Registration Opens for Pirate Alumni Road Race and Fun Run


Pirates, get ready to run! Join fellow alumni and friends for the ninth annual Pirate Alumni Road Race and Fun Run, presented by the East Carolina Alumni Association! This event is sponsored by Potash Corp. and U.B.E. The third “Paint It Purple” Edition will have runners dusted in a rainbow of bright 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.

The 5K road race will be on Saturday, April 16, beginning at its new time, 8:00 a.m. The race will start 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, which have been widened for this year’s event. The colored powder is food-grade cornstarch. Click here for frequently asked questions on how to prepare for and clean up after this race.

RoadRace5Each participant will receive a packet containing an event T-shirt and number bib with a timing chip at check-in, which will begin at 7:00 a.m. on race day. Check-in can also be completed the day before the race (April 15) from 11:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at U.B.E.

The entry fee for the road race or fun run starts at $20 through February 29, $25 from March 1 to April 15, and $30 on race day. Registration on race day begins at 7:00 a.m. Registrations received prior to Monday, March 15 will be guaranteed a race T-shirt.

Early registration is STRONGLY encouraged as registration closes at exactly 700 participants, which may occur before race day.

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

The race sends all of its proceeds to the Alumni Scholarship program, which annually awards scholarships to undergraduates for the following year. The alumni association has awarded 224 scholarships totaling over $300,000, with last year’s race raising over $6,000!

Click here for more photos of the 2015 race.

By Michael Avila



Meet Erin Barfield ’12, Owner of Truly Yours

ErinBarfieldFor many college students, figuring out what they want to do after graduation is an intimidating thought. Fortunately, fashion enthusiast Erin Barfield figured it out the moment she came to East Carolina University.

“I’ve always had a passion for the apparel industry from a young age,” said Barfield, who graduated in 2012. “When I found out there was an apparel merchandising program at ECU I knew it was meant to be. I knew I wanted to have my own clothing store.”

Coming from a small town, it was hard for Barfield to get her hands on trendy and fashionable clothing. The idea behind her business, Truly Yours, was to give women who lived in small towns the opportunity to purchase fashionable clothes without the struggles of traveling hours to a shopping center. The creation of her online store gave women that opportunity.

Since opening in 2011, her senior year in college, Barfield’s business has blossomed. What was first an online experience has now turned into her own physical store, which opened this past fall in Greenville, NC. The lessons Barfield learned at ECU really changed her perspective of fashion and the business behind it.

“My time at ECU helped me see fashion as more of a business instead of just the fun side of it,” said Barfield. “I saw fashion as a way to make a career for myself.”

Barfield was recently the winner of the Uptown Retail Challenge, which was held by Uptown Greenville. As the winner, she received $15,000 to open her own store in downtown Greenville and $500 for advertising.

“I knew I wanted my store to be close to campus and I really wanted to be a part of the Uptown community,” said Barfield. “The retails challenge grant became available and really made the opportunity more realistic.”

Barfield’s growing business and hard earned success has been met with support from all of Pirate Nation, which has left her with nothing but gratitude.

“Thank you so much for all of your support,” said Barfield. “I have had Pirates near and far supporting my business and wishing me success. That means more to me than you will ever know!”

By Michael Avila

Pirates Race to a Good Time!


Eighteen Pirates raced to a good time at Rush Hour Karting on January 15. The event was part of Bring the Whole Crew, a series of family and social events hosted by the East Carolina Alumni Association. Participants got a chance to enjoy indoor go-kart racing and to meet fellow Pirates in the Raleigh area along with their friends and families.

“The event was so much fun,” said Britni Holman, who graduated from ECU in 2011 with a degree in sports studies. “My favorite part of the event was being able to sit around the table with everyone and learn about their careers and swap our greatest college memories.”

Holman is a promotions specialist for the North Carolina Education Lottery. She heard about the event from ECUpdate, the association’s monthly e-newsletter for members.

She said, “I decided to attend since I have always wanted to go to Rush Hour Karting, and I love attending networking events where I get to meet fellow Pirates.”

Randy Mizelle ’85, ’88 heard about the event via the mailed postcard. He works in human resources, and his wife Amanda is also an ECU grad, earning degrees in 1990 and 1992.

“I enjoyed the event because I enjoy karting, and it was a chance to meet some ECU grads that perhaps I hadn’t met before,” Mizelle said.

The next Bring the Whole Crew event is at the Charlotte Hornets game on February 6.

By Jackie Drake

Volunteers Needed for ECU Night at UNC-TV

Calling all Pirates! The East Carolina Alumni Association invites you to volunteer with fellow ECU alumni and friends at ECU Night at UNC-TV on Saturday, February 27.

Volunteers will answer phones and accept donor pledges during UNC-TV’s annual “Festival” telethon. These pledges will help North Carolina’s only statewide public television station continue to provide quality, educational programming for North Carolinians. ECU Night is our night to show the state how Pirates give back! ECU is the only university that takes on a full night of the telethon each year.

UNC-TV offers life-changing television programs like Folkways, NC Now, Healthwise, A Chef’s Life, and more. The telethon will feature special live segments both entertaining and informational.

If you’re not able to come and volunteer, be sure to call in and make a donation to UNC-TV, which is licensed to the University of North Carolina system. A fellow Pirate will be the one to take your pledge!

All volunteers will receive a short orientation prior to answering phones and accepting pledges. Dress comfortable and casual in your Pirate purple and gold!

Volunteers work off-camera while UNC-TV staff and guest stars host the evening’s segments. Occasionally, the camera will show a general shot of the phone room, but will not focus on any one person. Help us fill the room with Pirates! Those who do not wish to be on TV at all can be seated at a phone station out of the camera frame.

Please plan to arrive at the studio at 6:00 p.m. and stay until 11:30 p.m. Dinner will be provided for this event.

If you’d like to volunteer, we ask that you register ahead of time so we can plan to have enough people. Click here to register.

Limited transportation will be provided for volunteers traveling from the Greenville/Pitt County area. Please indicate on the registration form if you would like to reserve a seat. For those with transportation reservations made, please meet at the Belk Building parking lot (off of Charles Blvd., across from Clark-LeClair Stadium) by 4:00 p.m. We should return to Greenville after midnight.

Please contact Shawn Moore ’91, ’98 at 252-328-5775 or for more information.

Educator Ron Clark ’94 In Viral Video, Up For National Award

okiWRHZMWhen renowned educator Ron Clark ’94 joined his students in a dance video as part of an online contest earlier this month, he didn’t think it would go viral. He was just doing what he’s been doing since he graduated from East Carolina University in 1994: having fun with his students.

Students at the school he founded, Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, wanted to participate in a challenge from rapper DLow, who asked fans to submit videos of themselves dancing to his song “Bet You Can’t Do It Like Me.” The students performed popular hip hop dances like “the whip” and “the nae nae” – and got their teacher to join in.

Clark posted the video to his Facebook page on January 4, and from there it took on a life of its own as viewers shared it across multiple platforms. The video gained coverage from Fox, CNN, ABC and more. Total views topped 80 million earlier this week, according to Clark.

“They asked me to be in it,” Clark said. “We thought we’d get a few hundred likes. I posted it, went to dinner, and then I looked at my phone and saw we had thousands of ‘likes.’ It’s been crazy. We just thought it was something silly and fun.”

Known for his energetic and inspirational teaching style, Clark first gained national fame as a Disney Teacher of the Year in 2000. His book, The Essential 55, is a New York Times bestseller with more than a million copies sold. Using the earnings from his book, Clark opened his academy in the fall of 2007.

“At our school, we do a lot to get the kids to love learning, like travel and hands-on experiences,” he said.

Making learning exciting is just one reason why Clark was recently named one of 50 finalists for the Global Teacher Prize, a $1 million award quickly becoming known as the Nobel Prize of teaching. Now in its second year, the award is given by the Varkey Foundation as a way to recognize the best teachers in the world.

“It is a tremendous honor to be in the company of such great educators,” said Clark, who was nominated by a former student. “I’m glad the foundation has found a way to honor teachers everywhere.”

This is not the first time Clark has sung and danced with his students. He has had videos go viral before, like “Geometry is Killa-Hot” and “You Can Vote However You Like.”

Clark has been incorporating music and pop culture into his lessons since he was a student teacher at ECU. When his students were bored during a high school history lesson, he wrote lyrics about the World Wars to the tune of the song from the hit 80s TV show The Love Boat.

“They thought I was crazy, but by the end they didn’t want me to leave,” he said. “I realized that if I put in more effort to make learning exciting, then the students would put in effort and get excited too.”

Clark is proud to show his love for ECU on his classroom walls. Many ECU graduates are among the 32,000 teachers who have visited his school to learn his techniques. For most of the past 20 years, Clark has brought some of his students to the ECU homecoming game.

“ECU is my second home,” he said. “I’m a Pirate at heart. ECU made me who I am today.”

By Jackie Drake