East Carolina University (ECU) is a public university located in Greenville, North Carolina. It was chartered by the General Assembly on March 8, 1907, as East Carolina Teachers Training School, a two-year institution. The chairman of its original board of trustees, T. J. Jarvis, a former Governor of North Carolina now known as the "Father of ECU," participated in groundbreaking ceremonies for the first buildings on July 2, 1908. ECTTS opened its doors on October 5, 1909. Although its purpose was to train "young white men and women," there were no male graduates until 1932.
In 1921 ECTTS became a four-year institution and was renamed East Carolina Teachers College; its first bachelor's degrees were awarded the following year. A master's degree program was authorized in 1929; the first such degree granted by ECTC was in 1933.
Progress toward full college status was made in 1948 with the designation of the B.A. as a liberal arts degree, and the B.S. as a teaching degree. A change of name to East Carolina College in 1951 reflected this expanded mission. Racial segregation ended in 1957. The years that followed saw the establishment of schools of nursing (1960), business (1960), art (1962), music (1962), and education (1963), as well as the College of Arts and Sciences (1964), later named for Thomas Harriot.
Over the objections of Governor Dan K. Moore, who opposed the creation of a university system separate from the Consolidated University of North Carolina, ECC was made a regional university effective July 1, 1967, and assumed its present name, East Carolina University. It did not, however, remain independent for long; on July 1, 1972, it was incorporated into the University of North Carolina System, the successor to the Consolidated University. Subsequent foundations at ECU include the School of Industry and Technology (1970; now called the College of Technology and Computer Science), the School of Medicine (authorized in 1974, opened in 1977, renamed the Brody School of Medicine in 1999), the School of Social Work (1986), and the College of Health and Human Performance (1993).
As of 2002, ECU had 1,386 faculty members and an enrollment of 20,577 students (16,225 undergraduate and 4,352 graduate). It offers 106 bachelorís, seventy-nine masterís, and thirteen doctoral programs (the first Ph. D. was awarded in 1983). Nevertheless, many consider ECU a party school, as it was once ranked one of the top ten party schools in the United States.
ECU's sports teams, nicknamed the Pirates, compete in NCAA Division I (I-A in football) as a member of Conference USA.