Congratulations, East Carolina University graduates, and thank you.
Thank you for choosing to spend your college years in Greenville, NC.
You helped stimulate the city's economy by eating and drinking at Sup Dogs and Chico's and other local restaurants, and shopping at Catalog Connection and UBE and other local shops.
You attended community events like Piratefest, Freeboot Friday, Umbrella Market, Sunday in the Park and ArtWalk.
You helped provide activities and entertainment for Greenville residents, from concerts and dance presentations to theater and opera.
And Pirate home football games wouldn't be possible without you -- playing, cheering, tailgating, singing "Livin' on a Prayer."
You added to the vibrancy and vitality of Greenville in so many ways. Thank you.
We hope you decide to stay here after graduation and continue to impact the community.
But if you leave for other places to go create the buzz, know that Greenville will always be your home. Please come back and visit.
Jane Welborn Hudson, a native of Greenville, is a former staff writer for The Daily Reflector, where she was editor of Her... magazine and Greenville: Life in the East and several other niche publications. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.