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Pieces of Eight

Mobbing ECU’s Dowdy Student Stores on Aug. 21, scores of students patiently wait their turn to purchase their books and supplies for the fall semester. The students began arriving on campus Aug. 17, followed by an influx of faculty. Faculty convocation and faculty meetings were held on Aug. 21. (Photo by Joy Holster)

ECU Welcomes Back Students, Faculty

By Erica Plouffe Lazure

East Carolina University welcomed back faculty and a record number of students as the university prepares for its 100th year.

Approximately 23,500 students are enrolled for the fall 2006 semester.

In the faculty convocation Aug. 21, Chancellor Steve Ballard outlined the current state of the university as well as goals for the future that will ensure the university’s progress.

“Our stature as a national university, our accomplishments and the quality of work by our faculty are noteworthy,” he said. “In combination they create a culture at ECU that enables us to think big as we design our future.”

Ballard encouraged the ECU community to take an active role in the university’s future.

Among the new facilities in service this fall is the Allied Health Sciences building on the west campus. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

“Give us feedback on the strategic directions of the university, let us know what we’ve missed, and help us articulate how we can achieve these directions,” he said.

“More importantly, take seriously the opportunity to define the future of your own area.”

ECU officials predicted a record 2006 enrollment for first-year students. Last year’s freshman class was 3,550. Final enrollment figures will be available after the close of the add/drop period for classes, Sept. 6.

The new College Hill Suites Residence Hall, which opened this year, houses 488 upperclassmen. The $31.5 million facility is a five-story, apartment-style residence hall. Each four-person suite includes amenities such as Internet, cable TV, local phone service, kitchenettes, a shared living room space, and semi-private bathrooms.

About 5,100 students are housed on campus this year, pushing the occupancy rate to 98 percent, said Todd Johnson, associate vice chancellor for housing and dining.

The on-campus housing demand caused officials to reopen Belk Residence Hall, which had been slatted to close to undergo evaluations for potential renovations.

Other campus news for the fall semester includes:

• Four new master’s level programs will be offered this year: a master’s in health communication; a master’s in athletic training; a master’s in construction management; and a master’s in software engineering.

Several of these programs are offered online.

• The $61 million Allied Health Sciences Building opened on the west campus this summer. The schools of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences (health services management, rehabilitation services, speech and hearing sciences, speech language pathology, physician assistant, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and counseling) and the Laupus Health Sciences Library are housed in the new facility.

No doubt telling tales of aching feet and burdensome bags, a newly arrived ECU student pauses to connect with friends or family through her cellular phone. She was among approximately 23,500 students, including an anticipated record number of freshmen, who flocked to campus in late August. More than 5,000 students living in dormitories across campus began moving in on Aug. 17. Classes started Aug. 23. (Photo by Joy Holster)


This page originally appeared in the Sept. 1, 2006 issue of Pieces of Eight. Complete issue is archived at