The 24th annual Polar Plunge will be held at the ECU Campus Recreation and Wellness Center at 6 p.m. where they will have food, free shirts for the first 600 jumpers and an ice filled pool for those who dare to jump.
Associate Director of Programs for ECU Campus Recreation and Wellness, Gregory Corack, said this jump into the recreation icy-cold pool is a Pirate tradition and will be the 24th event to mark the opening of the recreation and wellness center.
“It really is about taking that plunge for the first time if you’ve never done it since it’s our 24th year it’s really a big tradition with over 20,000 students that have jumped over the years,” Corack said.
The first jump at 6:30 p.m. will broadcast the 45 students, faculty and staff members on a local news channel so everyone can watch this ECU tradition, according to Corack. The plunge will keep going for as long as there are students to jump in the pool with 40 students jumping at a time. He said they hope to exceed a thousand students jumping.
This event will also be combined with Pirates After Dark, which will be right after Polar Plunge in the student recreation center as well, Corack said. There will be free food, games and stuff to take back home at the end of the night.
Making traditions at ECU come at opportunities like the Polar Plunge and one junior made it her own. Public health major Ramsey Osborn has jumped the past two years with her friends and declared it their own ECU tradition. She said that this is something fun to do and to be apart of since you will be in college only once.
“My favorite part is just making the memories with my friends,” Osborn said. “We are only going to be in college once so might as well do all the funny things together while we can and also my friends and I got our video clip of jumping in the ECU video so that was cool.”
Osborn said she thinks everyone should do the Polar Plunge since it will be something to look back on and a free shirt is included. While students take the jump and exit the pool so the next forty can jump there is a man called the countdown man who Osborn said stands in the freezing water the whole time, jump after jump.
Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, Virginia Hardy, said the countdown man otherwise known as Stephen Gray stays in the pool the entire time which she said she finds amazing. Hardy said Stephen Gray is the Papa Bear of this polar plunge since he has done this event every single year and she looks forward to see him there once again.
“This is a Pirate tradition that I hope every student even if they don’t jump into the pool they go and see what happens,” Hardy said.
More information on Polar Plunge and Pirates After Dark can be found on the ECU events calendar and the official ECU Campus Wellness website.