400 High School Students Attend Open House, Winter Homecoming

Open House

Elizabeth City State University’s Open House and Winter Homecoming, held Saturday, Feb. 4, was a time for alumni to reminisce and future students to discover what this historic university has to offer them.

Inside the auditorium of the Mickey L. Burnim Fine Arts Center, an estimated 400 high school students and their families, from as far away as Baltimore, Maryland, gathered to hear presentations from Chancellor Thomas Conway, get excited by the rhythms of the Viking Drum Line, and be inspired by 2013 ECSU graduate and nationally recognized teacher, Michael Bonner.

Emceed by Clay Mercer of WVRS 89.9 radio, the event highlighted what ECSU has to offer, and how much students can gain from becoming members of the Viking family. From Chancellor Conway to Michael Bonner and more, speakers told students that this is a small university with a very big and powerful impact on the lives of its students.

During the early morning hours, students and their families were given a tour of the campus. At 10 a.m. they converged on the Fine Arts Center to hear the speakers and learn firsthand what Viking Spirit is all about.

Michael Bonner inspired the audience with his story of success as a teacher in a poverty-stricken Greenville, North Carolina elementary school. Bonner, whose mother graduated from ECSU, and whose father is currently a student, was honored by The Ellen DeGeneres Show last month because of his work with elementary grade students, encouraging them to learn through music.

Greeted by loud applause and a standing ovation, Bonner’s message was simple. If you want to end poverty, get an education. If you want an education, attend ECSU.

Later students left the Fine Arts Center and headed to the Ridley Student Center. There the many university programs and departments greeted students and their parents, offering them a glimpse at what ECSU has to offer.

As high school students took in the excitement surrounding the open house events, alumni gathered at the KE White Center for their membership meeting to listen to campus updates, alumni chapter events, and more. Alumni, adorned in royal blue and white, ended their day with a Vikings basketball game at the R.L. Vaughan arena.