My name is Mary Stuart Sanderson and I am a second-year EC Scholar. The opportunities that have been available to me through the Honors College thus far have been nothing short of amazing. However, my one of my favorite “perks” of being an Honors College student is the trips that are funded for our enjoyment. Groups have gone to colonial Williamsburg, Busch Gardens, the Outer Banks, and even the Queen Anne’s Revenge conservation lab.
EC Scholars also have two trips they get to look forward to enjoying during their time at ECU. The first trip is during their sophomore year to the wonderful city of Washington, DC. The second trip is during their senior year where locations may vary depending on the year and group of students. As an EC Scholar in my second year, I had the privilege of going to Washington, DC for my 2012 Spring Break trip.
My fellow EC Scholars and I enjoyed so many different things while in DC. We met some really amazing people, saw some pretty remarkable sights, and ate some extremely incredible food! One of my favorite parts of the trip was the private tour of the Pentagon that was given to us by Pirate Alumni, Tom Shubert. It was so interesting to see the inner workings of the Pentagon and the overwhelmingly reverent scenery of 9/11 Pentagon Memorial. It was an experience that I will never forget. After showing us around the Pentagon, Mr. Shubert took us to lunch at the Army-Navy Club. I felt honored to sit around a table and talk with the very people that help to defend our great nation.
Another Pirate Alumni, Dr. Roger Sharpe, gave us a tour of the Capitol. He even gave us passes into the Senate and House of Representatives Galleries. I was extremely humbled by this kind and unexpected gesture. That same day, we had lunch with representatives from Nucor (the largest steel production company in the United States). This presentation gave us a break from tours, history, and government. It was a refreshing change of pace that was just an added bonus to the trip.
My fellow EC Scholars and I shared many other experiences together during that 4-day trip. We went to a variety of different art and history museums, as well as the Patent and Trademark Office. But, one of the best parts of the trip was the exploring we did around Georgetown. The shopping was wonderful and the food was divine! And, for the first time ever, I got to taste a TV-worthy cupcake. A few of us snuck off for a sweet treat at Georgetown Cupcakes, (this is the location where the TLC show DC Cupcakes is filmed). Word from the wise: Get the red velvet cupcake! It’s their most popular for a reason! From delectable cupcakes, to personal tours, to meeting fellow Pirates (and enjoying some of the perks of their successes), the DC trip was an experience that I will not soon forget and will always be grateful for the Honors College for providing me with such an opportunity.