Alumna Takes her Talent to Broadway

By Sara Strickroot

Marisha Wallace ’07 is currently in the original Broadway company of the five-time Tony nominated musical Disney’s Aladdin. In the musical, Wallace plays the role of the fortune teller.

Prior to Disney’s Aladdin, Wallace was cast in the first national tour of the Tony Award winning musical, The Book of Mormon.

In addition to Wallace’s current role on Broadway, she will be staring in a new Broadway musical in March called, Something Rotten!

In Jan. 2015 you will be able to hear Marisha’s voice on the sequel to Disney’s Frozen, Frozen Fever.

“Once I realized that Broadway was attainable, I went on the long journey to getting there. Luckily, I am blessed enough to have had continuous work since college,” Wallace says. “I have worked on cruise ships, at theme parks, at dinner theaters, in regional theaters, tours, and now finally Broadway and a little bit of film and recording as well.”

In her spare time, she enjoys teaching masters classes on voice and acting in NYC.

Wallace credits her experience at ECU to large portion of her success. “I got a lot of the professional experience in college, which helped me transition fairly easily in the business,” she says.

During her time at ECU, Wallace majored in theater education. She was a member of the North Carolina Teaching Fellows program and performed in countless ECU musicals.

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Bring the Whole Crew to ECU Night at the Carolina Hurricanes!

The East Carolina Alumni Association is proud to announce a new series of family and social events called “Bring the Whole Crew!” Starting this spring, bring your whole crew to sporting events, amusement parks, outdoor activities, social mixers, and more!

Open to all alumni, students, and their friends and family members, these events will provide opportunities for Pirate fans of all ages to get together in addition to our networking events and football tailgates.

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The first event will be ECU Night at the Carolina Hurricanes on March 14. Join fellow Pirates to watch the Hurricanes take on the Florida Panthers at 7:00 p.m. at PNC Arena in Raleigh. Participants will enjoy a private buffet dinner at 5:30 before taking their seats in the designated section to watch the game together.

The cost is $65 for adults and $45 for children ages 3-12 (children 2 and under are free). The cost includes a ticket to the game and the buffet dinner. Members of the alumni association will also get a free parking pass (a $15 value). Seats are in section 305. This deal is only available through the alumni association. Click here to register or call 252-ECU-GRAD (252-328-4723).

Don’t forget to wear your purple and gold! Come have fun with the whole Pirate family!

If you would like to host a “Bring the Whole Crew” event at your venue, or if you have suggestions for future events, contact Assistant Director for Alumni Programs Megan Howard ’07 at 252-328-5557 or howardme14@ecu.edu.

Dynamic Duo: Alumni Brothers Revitalize Neighborhoods

By Sara Strickroot

Twin brothers Chris Edwards ’02 and Kelly Edwards ’02 are finding success as co-owners of Raleigh- based real estate firm The Edwards Companies. “We specialize in property management, property maintenance, real estate investments, and real estate brokerage,” says Kelly.

Chris&KellyEdwards-ECUAlumBlogPostThrough The Edwards Companies, the twins focus on revitalizing neighborhoods. “We consider what we do an artwork in many ways, no matter if we are working on a flip or a rental property to build our portfolio,” says Chris. “We leave our signature on any project we touch. We focus on vintage real estate with an eye towards doing what is environmentally friendly. Our hope is that when you drive through one of our neighborhoods you will be able to say, ‘that’s an Edwards Companies home.’”

“We found a mentor who took us under his wing and taught us many of the things that have led to our business growth. It was seeing his long-term success that kept us going even when things became challenging,” says Chris. “We are still very close with our mentor today but spend a good deal of time teaching others how to start and grow their business just as he did for us.”

The twins had many family members graduate from the various colleges ECU has to offer, including the College of Business, the Brody School of Medicine, the College of Allied Health Sciences, the College of Health and Human Performance, and the College of Engineering and Technology. Ultimately their decision to attend the College of Business for their MBAs was an easy one. They were members of the Campus Crusade for Christ organization during their time at ECU.

“This has typically been the school of choice for many of our family members. At family reunions we jokingly refer to it as Edwards Carolina University,” says Chris. “We both knew that the combination of the skills we would gain from ECU’s MBA program plus our strong work ethic would make the university the right choice for us.”

“It’s no secret we are proud PIRATES! We love ECU and what the university stands for. It has opened doors for us that we could have never dreamed of. Some of our fondest memories are from our days at East Carolina. We look forward to continuing to give back to the place that gave us so much,” says Kelly.

The Edwards twins are still very involved with ECU today. They will be speaking at the College of Business Leadership Conference this March & April and they are involved in the COB Alumni Mentor Program.

They are also the co-owners of Edwards Insurance and Financial Strategies, a Raleigh-based insurance and financial services firm with five offices located throughout the Triangle.

Stay tuned for more about the twins as their success continues to grow!

Pirate Alumni Road Race and Fun Run on April 11

The eighth annual Pirate Alumni Road Race and Fun Run will be held Saturday, April 11. In this second “Paint It Purple” edition, runners will be dusted with a full array of even brighter colors including purple and gold as they race to support the Alumni Scholarship program at ECU. Registration is now open and advance registration is encouraged. Click here to register.

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The 5K road race will begin at 9:00 a.m. on Reade Circle adjacent to West End Dining Hall and follow Fifth Street next to campus. The one-mile fun run will start immediately after the 5K and follow a portion of the same route. No-color lanes will be available for those who do not wish to be dusted with color. The colored powder is food-grade cornstarch. Click here for frequently asked questions on how to prepare for and clean up after this race.

Each registered participant will receive a packet containing an event T-shirt and number bib with timing chip at check-in, which will begin at 7:30 a.m. on race day in front of U.B.E. Check-in can also be completed the day before the race (April 10) from 11:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at U.B.E. You can have someone else pick up your registration packet if needed.

The entry fee for the road race or fun run is $20 through February 28, then $25 from March 1 to April 10, and $30 on race day. Registrations received prior to Monday, March 30 will be guaranteed a white official race T-shirt.

We’ve expanded the maximum number of participants from 500 last year to 700 this year. Registration will close at exactly 700 participants, which may occur before race day. Last year’s event sold out well ahead of the race. Advance registration is STRONGLY encouraged.

Those who do not wish to run but still want to support the program may donate directly to the Alumni Scholarship fund anytime at PirateAlumni.com/Donate.

Held every spring, the Pirate Alumni Road Race and Fun Run is one of two main scholarship fundraisers, along with the ECU Alumni Scholarship Classic golf tournament in the fall, hosted by the East Carolina Alumni Association. Since 2005, the Alumni Scholarship program has awarded 197 scholarships totaling more than $260,000.