Historical Timeline

Historical Timeline: 1891-present


1891 January 26: Legislation to establish institution introduced by the Honorable Hugh Cale (1835 - 1910), a black Pasquotank County Representative in the North Carolina General Assembly.
  March 3: Cale's Bill enacted into law; State Board of Education directed to establish school
1892 January 4 "Elizabeth City Colored Normal School" began operations on Roanoke Avenue with 2 teachers and 23 students, $900. appropriation, and Peter Weddick Moore as Principal.
1896 May 29: Graduating class of six students (no graduates, 1893 - 1895).
1912 September 9: Institution began operations at present location with two brick buildings; Lane and Symera Halls
1914 Fall: first Football Team. Spring: first Baseball Team.
1925 June First Yearbook - The Normal Light; dedicated to Principal Moore. A student newspaper - the Blue & White Banner - preceded this publication.
1928 After serving 37 years, Dr. Moore retired effective July 1; became the first president-emeritus (1928 - 1934) of a North Carolina public senior institution.
  Dr. John Henry Bias (1879 - 1939) elected second president.
1939 March 30: Name change - "State Normal School" became "Elizabeth City State Teachers College."
  May 19: First baccalaureate degrees awarded to 27 graduates (Elementary Education).
  July 15: President Bias died.
  November 18: Dr. Harold Leonard Trigg (1893 - 1978)became the third president
1941 Golden Jubilee - 50th Anniversary.
1946 January 1: Dr. Sidney David Williams (1892 - 1974), former Dean, became the fourth president, following President's Trigg's December 1945 resignation.
  September 1: Upon Dr. Williams' retirement, Dr. Walter Nathaniel Ridley (1910- 1996) became the fifth president.
1960 Student newspaper renamed "Compass" succeeding the State Normal Banner and STC News Letter. Students suggested the name.
1962 May 27: First graduating class in 23 years to include degree-granting majors other than Elementary Education; Business Education, General Science (Biology concentration), Social Sciences (teaching major).
1963 May 15 Name Change: "Elizabeth City State Teachers College" became "Elizabeth City State College."
1964 Intercollegiate athletic teams and yearbook change name from "Pirates" to "Vikings"; President made around-the-world educational tour, resulting in greater internationalism among faculty.
Student enrollment breaks the 1,000 mark.
1966 Dr. Herman Glenn Cooke (1918-1977), Professor and Chair of Biology, received international acclaim for his discovery of an unknown species of Chironomid, subsequently named in his honor.
  Diamond Jubilee - 75th Anniversary - celebrations included four Presidents: Dr. Trigg, Dr. Williams, Dr. Ridley, and Dr. Thorpe
1968 July 1: Dr. Marion Dennis Thorpe (1932-1983) became the sixth president upon Dr. Ridley's June 30th resignation. Office of Institutional Research established (Fall semester).
1969 Name change: "Elizabeth City State College" became "Elizabeth City State University."
Dr. Williams became the second President Emeritus (1969 - 1974).
1972 July 1: ECSU became one of 16 constituent institutions of The University of North Carolina; title of "President" changed to "Chancellor" - first SGA President to become an ex-officio Trustee (Darryl E. Morris '72).
1981 February 28: Basketball team won CIAA Championship.
  December: ECSU addressed by Mrs. Coretta Scott King.
1983 April 28: Chancellor Thorpe died after an extended illness. His final major public appearance had been on Founders Day, when he received a standing ovation for his address. On June 27, the North Carolina General Assembly passed a Joint Resolution in his honor - believed to be the first of its nature. On October 28, North Carolina Central University, his alma mater, conferred upon him posthumously the honorary degree, Doctor of Laws.
1983 May 1: Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty, named Acting Chancellor by President William Clyde Friday.
  October 14: Jimmy Raymond Jenkins (1943-) '65 elected Chancellor by the UNC Board of Governors, thereupon becoming the first ECSU chief executive named by that Board, and the first alumnus to hold such office at any NC institution of higher learning. Chancellor Jenkins subsequently named "Tar Heel of the Week" (Raleigh News & Observer, November 13).
1985 March 26: Institution gains approval for Radio Station WRVS-FM - the call letters (approved June 19) representing "Wonderful Radio Viking Style."
1986 January 13 -20: ECSU participates in first nationwide observance of birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (1929 - 1968) as a legal holiday, with week-long series of assemblies, audio and video events, exhibits, and a march.
  March 3: Founders Day - First designations of Trustees Emeriti - John C. Bias '26; J. Wilbert Forbes; Leroy B. Fraiser; Clifford B. Jones Sr.; Fred P. Markham III; J. Samuel Roebuck; Martin Luther Wilson'26.
  March 18: First broadcast by WRVS-FM, at 6:00 p.m.
1988 March 3: Dr. Walter N. Ridley named third President Emeritus (1988-1996)
1994 "State Teachers College" Historic District won entrance into National Register of Historic Places, February 28.
1995 September 1: UNC President C. Dixon Spangler Jr. appointed Dr. Mickey L. Burnim to serve as Interim Chancellor following Dr. Jenkins' August 31 resignation.
  December 19: ECSU Trustees named Dr. Jenkins Chancellor Emeritus.
1996 Mickey Lynn Burnim (1949-) elected by the UNC Board of Governors to become ECSU's eighth chief executive (June 14). Dr. Burnim was formally installed as the third Chancellor via impressive ceremonies on October 19
2001 NCAA Foundation and USA Today rank ECSU in top 10 of NCAA Division II Colleges for graduation rate of student athletes.
2007   March: ECSU Men's Basketball Team CIAA 2007 Men's Basketball Champions. Vikings defeated Virginia Union University 63- 60 to capture the title
  March: After serving the University in an interim capacity for 5 months, Dr. Willie J. Gilchrist became the ninth executive officer and chancellor of Elizabeth City State University. He is the 2nd alumni to hold this office.
  October Installation of Chancellor Gilchrist.
2008 February: Celeste Trahan, first woman in the ECSU History and the fourth overall to have her jersey (#00) retired because of her accomplishments in women's basketball.
  May:  First graduating class of pharmacy students.
  May: First graduating class of Masters of School Administration
  November: Lady Vikings Volleyball team captured the 2008 CIAA Championship
2009 March: Bowling team captured the 2008-2009 CIAA Championship
2010 June: ECSU wins $50,000 Retool Your School Grant from Home Depot.  The Home Depot grant program is designed to encourage and recognize innovative environmentally-friendly projects that contribute to the campus of HBCUs.
  October: Air Viking One- ECSU celebrated the arrival of Air Viking One, a new, single engine airplane (Cessna Skyhawk) which was purchased for the purpose of training aviation science students.
2011 January: Walter R. Davis School of Business and Economics accredited by AACSB Industrial Technology program is accredited by ATMAE.
  March 2010-2011 Miss ECSU Alana Simmons was crowned Food Lion Miss CIAA "1st time in ECSU History"
  March: Legacy Room opened at ECSU to display university icons
2012 September: ECSU ranked second by US News and World Report in its 2012 edition
  October: Air Viking II- ECSU celebrated the arrival of Air Viking II, a new, single engine airplane (Cessna Skyhawk-172SP Model).
  December: Willie and Jacqueline Gilchrist Education and Psychology Complex Building Dedication Ceremony- The building named in honor of the Chancellor and Mrs. Gilchrist, both graduates of ECSU. Two planned gifts to the Gilchrist Scholarship fund were announced. The couple's two sons, daughter-in-law, and their daughter and son-in-law gave a $75,000 donation and a $30,000 donation from Mr. and Mrs. Leonard (Ann) Carmichael, both alumni of ECSU.
2013 U.S. News & World Report ranked ECSU #1 in the South in Top Public Schools category and #18 in the country amongst HBCUs.
  For the second consecutive year (2012-2013), Washington Monthly ranked ECSU #1 among baccalaureate colleges in the publication's annual college guide.

Mr. Charles L. Becton was appointed Interim Chancellor of Elizabeth City State University


 For the third consecutive year (2012-2014), Washington Monthly ranked ECSU #1 among baccalaureate colleges.


U.S. News & World Report ranked ECSU #2 in the publication's category of Top Public Schools (Regional Colleges in the South). 


Nine ECSU students selected for inclusion in Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges, an exclusive honor conferred by more than 2,842 schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.


ECSU ranks third #3 among the top, public Historically Black Colleges/Universities (HBCUs) green initiatives.


U.S. News and World Report ranked ECSU #6 on U. S. News' list of Historically Black Colleges where freshmen are most likely to return.


The university's first woman chancellor, Stacey Franklin Jones, was appointed as the 10th Chief Executive Officer.


ECSU's newly formed chapter of Women in Aviation International (WAI) reached a milestone when they attained official, provisional chapter status.


The Golden LEAF Foundation  awarded Elizabeth City State University a $1.1 million grant to strengthen aviation education and workforce development in northeastern North Carolina.


Washington Monthly ranked ECSU among Best Bang for the Buck Institutions.


ECSU is a proud member of the  2015 Military Friendly School Association. Elizabeth City State University is one of approximately 1,600 Military Friendly® Schools-- institutions that exhibit leading practices to support military students. 


For the fourth consecutive year (2012-2015), Washington Monthly ranked ECSU #1 among baccalaureate colleges.


ECSU was listed as the number one institution on the Best Value Schools website for "The 100 Most Affordable Small Colleges in America 2015."


U.S. News & World Report ranked ECSU #2 in the publication's category of Top Public Schools (Regional Colleges in the South). 


Elizabeth City State University’s bachelor’s degree program in engineering technology has been accredited by the Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission (ETAC) of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) Inc. ABET is the recognized accrediting body of college and university programs in applied science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology.


The National Institute of Justice (NIJ)  awarded Elizabeth City State University (ECSU) a $956,250 grant to assist in its mission to provide aviation technology and research to support counter-poaching efforts in Kenya.


ECSU is a proud member of the  2016 Military Friendly School Association. Elizabeth City State University is one of approximately 1,600 Military Friendly® Schools-- institutions that exhibit leading practices to support military students. 


Dr. Thomas Conway was appointed Interim Chancellor of Elizabeth City State University.


Founded in 1891, Elizabeth City State University is celebrating its 125th Anniversary- A Proud Heritage of Inspired Excellence.  (1891-2016).