ECU News Services


Bowles to deliver ECU commencement address

Erskine Bowles, president of the University of North Carolina system, will be the featured speaker at ECU’s 101st spring commencement on May 7.

About 3,400 students are candidates to receive degrees at the ceremony, which begins at 10 a.m. in Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. A band concert will begin at 9:30 a.m., and participants in the ceremony should be in place by 9:30 as well.

Erskine Bowles
The university will award an honorary doctor of letters degree to Dorothy Spruill Redford, the retired director of the Somerset Place State Historic Site in Creswell. Seven original 19th-century buildings and 31 surrounding acres are the only North Carolina plantation preserved as a state historic site and is one of the most significant African-American historical locations in the state.

Bowles, who announced in February that he will retire at the end of this year or when his successor is chosen, became the leader of the UNC system on Jan. 1, 2006. He is known for his non-stop work ethic, and is widely applauded for bringing increased focus and efficiency to the system.

He was a White House chief of staff in the Clinton administration, and he has been selected by President Obama to co-chair a bi-partisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform charged with proposing long-term strategies for reducing the federal budget deficit and restoring the nation’s fiscal health.

This will be Bowles’ second commencement address at ECU; he spoke at the fall ceremony in 2006.

In addition to the university-wide ceremony, many colleges, schools and departments will hold recognition ceremonies on May 8 and 9. Details are available at


This story appeared originally in the April 30, 2010 issue of Pieces of Eight. An archived version of that issue is available at