ECU News Services

ECU jumpers react to the chilly temperatures in the Student Recreation Center's outdoor pool during the 2010 Polar Bear Plunge. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

Pirates Participate in 2010 Polar Bear Plunge

With a cold, steady rain ensuring everyone got wet, East Carolina University students plunged into the icy waters of the outdoor pool at the Student Recreation Center Jan. 21.

The 14th Annual Polar Bear Plunge began in 1997 as part of the grand opening of the Student Recreation Center, with 35 students taking the plunge. The event has grown significantly each year. The number of jumpers surpassed 500 in 2008 and closed in on 600 in 2009. This year, 701 jumpers participated into waters measured at 39 degrees.

Participants were encouraged to bring a canned food item and "Feed the Bear," with all donations going to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. Jumpers received a raffle ticket for prizes, with an extra ticket for those donating food items. The first 500 jumpers received a T-shirt.

Following the jump, students enjoyed food and drawings for prizes. ECU’s campus radio station WZMB-FM broadcasted live from the event. Students also learned about programs, activities and organizations at ECU through the “Get A Clue” involvement fair, held on the SRC basketball courts. 

This story appeared originally in the Jan. 29, 2010 issue of Pieces of Eight. An archived version of that issue is available at