Celebrating 50 Years of Desegregation

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Celebrating 50 Years of Desegregation

Celebrating 50 Years of

Desegregation at East Carolina University

News Stories

Laura Marie Leary ElliottLaura Marie Leary Elliott
The first African-American student to enroll full-time at East Carolina University, Laura Marie Leary Elliott, was honored during halftime at the homecoming football game on Saturday, Oct. 13 in Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. She also participated in the homecoming parade.

Her return to campus marks the 50th anniversary of desegregation at the university. A native of Vanceboro, she attended ECU - then East Carolina College - from 1962 until her graduation in 1966. President Leo Jenkins and Dr. Andrew Best worked with Elliott's parents to facilitate her enrollment, according to university archives. She was unaware she would attend East Carolina College until a few weeks before classes began. Elliott earned a bachelor's degree in business administration. Now retired, she resides in Maryland.

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Retired justice, alumni panel discuss desegregation, diversity at ECU

By Kathryn Kennedy
ECU News Services

East Carolina University alumni spanning several decades discussed their varied experiences with desegregation and diversity at the university during an event in Hendrix Theatre on Thursday, Nov. 1.

The keynote address and panel discussion were the first in a series of events planned throughout this academic year to commemorate the 50th anniversary of desegregation at ECU. Featured speaker Justice Henry Frye began by walking those attending the event though the court cases that predated desegregation, including Plessy v. Ferguson and Brown v. Board of Education. Read more


November 1, 2012 - 7:00pm at Hendrix Theatre
(reception to follow in Cynthia's Lounge)

Panel Discussion: The History, Legacy and Celebration of Desegregation in Higher Education

The U.S. has been involved in remedying desegregation in higher education for over 50 years. Justice Henry Frye is the keynote speaker and will discuss several cases relevant to the desegregation of public education. There will also be a panel discussion with representatives of the last five decades at ECU. The panelists include Dennis Chestnut ('69) former faculty member and first black SGA president; Angela Allen ('81), vice president with IBM Global Business Solutions; Chris V. Rey ('03), Mayor of Spring Lake, NC; John Tucker, University historian; and Chantel Miller, current ECU student.

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January 26, 2013

African American Male Talking Circle

Based on an ancient tradition among men of many cultures the circle creates a place of openness, trust, and mature masculinity that allows participants to draw from the collective wisdom of the circle. Circle Leader: Dr. Cedric Bright, President of the National Medical Association.

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January 26, 2013 - 7:00pm at East Carolina Heart Institute

29th Andrew A. Best MD Senior Recognition Banquet

Dr. Best was Greenville's first black physician. He served in a variety of leadership roles in the city and state and was instrumental in desegregating ECU. He was the first African-American member of the ECU board of Trustees and one of the first African-Americans to serve on the UNC Board of Governors. Keynote speaker: Dr. Cedric Bright, President of the National Medical Association

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For more information about the 50th Anniversary of the Desegregation of East Carolina (1962-2012) as well as future dates and events in 2013, please contact Dr. Virginia Hardy, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at East Carolina University at
(252) 328-6541 or via email at hardy@ecu.edu