“All of us at ECU want you to know that we believe in you. We have witnessed your potential – now go out and make your mark on the world. While you’re at it, don’t forget about your alma mater because we’ll be pulling for you every step of the journey.” –Chancellor Staton
Keynote speaker, Rear Admiral Christina “Tina” Alvarado, registered nurse and Deputy Chief of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Reserve Policy and Integration, shared her advice for success – work hard at something you love, accept the inevitability of failing, serve others and live a passion-filled life.
“Passion makes you persevere despite self-doubt and fear.” –Alvarado
Aubrey Pennington and Shannan Smith
Wedding bells are in the air for Aubrey Pennington and Shannan Smith, who are engaged to be married. Both graduated with bachelor degrees in nursing and will move on to jobs at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.
“I came to ECU to be with my high school sweetheart, and we’re graduating together. I just proposed two weeks ago.” –Pennington
“We’re excited to be graduating and starting the next chapter of our life together.” -Smith
For master’s student Ashley Coons, graduation was her first time on Greenville’s campus. The 41-year-old Coons earned her master’s degree in education in instructional technology. She lives about three and a half hours away in Lexington and took her graduate courses one at a time over the past three years. She is in her 13th year as a middle school teacher in Davidson County.
“I want to instill in my students the value of lifelong learning that I have, and I am grateful to ECU for allowing me the opportunity to achieve this goal,” –Coons, who has finished with a 4.0 GPA
New Pirate alums Haywood Johnson Jr. and Dale Owens were excited to reach the end of this chapter in their lives. Haywood is interested in journalism and storytelling, and Owens plans to move on to graduate school and eventually teach.
“I’ve learned so much at ECU, and I want to take it out into the world and help people.” –Johnson, BS in communication
“I’m a volunteer fireman, a soccer referee, do catering, work full time, and go to school. So you put all that together, and you’re up until 2 a.m. a lot of nights. You have to know your priorities and work hard.” –Owens, BS in business technology