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Pieces of Eight


Lt. Gen. North to Address Grads

By Jeannine Manning Hutson

Lt. Gen. Gary L. North, commander of the 9th Air Force and U.S. Air Forces Central and an East Carolina alumnus, will deliver the keynote address at ECU’s spring commencement May 8.

The ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. with a concert by the ECU Wind Ensemble; the student processional will begin at 6:30 p.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. That number represents approximately 2,325 undergraduates, more than 1,000 graduate/professional students and 65 medical students.

Departments and colleges will hold individual recognition events on May 9. (Visit

In 1976 after completing ECU’s ROTC program as a distinguished graduate, North was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Air Force. Today, North commands more than 350 aircraft and 24,000 active-duty and civilian personnel in the eastern United States. He is also responsible for the operational readiness of 189th Air Force-gained National Guard and Air Force Reserve units comprising the Air Reserve Component.

This page originally appeared in the May 1, 2009 issue of Pieces of Eight. Complete issue is archived at