Fall 2018 class features leaders, dreamers

East Carolina University’s graduating class of fall 2018 includes more than 2,200 students who will receive their degrees during Friday’s commencement ceremony.

Among them is a 72-year-old Charlotte resident, Henry Stephen “Steve” Dellinger. Originally an East Carolina student in the mid to late ’60s, Dellinger left during his senior year but decided last January it was never too late to return to finish his degree.

The class also includes Nataja “Tay” Peed, an English major and creative writing minor who hopes to become the next Shonda Rhimes; Kinsley Tate, one of the first engineering undergraduate students to complete ECU’s integrated bachelor of science/master of science program in biomedical engineering; and Shydeik Wood, a College of Business student first to graduate in his family.

Following graduation, communication major Jacqueline “Jackie” Trotta will continue working as a manager at Bitty & Beau’s Coffee, a successful shop that employs people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in her hometown of Wilmington, and she will help business owner and 2017 CNN Hero of the Year Amy Wright open a third location in Savannah, Georgia.

Read more about each students’ ECU journey below.