ECU Welcomes Back Faculty, Record Number of Students
By Erica Plouffe Lazure
East Carolina University expects another record number of students for the fall semester, which officially began with the annual faculty convocation Aug. 18 and the first day of school Aug. 20.
ECU officials expect a total enrollment of about 27,000, up from last year’s 25,990.
In his welcoming address to faculty members Aug. 18, ECU Chancellor Steve Ballard said that his aim for the coming year is to move forward with a plan to add teaching and research facilities for the east campus.
“Our priorities include a new $130 million science building on the east campus to replace Howell Science Complex, a new Education and Business building, and a Performing Arts Center,” he said. “All have been approved by the Board of Governors and are ready to move forward to the General Assembly.”
ECU’s campus is expanding beyond its borders; more than 5,500 students are expected to reside in residence halls this semester, bringing on-campus housing beyond capacity. For the first time, university housing officials are assigning 280 first-year students to university-contracted, off-campus housing units at North Crossing and Bellamy Suites.
The Brody School of Medicine has 285 students enrolled in its MD program, with its largest entering class of 76 students. Four of these students are part of ECU’s “MD in 7” program, and are entering Brody after three years of undergraduate study. All medical students are North Carolina residents.
In addition to a record number of students, ECU will welcome more than 130 new faculty members and three new deans to campus. James R. Hupp was named founding dean of the new School of Dentistry; Linda Patriarca was named dean of the College of Education; and Paul R. G. Cunningham was named dean of the Brody School of Medicine and senior associate vice chancellor for medical affairs. Judy Siguaw was named dean of the College of Human Ecology, and will begin her post in January.
The East Carolina Heart Institute at ECU is nearing completion near the Brody School of Medicine, and construction on the new dental school will begin this semester. Groundbreaking for the new Family Medicine Center is scheduled for Sept. 26.
A newly renovated Todd Dining Hall has reopened on College Hill, and a ribbon-cutting for new fields and a pavilion at the North Recreation Complex is scheduled for Sept. 25.
Campus crews updated the exterior of the McGinnis Auditorium and Messick Theatre Arts Center this summer. During renovations, the ECU/Loessin Summer Theatre Series performed at the Turnage Theater in Washington.
Two more ECU residence halls – Cotten and Fleming – now have fire protection sprinkler systems, bringing the total to four residence halls with sprinklers. By 2012, all 15 residences halls on campus will have sprinklers.
New programs for incoming freshmen this semester include a required online alcohol education program – College Alc, for students under 21 years of age – and a summer reading program. The students read “My Freshman Year - What a Professor Learned by Becoming a Student” by Rebekah Nathan.