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Pieces of Eight


ECU Alumnus to Deliver Commencement Address

By Erica Plouffe Lazure

Thomas J. Spaulding Jr., head of the non-profit organization Up With People, and an East Carolina alum, will deliver the keynote address at ECU’s spring commencement May 10.

The ECU Wind Ensemble will perform a concert at 9:30 a.m., followed by commencement exercises at 10 a.m., rain or shine, at the Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

Almost 3,400 students have applied for spring graduation, according to the ECU registrar’s office. Approximately 2,400 are undergraduates, 910 are graduate/professional students, and 73 are medical students.

Spaulding, who graduated from ECU in 1992 with a degree in political science, received ECU’s Outstanding Alumni Award in 2006. Before becoming president and CEO of Up with People in 2005, Spaulding had been the group’s director of corporate affiliates, and prior to that, had held positions at IBM/Lotus Development. He earned his MBA from Bond University in Australia, and an MA in non-profit management from Regis University. He is a board member for the Museum of Outdoor Arts, as well as Up With People’s Leader’s Challenge and International directors boards.

Up With People provides its participants with opportunities to perform a musical stage show in cities and towns across the world, while also offering them leadership roles and demonstrating how to meet the needs of the communities they inhabit through service learning projects. In the past 40 years, more than 20,000 young people have participated in the global Up with People program.

Departments and Colleges will hold individual recognition events throughout the weekend. Visit for the schedule.


This page originally appeared in the April 4, 2008 issue of Pieces of Eight. Complete issue is archived at