After visiting the campus for a sorority event, Kimberly Hunter had already decided she would support Elizabeth City State University (ECSU).

“I was totally impressed with the size, modernization and well-maintained grounds of the campus,” she said. “I decided that I would support my local HBCU even if my child did not choose to attend the school.”

But in a twist, her son, Jordan Hunter, then a prospective college student, hinted at a curiosity for attending a Historically Black College and University (HBCU). Insert ECSU.

 “Jordan stated that he was seeking a different culture from his high school experience. I was stunned at Jordan's revelation and worked diligently to introduce him to ECSU as quickly as possible,” she said. “He looked into the school, applied and was accepted. He was so excited when he received his acceptance letter which was the start to Jordan's ECSU journey.”

Jordan Hunter is now a freshman at ECSU studying computer science. On Nov. 3 he and his family are attending the university’s Parent and Family Weekend in Viking Land. The annual event is an opportunity for student families to visit campus and be familiarized with the academic and social settings it offers. There’s still time for students and families of any classification to register for the event here.

 “I'm looking to learn more about my son's collegiate experience, walk the campus, enjoy activities and gain additional immersion into the many ECSU programs and resources. I look forward to the opportunity to share a common bond of proudly attending an HBCU with my son, and spending too much money buying all the ECSU school paraphernalia,” Hunter said. “We want to show Jordan that we support him, we support ECSU and are genuinely interested in learning more about his experiences and plans for the remainder of the semester and beyond.”

The weekend’s activities include a parent’s meeting, a family and student game night mixer and an opportunity to attend a Vikings football game Nov. 4. At the game, against Bluefield State at Roebuck Stadium, seniors who participate in football, cheerleading and band will be recognized. Attendees can also schedule a full campus tour as part of their visit.

 Assistant Vice Chancellor and Dean of Students, Nichole Lewis, Ed.D., is excited about this year’s gathering and said parents are always pleasantly surprised by the accoutrements, resources, and student engagement on campus. The weekend also gives parents and families an opportunity to share in student activities and experience what their student is experiencing.

 “First, we hold a parent meeting which gives families an intimate opportunity to ask questions and be prepared to support their students in real ways. They get a much better idea of the way our staff is structured to help their students find employment at every level of their collegiate experience,” she said. “They also love the swag bags.”

 So far as a Viking, Jordan Hunter, 18, said he’s enjoying his major and, “learning how to do computer programming and coding.”

 “I think they’ll have a good time,” he said, of his parents’ upcoming trip to campus.

 The end goal is that families leave assured their student is in good hands and in good standing, Lewis said.

 "Parents get a real sense of the ECSU experience and find additional resources in each other,” she said. “(Afterwards) they express feeling more connected to the ECSU staff, so if something comes up they have an easier time navigating the systems, and are more comfortable reaching out to help their student get support.”