Commemorative Book
  • Commemorative Book

Commemorative Book

Elizabeth City State University 1891-2016: The Continuity of a Historical Legacy of Excellence and Resilience

Since 2013, history professor Glen Bowman has been busy researching and writing a book showcasing the rich history of ECSU. The book, published by Donning Press, was completed in December 2015. The book will serve as a major fundraiser for The ECSU Foundation, as well as a defining historical resource to result from the 125th Anniversary. Congratulations to Ella M. Ivory, '65, for submitting the winning title of the book, as voted on by her fellow alumni at the 2014 ECSU NAA Summer Convention!

A summary by the author, Dr. Glen Bowman

The story of Elizabeth City State University from its humble beginnings as a teacher-training (normal) school to the number-one university in the nation, according to Washington Monthly magazine, is one of continued resilience in the face of sometimes overwhelming challenges. As an institution geographically isolated in one of the poorest regions in the United States, it has had to face additional challenges most universities, and most historically-black colleges and universities, could never understand. Anyone associated with ECSU-whether they are alumni, students, faculty, staff, citizens, or friends-has a reason to be especially proud of the institution's history. From its beginnings in a rented building on what is today Roanoke Avenue, ECSU has changed lives. Young people who grew up in poverty, lacking proper political representation and social status, have come to this campus, leaving as educated citizens interested in improving their communities. The success of this institution is due in large part to courageous leadership and faithful service not just of executives, but also of many others.

The story of ECSU was not one of perpetual progress. Periods of boom were followed by periods of bust. The book will walk reader through the founding decade of the 1890's through modern day, and explain how this public, academic institution made its greatest progress when the following forces stood behind it: North Carolina's state government, alumni, local community, and the federal government. When those forces were weak, even working against it, the institution greatly suffered.

This is a scholarly book based on archival research, existing scholarship in refereed journals and monographs, as well as personal interviews. There will be sections on athletics, discussions of individual personalities, a list of every graduate who earned a terminal academic or professional degree, a list of every employee who served at least thirty years, approximately 200 pictures, and a total text of around 65,000 words. The publisher is Donning Press, the nation's leading producer of institutional histories.

To purchase your copy of the 125th Anniversary commemorative book, please contact the Office of University Advancement at (252) 335-3743. 


Book Cover