GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – The East Carolina University community wanted to make sure new Chancellor Cecil Staton felt welcomed, especially on the first day of classes for students.

ECU alumni, UNC Board of Governors, and state and local leaders all attended a special welcoming ceremony on campus Monday.

Staton said one of the first initiatives he wants to complete is improving the branding and marketing of the university. He also wants to enhance research.

“If we’re going to be that next great national university, we’ve got to do a lot more research,” he said. “We’ve made a lot of progress in recent years, but we’re going to continue that momentum, and I think we’ve got a lot of great opportunities.”

Staton also said he wants to have more Pirates study abroad so they are better prepared for the global marketplace after school. He said he is looking forward to his time at the university.