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McRae to deliver spring commencement address

April 23, 2012

ECU News Services

An East Carolina University graduate who has committed more than 35 years to improving healthcare in eastern North Carolina will deliver the keynote address at the university’s spring commencement.
Dave McRae

Vidant Health Chief Executive Officer Dave McRae will speak May 4 during the ceremony, which begins with a processional at 9 a.m. in Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

Close to 3,800 students are expected to graduate, including 73 from the Brody School of Medicine. Roughly 2,860 bachelor degrees and approximately 1,200 graduate degrees and certificates will be awarded. Some students will receive more than one degree or certificate.

McRae joined Pitt County Hospital in 1975, when the organization was just beginning to develop into a teaching hospital for ECU’s school of medicine. He maintained a leadership role as the hospital grew from a small, 200-bed facility to a regional health system made up of 10 hospitals and medical centers that serve 1.4 million people in a 29-county region.

Now Vidant Health, the medical center is the primary teaching facility for the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University.

“As the CEO of ECU’s most long-standing and deliberate collaborative partner, Dave McRae’s support and collaboration has been instrumental in forging a nationally recognized academic health center,” ECU Chancellor Steve Ballard said.

“He has been with this partnership since the first days of the school of medicine and his leadership and contributions have been critical to the health care of the citizens of eastern North Carolina.”

McRae is a North Carolina native and a 1968 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, with a degree in physical therapy. He holds masters degrees from the UNC School of Public Health and the School of Education at ECU.

He is a fellow with the American College of Healthcare Executives and a member of the Phi Kappa Phi honor society and the Chancellor’s Society of ECU. McRae has chaired the Pitt-Greenville Chamber of Commerce and the North Carolina Hospital Association and served on the board for numerous health care-related organizations including the North Carolina Blue Cross/Blue Shield Association, the University Hospital Consortium, the Institute of Medicine, the Association of American Medical Colleges and the American Hospital Association.

For additional information on the commencement ceremony, visit

ECU colleges, schools and departments may hold unit recognition ceremonies in addition to the main ceremony. For a schedule of unit ceremonies, visit

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