The Pirate Who Became A Saint

Professional football player Jimmy Graham overcame a tough childhood in Goldsboro to earn a college degree from the University of Miami and become an All-Pro tight-end for the New Orleans Saints. And it’s all thanks to Becky Vinson ’03, ‘10, a graduate of the ECU College of Nursing, who adopted him after a difficult upbringing which included being shuttled between numerous relatives and a nine-month stint where he was abandoned to a group home by his mother. Despite extremely challenging financial conditions, raising her own young daughter, and putting herself through nursing school, Becky provided the love, guidance, mentoring, and supportive family environment that Jimmy had previously lacked. Now this saintly Pirate cheers on her son and his team during every Saints game. Hear Becky share her amazing story of determination, sacrifice and triumph when she visits the ECU campus.

Wednesday, February 20
7:00 p.m.
Hendrix Theatre, Mendenhall Student Center
East Carolina University
Greenville, NC

Watch Becky and Jimmy's story on ESPN:

This event is free and open to students, staff, alumni, and the general public.

Free parking is available in the main lot behind Mendenhall Student Center.

Plan on attending? Share with your friends on Facebook.

For questions or more information on this event, contact:

Michael S. Kowalczyk '09, '10

Individuals requesting accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) should contact the Department for Disability Support Services at least 48 hours prior to the event at (252) 737-1016 (Voice/TTY).

"My wife and I both graduated from ECU and we are both lifetime members of the Alumni Association. We've always had a devotion to East Carolina, and because we gained so much from our education, we think lifetime membership is a great way to give back to the University. I would recommend lifetime membership to anyone who went to East Carolina. There are many wonderful benefits, and it's very special."

Jerry '65 and Joanie '65 Tolley

"I am a member of the alumni association because it provides an opportunity for me to connect to the university, renew relationships through alumni events, and help attract potential students to ECU. As an active member of the alumni association, I have the chance to serve as an advocate for the university through volunteerism. Being a member along with my son as a fellow Pirate demonstrates commitment and builds a legacy within our family."

Linda Thomas '81

"I am a member because ECU is my second home. Staying connected not only allows me to give back to the university but also inspire the next generation of pirates."

Tim Willis '12

"I am a member of the Alumni Association because I want everyone to know what East Carolina means to me and how much pride and love I have for ECU. Being a member means the world to me, and is the one way that I can give back and stay connected to the place that gave me the best years of my life."

Jeremy Woodard '01

"I am a member of the alumni association because I appreciate how well ECU prepared me for my business career. I enjoy contributing to the alumni association's efforts to provide scholarships for some of our best and brightest students. The Alumni Association does a great job of providing ways for alumni to reconnect with their alma mater and I hope when they do they enjoy it as much as I do. I believe in what ECU stands for and my membership helps me feel a part of the great things ECU is accomplishing!"

Wes Johnson '85