Barefoot on the Mall celebration returns to ECU

Barefoot on the Mall celebration returns to ECU
Published: Apr. 26, 2022 at 8:50 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - The ‘Barefoot on the Mall’ event is back at East Carolina University. It is the first last-day-of-class celebration to take place on campus since the pandemic began.

Festivities like this are something ECU junior Aaliyah Bastfield, who has spent a majority of the college experience in the pandemic, was glad to see.

“We don’t have to wear masks anymore,” Bastfield said. “We don’t have to be constricted. It’s a refreshing feeling.”

That refreshing feeling is one Bastfield and many of her peers have been waiting for since freshman year. It was then that COVID-19 flipped the world upside down and sent students home to take virtual classes.

“We were here on campus for two weeks and then we got sent home. So I’ve never really been on campus. It’s kind of new and fun at the same time,” Bastfield said.

For many ECU students, graduation ceremonies are just around the corner.

Once the event is over, ECU Associate Vice Chancellor Chris Stansbury says school leaders will begin preparing for commencement ceremonies.

“It’ll be the first time since 2019 we’ll have every graduate of every degree on the football field at one time,” Stansbury said.

“Undergraduate, graduate, doctoral [students] will all be out there. Parents will be able to come. For the first time in three years, it will be a single celebration for the entire campus and it’s going to be outstanding.”

Chris Stansbury, ECU associate vice chancellor

Stansbury tells WITN that the university will have a press conference on Wednesday with more details on the commencement ceremony.

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