ECU welcomes back students for fall semester

Aug. 16, 2012

By Jeannine Manning Hutson
ECU News Services

Approximately 5,600 incoming Pirates converged on campus Aug. 16 when East Carolina University opened residence halls for move in. The welcome will extend to more than 27,000 students when fall semester classes begin officially Aug. 21. Many of the students were moving in to new living-learning communities, which bring together students with similar interests into a central living area. ECU opened three new living-learning communities this year:  the Bio Living-Learning Community, Future Pirate Nurse Living and Learning Village and the College of Business Living-Learning Community.

Among the incoming freshman and their families were:

Brittany Colie

To say that Kristen Colie is going to miss her sister is an understatement. The seven-year-old plainly stated on East Carolina University’s move-in day that she was “sad” about Brittany moving into Fletcher Residence Hall.

But she’s excited too, because Kristen – who will be in second grade at West Greene Elementary in Snow Hill – has already decided that she’s coming to ECU like her big sister.

As she has for the past five years, Brittany was asked by their parents, Shayne and Geneva Colie, to take care of Kristen this summer. According to Kristen, they painted faces (her favorite thing), went to the pool and sometimes met their mom for lunch.

Brittany is living in Fletcher as part of the FX: First Year Experience, one of nine Living Learning Communities on campus, and plans to study elementary education. Brittany said she’s ready to be at ECU but admits it is hard to leave her parents and sister.

“She cried last night,” Brittany said about Kristen while they took another load from their SUV to Fletcher. “I had to sleep with her. And then Mom came in and slept with us for a while, too.”

“I’ve kept her since she was 2,” Brittany said. “I took her to school and picked her up every day. She’s my little best friend. She wants to be like me and come to ECU, but she says she wants to be a nurse.”

Geneva said, “We were very ecstatic when she got in to ECU. This is the only application she submitted, because she said I’m going to get in.”

Brittany was born to be a teacher, her mother said. “She has taught Kristen to subtract and they are working on multiplication. She loves working with young children.”

Ashleigh Jennings

Sporting an “East Carolina Mom” T-shirt, Lynne Jennings of Winston-Salem was waiting Thursday morning for her husband to come back to their daughter Ashleigh’s pile of belongings for another trip into Fletcher Residence Hall.

Ashleigh Jennings is also part of the FX: First Year Experience and is planning to study physical therapy.

“We visited campus the summer of her junior year and she decided then to come to ECU,” Jennings said. “We heard that ECU is the best place for physical therapy, and she can do it all right here.”

Like many freshmen, Ashleigh Jennings and her roommate, Madison Lewis of Morrisville, met using online resources to match potential roommates at colleges using their similarities and preferences.

“I’ve been good so far,” Lynn Jennings said. “I’m sure as I leave here today I’ll get teary-eyed. It’s what she needs to do.”

Ashleigh’s dad, David Jennings, rested between trips up to her room and said, “I’m ready. It’s time for her to have some time to herself. Not that I’m kicking her out,” he added with a laugh.

(Photos and video by Cliff Hollis)

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