The Greenville contingent of the University of North Carolina System is re-branding itself. East Carolina University will henceforth be known simply as ECU.
The school has come a long way since being founded as a teaching college over a century ago, according to Spokesman Tom Eppes. It now produces world-class disease research, and the acronym is a better representation than the regional-sounding name might imply, he said.
“The university has become much bigger than its name, East Carolina University,” Eppes said. “ECU helps us communicate better. We can establish a reputation for the university as it is today instead of what it was a long time ago.”
The acronym is unique in higher education, and people are less likely to get the name wrong, Eppes said, adding ECU is also just easier to fit on merchandise and paperwork.
“The mistaken use of the name Eastern Carolina University... It is East Carolina University, but a lot of people fall into the Eastern Carolina University name, so it creates some confusion and maybe it was one of the things that made it easier to accept a change.”
For the sake of pomp and circumstance, Eppes said diplomas will continue to read East Carolina University.