Student: Grace Faller
As a second-generation Pirate, Grace Faller felt right at home when she arrived at East Carolina University.
“I have very vivid memories of being in Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium and my dad taking me around campus to show me where he had classes,” Faller said. “I grew up being a Pirate, which made me want to become one officially by going to school here.”
Growing up in Salisbury, she did apply to other schools as contingency plans. However, she always knew ECU was where she belonged.
“There are pictures of me in Pirate cheerleading outfits when I was 2 and it is still true to this day that I was going to be a Pirate no matter what,” Faller said.
Faller received her bachelor’s degree in hospitality management with concentrations in conventions and events and food and beverage in December of 2022 and is now completing her master’s degree in business administration.
After a visit from the homecoming committee to her COAD class freshman year, Faller got involved under the wing of the previous homecoming parade lead organizer.
“I owe a lot of my involvement in the homecoming committee to Molly Roth,” Faller said. “She taught me the ropes of the parade and then handed the parade to me after she graduated that year.”
Grace was promoted to the parade lead in her sophomore year after serving as co-lead in her freshman year. As head of the parade in 2020-2021, she was tasked with organizing a parade while still under COVID-19 precautions. To comply with all safety standards, Faller and the committee coordinated a golf cart parade.
After leading parade planning throughout undergrad, Faller wanted to pursue a new position in the committee during graduate school — homecoming chair.
“Being over the parade is very event specific, I focused a lot on participants in the community,” she said. “As the homecoming chair, I oversee the planning of all homecoming events and assist the leads in the planning of their individual events.”
Faller estimates that it takes upwards of 200 to 300 hours of work on behalf of the committee to plan the week of events.
Much of the programming for homecoming requires close work with the City of Greenville — where Grace began interning as a special events intern in the city manager’s office in May. Faller has transitioned into a part-time position with the office as the special events assistant.
“I think the internship really helped open my eyes to what a true planning process should look like from both sides,” Faller said. “Being the homecoming chair and working for the city has had a huge benefit for both parties with an open line of communication and ensuring that we are following all guidelines that the city has outlined for us.”
Those guidelines include permits for food trucks to attend events, renting space for skit night through the recreation and parks department, and knocking on every door on the homecoming parade route to notify local residents of road closures.
Through her position as special events assistant, Grace gets to work with numerous local events.
“I help with events like National Night Out, the Little League Softball World Series and the Junior Fire Marshal Academy over the summer,” Faller said.
She also helped with the Good Neighbor Initiative, a program that educates residents of local student housing on how to be good neighbors.
With her final homecoming week ending last week, Grace is excited for the homecomings to come.
“After homecoming is over, I look forward to passing the torch to the next chair and coming back to Greenville for homecoming next year,” Faller said. “Being part of these traditions has been so special and I can’t wait to see what the committee will do in the years to come.”
Name: Grace Faller
College: Thomas Arthur Graduate School of Business
Major: Master of Business Administration
Classification/Year: Graduate student
Hobbies/interests: Running, reading, shopping and hanging out with my friends
Clubs and Organizations: Homecoming committee, former member of Zeta Tau Alpha and Eta Sigma Delta
Favorite hangout: Blackbeard Coffee or Coastal Fog
Favorite place on campus: Joyner Library and Isley Innovation Hub
Favorite place to eat: Olive Garden
Favorite class: MKTG 6822 Marketing Strategy
Professor who influenced you the most: Dr. Mel Weber
Favorite TV show: “Grey’s Anatomy”
Favorite movie: “Mama Mia”
Favorite band/musician: Taylor Swift
Favorite app: TikTok
Dream job: Special events coordinator for a professional sports team
Role model: My mom and dad
Your words to live by: “Just because you make a good plan, doesn’t mean that’s what’s gonna happen.” — Taylor Swift
What advice do you have for other students? Be sure to make time for your friends. School is so important but at the end of the day, the friends you make in college will turn into your support system and biggest cheerleaders. Surround yourself with people that share similar goals to you so you can work towards them together!
What is something cool about ECU that you wish you knew during your first year? I wish I knew more ways to get involved as a freshman! It wasn’t until my sophomore year that I really was able to see everything ECU had to offer. Being a part of different student organizations introduced me to some of my best friends and showed me how to be a student leader.