Cool temperatures and sunny skies prevailed as East Carolina University celebrated Homecoming 2015 this weekend with traditional events including a concert, pep rally, parade and football.
Country music star Lee Brice performed with special guests LoCash and ECU alumna Emily Minor for the homecoming concert on Thursday, followed by an Alumni Awards ceremony and dinner on Friday. Honored at the ceremony with the Virgil Clark ’50 Distinguished Service Award were Beverly Cox ’67, Max Ray Joyner ’55 and Catherine “Kitty” Joyner ’59 (posthumously). Honorary Alumni Awards went to David Brody, Jeff Charles, Dr. Ray Martinez and Dr. Mary Raab. Outstanding Alumni Awards were presented to Michael C. Aho ’02, W. Kendall “Ken” Chalk ’68, ’71, Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Clark ’84 and Jeremy Woodard ’01.
Crowds lined the streets on Saturday for the annual homecoming parade, with Chancellor Steve Ballard and his wife Nancy serving as grand marshals. Also featured in the parade were ECU Marching Pirates, ECU cheerleaders, alumni award winners, along with a number of floats competing for best of 2015 with the theme “Pirates Rewind.” Float winners were 1) Chi Omega and Pi Kappa Alpha; 2) Delta Zeta, Sigma Alpha Epsilon and Alpha Sigma Phi; and 3) Kinesiology and Scuba.
Fans quickly relocated to Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium following the parade, where they cheered as first quarter excitement kicked off with a 100-yard interception return by ECU Pirate Josh Hawkins, scoring his first career touchdown. The Pirates went on to beat Tulsa 30-17.
At halftime, the Homecoming 2015 King and Queen were announced. Winners were Benjamin Reyes, representing the College of Education Community of Scholars and Kayleigh Hennessey, representing ECU Ambassadors.
A canned food drive during Homecoming events collected 42,651 pounds of food for an estimated 35,916 meals for individuals in need.