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Gorham to deliver commencement address

Brig. Gen. James R. Gorham
GREENVILLE, N.C.   (Dec. 3, 2010)   —   Brig. Gen. James R. Gorham, the first African-American general in the North Carolina National Guard, will deliver the commencement address at East Carolina University on Dec. 17 at Minges Coliseum.

An ECU alumnus, Gorham is director, Joint Staff, of the North Carolina Joint Force Headquarters in Raleigh. He also serves as commander of the N.C. National Guard Joint Task Force, responsible for joint training and deployment.

Gorham was commissioned as second lieutenant in 1980, following training in the officer candidate school at Fort Bragg. Before receiving his commission, he served as an enlisted member both on active duty and with the North Carolina Army National Guard for a total of six years.

Gorham’s recent assignments include support of Operation Iraqi Freedom through service as commander of the 130th Finance Battalion; deputy commander of the 130th Combat Support Brigade (Maneuver Enhanced), commander of the 113th Brigade; and assistant adjutant general – Army, North Carolina National Guard.

He is a recipient of numerous commendations including the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, the Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal and the National Defense Service Medal. North Carolina National Guard honors include the Commendation Medal, Governor’s Unit Citation and Meritorious Unit Citation.

Gorham is a 1981 graduate of ECU with a bachelor of arts in history. He holds a master of science in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College. He is a native of Falkland.

The ECU commencement ceremony is scheduled to begin with a band concert at 9:30 a.m. in the Williams Area of Minges Coliseum. The commencement program follows at 10 a.m.

For additional information on the commencement ceremony, visit In addition to the Dec. 17 ceremony, ECU colleges, schools and departments may hold unit recognition ceremonies during the commencement weekend. See for those listings.


Contact: ECU News Services | 252-328-6481