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Incoming ECU Honors College students enjoy a white water rafting experience July 13 at the U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte. The event was one of several opportunities for new Honors College students to get acquainted this summer. (Contributed photos)

ECU Honors College students meet again at move-in

Aug. 16, 2012

By Kathryn Kennedy
ECU News Services

Freshman Honors College students can expect to see a lot of familiar faces when they move into Garrett Residence Hall on Aug. 16, thanks to a new summer series instituted by the college this year.

For the first time, administrators offered opportunities for incoming honors students to meet and mingle – and have some fun – with their classmates-to-be. Three events were scheduled across the state in June and July.

“We were struck by how students entered the Honors College without any sense of community,” said Kevin Baxter, associate dean. “And that (sense of community) is very important to us. We wanted to connect them with one another…to their cohort.”

Students took to the first event like fish to water – an excursion on the Pamlico River in the Jeanie B. schooner, based in Washington, N.C. A service-oriented event in Raleigh followed, with students participating in a cleanup of the William B. Umstead State Park in Raleigh.

The series concluded with a trip to Charlotte, where students visited the U.S. National Whitewater Center and then Knights Stadium to see the Charlotte Knights face the Durham Bulls.
Students enjoyed an excursion on the Jeanie B. schooner in Washington in June.

More than 50 percent of the incoming class participated in one or more of the events, Baxter said. He called that a “spectacular response rate,” and said each event was filled to capacity.

“They were so excited to – in their words – start their college career early,” Baxter said.

Halbert Campbell III of Kinston attended all three outings.

“I am looking forward to becoming my own man at ECU and becoming more independent,” said Campbell. “Now I already know some of the other freshmen going to ECU.”

Haley Bowman of Newport attended both the Washington and Charlotte events, and said she most enjoyed the white water rafting excursion at the U.S. National Whitewater Center.

“We were broken up into groups of six and had to physically work together in order to be successful in our rafting,” she explained. “This encouraged conversations out of the ordinary and was a great bonding experience.”

“By attending these Honors College events, I have been able to meet a great number of people that I will be working closely with, inside the classroom and out, throughout the next four years,” Bowman added.

The series was funded primarily through donations from supporters of the Honors College at ECU. Students were also able to meet and thank several of those donors during the summer events, Baxter said.

More information about the Honors College is available online at

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