Nov. 30, 2023  


Leha Byrd

ECSU Communications and Marketing  

Email or 252.335.8745

Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) will host its 177th Commencement Ceremony at 10 a.m. Dec. 9 in the university’s R.L. Vaughn Center. Nearly 200 students are graduating as Vikings.

The event’s commencement speaker is Collette V. Smith, the first African American, female coach in the National Football League (NFL). Smith is also founder, president, and chief executive officer of “Believe N You, Inc.,” an organization that offers encouragement and motivational speaking to schools and corporations throughout New York.

As part of the tradition of the ceremony, Bearer of the Mace and Bearer of the Shield graduates will be recognized. The Bearer of the Mace is the student who entered ECSU as a first-time freshman and has the highest cumulative GPA in the graduating class. The Bearer of the Shield is the student who entered ECSU as a transfer student and has the highest cumulative GPA in the graduating class.

The university’s annual ROTC Commissioning Ceremony will precede the main commencement ceremony at 10 a.m., Dec. 8 in the Mickey L. Burnim Fine Arts Center. Two ECSU cadets will be commissioned as Second Lieutenants in the United States Army. The event’s speaker is ECSU Alumnus Colonel Reginald Harris ’96. Harris’ career awards and decorations include earning the Defense Superior Service Medal, Bronze Star Medal, and Humanitarian Service Medal.

Most recently, ECSU has grown its enrollment to its highest numbers in nine years. The university finalized its fall 2023 semester student count with 2,166 students. Additionally, the university caters to a significant number of non-traditional students, identifying a 4.3 % increase in the adult learner population and a 45 % increase in the number of students pursuing credit bearing professional development in Education. Among adult learners in the graduating class, Elementary Education and Business Administration are the top majors. For traditional learners, the top major is Business Administration followed by Aviation Science.

Additional information about the graduation ceremony, including accommodations and accessibility options, is available here.