The school colors for East Carolina University - purple and gold - go back to the time when the first students arrived on campus in 1909. ECU historian Dr. Mary Jo Bratton, the author of "East Carolina University The Formative Years 1907 - 1982," said the selection of school colors represented one of the first traditions established by the students. In the early fall of 1909 the administration asked students for their suggestions on school colors. Old gold and royal purple won the vote.
In the following year, the colors carried over to the school's first baseball team, a club team, that won most of its games. According to Bratton the opening game produced a 6 - 2 win for East Carolina against a local Greenville team. The newspaper account of the game credited the effective cheering of the young ladies of the school for "winning the victory for the purple and gold."