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East Carolina University Timeline

Our Digital Collections also contains a wide variety of photos and other items from ECU's history.

1907—1919

1907

  • March 8: East Carolina Teachers Training School Chartered
  • March 15: Pitt County residents approve $50,000 bond issue providing support for ECTTS
  • June 5: City of Greenville submits proposal to State Board of Education for ECTTS
  • July: State Board of Education selects Greenville for site of ECTTS

1908

  • July 2: Ground breaking ceremonies held
  • Ford Model T appears on market

1909

  • Summer: First faculty members are selected and arrive on campus
  • October 5: 104 women, 19 men, and 11 faculty members comprise first class of ECTTS
  • November 12: Robert H. Wright installed as first president of ECTTS
  • November: YWCA chapter, first campus-wide organization, established

1910

  • Baseball Club formed, first official East Carolina team
  • May 20: First Non-degree Graduation Ceremony, Governor Charles B. Aycock speaks on Universal Education

1911

  • Edgar Allen Poe and Sidney Lanier Societies Form
  • Establishment of Alumni Society
  • March 8: Revised charter, allowing ECTTS to significantly broaden its course offerings, unanimously passed by the General Assembly
  • June 8: First class graduates

1912

  • Athletic League formed
  • U.S. Commissioner of Education speaks at commencement

1913

  • East Carolina’s first Shakespeare play

1914

  • The Training School Quarterly founded

1915

  • First Spring Break announced due to cafeteria fire

1916

  • May 1: Helen Keller Speaks on campus

1917

  • April 6: U.S. enters World War I
  • May 14: Red Cross sewing bee raises money to support U.S. war effort

1918

  • 141 cases of the Spanish flu recorded at ECTTS, a pandemic infecting one-third of the World’s Population 

1920—1929 

1920

  • Students petition for Student Government Association

1921

  • School renamed East Carolina Teachers College

1922

  • First Bachelor of Arts degrees conferred
  • Fleming Dormitory constructed

1923

  • Fall Enrollment surpasses 500
  • ECTC ceases two-year high-school program; completion of high school required for admission
  • Alumni newsletter, The East Carolina Teachers College News, founded
  • First yearbook published

1924

  • Cotten Dormitory constructed
  • October 15: Whichard Building dedicated

1925

  • Scopes Monkey Trial takes place in Dayton, TN
  • Student Newspaper, Teco Echo, launched

1926

  • YWCA Publishes a Student Handbook outlining rules of student behavior
  • Point Systems for grades instituted 
  • October 1: Emerson Society Formed

1927

  • Charles Lindbergh makes first trans-Atlantic flight
  • First movie with sound premieres

1928

  • Disney’s “Steamboat Willie” opens, featuring first appearance of Mickey Mouse

1929

  • First Master of Arts degree-program authorized
  • October 24: “Black Tuesday” stock-market crash signals the beginning of the Great Depression 

1930—1939

1932

  • January 12: Men’s Basketball team founded and begins playing
  • Spring: Men’s intercollegiate baseball team organized
  • March 5: First Founders’ Day Celebration
  • Henry Oglesby becomes first male-graduate of ECTC
  • Fall: First men’s football team organized

1933

  • Deanie Boone Haskett receives first ECTC Master’s degree
  • “Crack” Rogerson scores first touchdown for ECTC
  • August: Enrollment passes 1,000 students

1934

  • Leon Renfroe Meadows selected as president of ECTC
  • February 26: East Carolina Athletes being competing as the Pirates
  • Men’s division of Student Government Associate forms

1936

  • Association for Childhood Education formed
  • First “regular course” in Drivers-Education at any college or university offered at ECTC
  • First honorary fraternity, Tau chapter of Phi Sigma Pi, established
  • Davis Arboretum landscaped

1937

  • Last two-year diplomas awarded
  • Amelia Earhart visits campus
  • Chi Pi players organized 

1938

  • Winter: College Band formed

1939

  • Robert Wright Chapter of the Future Teachers of America formed
  • YMCA chapter organized on campus
  • Jarvis Forensic Club formed 


1940—1949

1940

  • Flanagan Building constructed
  • Alpha Iota Sorority Organized on campus
  • Bachelor of Science degree authorized to attract non-teaching students

1941

  • First undefeated, untied season in the history of Pirate football
  • March 18: First homecoming
  • November 17: Eleanor Roosevelt visits campus
  • December 8: U.S. enters World War II

1943

  • Men’s and Women’s Student Government Associations merge

1944

  • First full-time Alumni Secretary

1945

  • United Nations founded

1946

  • Dennis Hargrove Cooke selected as president
  • Training School becomes part of Pitt County School System
  • May 4: Veterans’ Homecoming celebration

1947

  • Enrollment of men exceeds that of women for the first time
  • New Student-Government constitution establishes Student Legislature
  • John Decatur Messick becomes college president
  • November 8: First Fall-Semester homecoming

1948

  • ECTC Air Force ROTC program formed
  • Bachelor of Science degree designated teachers’ degree, Bachelor of Arts degree becomes liberal Arts degree

1949

  • Haywood Dail house purchased and converted to serve as president’s residence
  • ECTC observes its 40th Anniversary
  • College Stadium constructed 


1950—1959

1950

  • January 10: Circle K Club Organized
  • U.S. Vice-President Alben Barkley speaks on campus
  • October 14: “Captain Teco” pirate mascot created for homecoming

1951

  • ECTC renamed East Carolina College
  • Construction of first gym, Memorial Gym, begins

1952

  • Bloxton House and Erwin Building constructed
  • Young Republicans’ Club formed

1953

  • Kitty Gerringer Brinson crowned 1st homecoming queen
  • American Association of University Women accepts ECC alumnae for membership

1954

  • Construction of J.Y. Joyner library
  • World Affairs Instituted founded by the Department of History
  • First TV-course for credit in the South offered by ECC
  • May 17, U.S. Supreme Court rules Segregation Unconstitutional
  • Congress votes to add the phrase “under God” to the pledge of allegiance
  • Chapter of the American Association of University Professors Formed

1955

  • Chairmanship of the Board of Trustees changes from an ex officio position of the Superintendent of Public Instruction to a position elected by the Board of Trustees
  • Librarian of Congress, Lawrence Quincy Mumford, speaks on campus
  • First ECC Vice-Presidents Named

1956

  • Construction of the Flanagan Sylvan Theatre and Garrett Dormitory

1957

  • 50th Anniversary observed
  • April, First Broadcast of East Carolina FM Radio Station WWWS
  • Inter-fraternity Council formed
  • The Rebel literary magazine founded
  • Methodist Student Center constructed

1958

  • Buc becomes ECC mascot
  • Bureau of field service marked start of Extension Education
  • First National Social Fraternities Chartered
  • First closed-circuit television-courses offered on campus
  • National Defense Education Act signed into law

1959

  • Big Yellow House incident
  • Nursing School Established
  • First National Social Sororities and the Pan-Hellenic council founded
  • New Student Government Association constitution replaces Legislature with smaller Senate 


1960—1969

1960

  • Leo Jenkins installed as President
  • Enrollment passed 5,000
  • School of Nursing accepts first students
  • School of Business Organized
  • Aycock Dormitory built

1961

  • Basketball team wins NAIA Championship
  • Out-going Governor/Incoming U.S. Secretary of Commerce Luther Hodges Speaks on Campus
  • September, Membership in NCAA
  • October, East Carolina University Educational Foundation (Pirate Club) forms

1962

  • Dowdy-Ficklen stadium construction completed
  • College Stadium razed
  • New Seal adopted by East Carolina College
  • Schools of Art and Music Authorized
  • ECU Foundation created

1963

  • Fletcher Dormitory built
  • School of Education Organized
  • Master of Music degree authorized
  • Developmental Evaluation Clinic Formed

1964

  • New Austin Building Built
  • Regional Development Institution founded
  • School of Arts and Sciences Created 

1965

  • Admission to Southern Conference
  • Speight Building Constructed
  • ECC Beats Massachusetts 14-13 in Tangerine Bowl
  • Hubert Walters is first African American to earn a graduate degree from ECC
  • East Carolina Manuscript Collection Established
  • Pirate Club House and Medical Sports Center Established

1966

  • Laura Marie Leary of Greenville first black undergraduate of ECC
  • A.J. Fletcher Music Center and Belk and Greene dorms constructed
  • ECU Defeats Maine 31-0 in Tangerine Bowl
  • First Parents’ Weekend

1967

  • Master of Business Administration degree approved
  • June 29: East Carolina College becomes East Carolina University

1968

  • Austin Building Demolished
  • The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. assassinated 
  • General College and School of Allied Health and Social Professions formed

1969

  • Robert W. Williams becomes first Provost
  • The East Carolinian rechristened The Fountainhead
  • Phi Kappa Phi Chapter Chartered 


1970—1979

1970

  • Kent State Massacre
  • Brewster Building Built
  • Enrollment passes 10,000
  • School of Industry and Technology organized
  • Health Science Library Opens at Science Complex

1971

  • Harrington Field dedicated
  • First Black Fraternity, Eta Nu Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha formed
  • April, March for unlimited visitation privileges 

1972

  • ECU joins UNC-system, title of president replaced by chancellor
  • January 1: Board of Higher Education replaced by Board of Governors
  • Belk Building constructed
  • Committee on the Status of Women activated

1973

  • Campus Laundry phased out

1974

  • Mendenhall Student Center Opens
  • July 1: Music Library established

1975

  • School of Medicine Established
  • Title of Provost discontinued
  • “Y” Hut becomes Afro-American Cultural Center
  • Ebony Herald Founded

1976

  • First black homecoming queen: Jeri Barnes

1977

  • Jenkins Fine Arts Center built

1978

  • Thomas Brewer becomes Chancellor
  • Campus Radio Station resumes, WZMB licensed by the Federal Communications Commission
  • Trustees’ Mace Commissioned

1979

  • Construction of Brody Medical School begins
  • Approval of first doctorates, the Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees 


1980—1989

1980

  • Health Affairs Library renamed Health Science Library
  • Blizzard shuts down campus

1981

  • University purchases Howard House
  • First doctorate, the Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree, conferred on Thomas Beatty of Charlotte

1982

  • 75th Anniversary observed, 77 buildings, 340-acre main campus, approximately 411 acres including off-campus buildings
  • John McDade Howell serves as chancellor
  • Brody Building opens

1983

  • First Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree is conferred on Thomas Edward Curry, Jr., in anatomy
  • Maritime History Department works to recover USS Monitor
  • Moseley Map donated to library

1984

  • Blount House and Garrett House acquired by the University

1985

  • First University Scholars Awards given
  • Registration becomes computerized

1986

  • School of Social Work formed

1987

  • General Classroom Building completed
  • First heart-transplant surgery performed at ECU

1988

  • April 15: Richard R. Eakin becomes chancellor
  • Fall enrollment reaches 15,579

1989

  • New logo adopted
  • January 14, Leo W. Jenkins dies
  • First Woman for Vice-Chancellor for Academic Affairs selected 


1990—1999

1990

  • Weekend College starts
  • The Buccaneer yearbook ceases publication

1993

  • School of Health and Human Performance organized

1994

  • School of Allied Health Sciences celebrates 25th anniversary
  • Student Recreation center opens

1995

  • Joyner Library collection tops one million volumes
  • Women’s studies program forms

1996

  • Football program joins Conference U.S.A.

1999

  • Health Science Library renamed William E. Laupus Health Science Library
  • Hurricane Floyd closes class for a week
  • Twenty distance-education courses offered online
  • Medical School named for Brody Family 


2000—2010

2001

  • William Muse becomes chancellor
  • George W. Bush becomes first sitting president to visit ECU

2002

  • Student Health Center renovations complete, building rededicated
  • Schools of Business and Education become colleges
  • Thomas Harriet College of Arts and Sciences named
  • Title of Provost reintroduced

2003

  • Science and Technology Building opens
  • Invasion of Iraq under Operation "Iraqi Freedom"
  • Robert Chitwood completes 100th surgery using Da Vinci Surgical System

2004

  • Steven Ballard becomes chancellor

2005

  • Clark-LeClair Stadium opens

2007

  • East Carolina University celebrates 100th anniversary


2011-Present

2010

  • ECU awarded the Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award

2011

  • School of Dental Medicine enrolls its first class
  • Croatan II opens
  • Mamie Jenkins building is new home for the Honors College

2012

  • North Recreational Complex opens
  • Second Century Campaign raises $220,000,000
  • Ross Hall opens

2013

  • ECU Men’s Basketball wins CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT)

2014

  • Inter-collegiate athletics joins the American Athletic Conference (AAC)
  • Olympic Sports complex named for former Athletic Director Terry Holland

2015

  • Enrollment surpasses 28,000 students
  • ECU awarded the Community Engagement Classification from The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teacher Education
  • ECU Chamber Singers win international choral competition
  • Gateway East and Gateway West residence halls open

2016

  • Aycock Hall renamed Legacy Hall
  • Board of Trustees approves the School of Entrepreneurship in the College of Business
  • Cecil Staton is selected as the 11th chief executive at East Carolina