Documenting the American South

Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina
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  • Monument Name

    PeeDee the Pirate, ECU, Greenville

  • Type


  • Subjects

    Educational Institutions


  • Creator

    Jodi Hollnagel-Jubran, Sculptor

    Hanna Jubran, Sculptor

  • City


  • County


  • Description

    The statue of the East Carolina University mascot, PeeDee the Pirate, stands 13 feet tall and is constructed from three tons of cast bronze atop a concrete base. The pirate is dressed in typical swashbuckler attire, with a large tricorn hat, tall cuffed boots, and a pistol in his belt. He is depicted ready for action, with his right foot resting atop a mound of cannon balls and his right hand raised high brandishing his sword. A small cannon is placed on his right. The sculpture sits on a large semi-circular base that holds a bronze plaque with the inscription.

    Images: Installation in 1999 (courtesy of Chris Short, ECU Class of 2000) | Plaque

  • Inscription


  • Custodian

    East Carolina University

  • Dedication Date

    October 23, 1999

  • Decade


  • Geographic Coordinates

    35.596560 , -77.366650 View in Geobrowsemap pin

  • Supporting Sources

      "Pee Dee the Pirate - East Carolina University,", (accessed February 18, 2012) Link

      "The Mascot," East Carolina Traditions, (accessed January 10, 2019) Link

      Gardiner, Emily. "Pee Dee knocked down," The East Carolinian, November 26, 2013, (accessed January 22, 2014) Link

      Jakubowski, Glenda. “ECU Sculpture: Bronze Pirate Being Prepared for its Oct. 23 Homecoming Dedication,” The Daily Reflector (Greenville, NC), October 10, 1999.

  • Public Site


  • Materials & Techniques

    Bronze, concrete

  • Sponsors

    Private donation by Irwin Belk and guidance given by the East Carolina University Educational Foundation, Inc. (also known as the "Pirate Club")

  • Monument Dedication and Unveiling

    The monument was dedicated and unveiled on October 23, 1999 as part of East Carolina University's homecoming festivities.

  • Subject Notes

    The name “PeeDee” comes from North Carolina’s long history with pirates. The Pee Dee River, running along the border between North Carolina and South Carolina, was a popular encampment for the pirates of the area. The mascot's appearance is based on the most well-known 18th century pirate of the region, Edward “Blackbeard” Teach. The statue was a gift from Belk Department Store magnate Irwin Belk, a statewide supporter of college athletics. According to the ECU Pirates website, the name for the mascot came from a naming contest in the local Pitt County schools.

    Thes sculptors for this monument are Jodi Hollnagel-Jurbran and her Palestinian-born husband Hanna. They are significant contributors to the artistic and historical commemorative landscape of North Carolina. Over 30 of their works dot the landscape to include Time Capsule Sculpture and Benches in Kinston, Nooherooka Monument in Snow Hill, Monument to a Century of Flight in Kitty Hawk, and Western North Carolina Veterans Memorial in Asheville. They are both employed by the School of Art and Design at East Carolina University

  • Controversies

    According to the website of the ECU Pirates, in 1985 ECU's chancellor shortened the mascot's name to simply "The Pirate" after complaints from the student body that they had no input in selecting the name.

  • Location

    The monument is located in a brick courtyard outside the west end of the ECU stadium between the Murphy Center to the north and the Scales Field House to the south.

  • Landscape

    The monument sits in a brick courtyard. A small lawn area and plantings are adjacent to the courtyard.

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