. Outstanding Alumni Awards were presented to William Clark ’66, ’68, Lt. Gen. William “Mark” Faulkner ’82, Van Isley ’85 and the late Maria “Terry” Shank ’77. Additional information on honorees is available at

A main event for younger fans was the annual Homecoming parade on Saturday morning. Crowds gathered up and down Fifth Street for the celebration, which featured alumni, student organizations and members of the Homecoming court representing the theme, “Land of the Free, Home of the Pirates.”

A canned food drive throughout the weekend collected 44,146 pounds of food, nearly twice the 23,000 pounds collected in 2013. Donations will be delivered to the Food Bank of Eastern and Central North Carolina and the Campus Kitchen of ECU, which prepares meals for the Little Willie Center, Operation Sunshine, the Ronald McDonald House and JOY Community Center.

For many Pirate fans the crowning event kicked off at noon when ECU’s Pirate football team took the field to play the SMU Mustangs. The game made history as ECU’s first American Athletic Conference football contest. The Pirates scored a 45-24 victory over SMU, with a record-setting performance by quarterback Shane Carden, who broke former quarterback David Garrard’s record as all-time leading passer.

A final shot of Pirate pride closed the weekend Sunday when the football team rose to #19 in both the Associated Press and USA Today rankings.

The ECU Pirates football team takes the field at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium for the Oct. 4 contest against the SMU Mustangs. (Photo courtesy of the ECU Alumni Association)

- The ECU Alumni Association contributed to this article.