Caroline Delaney says she’s easy to please when it comes to dipping into the spirits. She’ll try anything, she says.
But lately she’s had a favorite drink of choice — her own.
Delaney, who graduated from NC State in 2008 with an accounting degree, and her husband own Muddy River Distillery, in Belmont, N.C., and produce Carolina Rum. The couple uses a still that her husband, a former contractor, built. They do everything from making the rum to bottling the rum and attaching the labels to the bottles.
Delaney says the idea came to her husband a couple of years back when he was on the road a lot for his contracting job. He wanted something that would allow him to be home more and just happened to come across an in-flight magazine that talked about the craft distilleries that were making a mark.
The couple worked on making Muddy River for a year while they both held down full-time jobs. But recently, both left those jobs to concentrate solely on the distillery.
“It was pretty crazy,” Delaney says. “We did it as a hobby on weekends. It reached a point where we had to do it full time or just let it go. We weren’t having any time for ourselves.”
So they both committed. And the gamble is paying off. So far, Carolina Rum is in more than 275 ABC stores around the state. It’s also a staple in some bars around Charlotte, which is close to Muddy River’s headquarters in an old textile mill sitting nicely on the banks of the Catawba River, for which the company is named, in Gaston County. And Muddy River’s work space is expanding from 500 square feet to a 6,000 square-foot space on the other side of the mill.
Delaney says that Carolina Rum won its first award in December at a competition in Greensboro, and that customers compliment its distinct taste.
“They say it’s really smooth and has a different aftertaste than most rum,” she says.
The Mecklenburg County Alumni Network will tour Muddy River Distillery Tuesday, May 28. If you would like more details on the event, check out the event’s page on the Alumni Association’s website.
Need a job? Want a better job? Considering a career change? We may be able to help.
The Alumni Association is partnering with My Workster and other universities to host the second annual Recruit NC Alumni Career Fair on Thursday, June 6, at the McKimmon Center. The event is only open to alumni of participating colleges and universities, including NC State, UNC and Duke. Registration is on a first come, first served basis.
Catherine Tuttle, alumni career services coordinator for the Alumni Association, says that career fairs can help people stand out in a market where there are still more job hunters than there are jobs. “It puts a face to a name,” she says. “It gives you the opportunity to sell yourself beyond a piece of paper.”
Representatives from more than 80 top companies, including Citrix, Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC, LORD Corporation and UPS, will be there to talk with. In an effort to keep the crowds smaller, a small fee is required to attend the career fair. Click here to register online.
Many alumni hang their diplomas on the wall in order to remind them of the good times they had on campus and to symbolize their academic accomplishments.
But in May 1958, there were some NC State students who didn’t want to hang their diplomas, much less look at them, because of a change to the diploma’s design.
Earlier that year, the university’s administration had decided to change the style used on 1958 graduates’ diplomas from a more ornate Old English style to a simpler block style, according to an issue of The Technician from that same year.
That move did not go over well with students. That May, they started to speak out against the change to the administration.
That blossomed into a larger dialogue about students having a say in the debate about issues that affected them. And on this day 55 years ago, students had a petition printed in The Technician along with an article making a plea for at least some consideration in having input in the change. Senior-class president-elect Arron Capel supported the petition and voiced his desire to return to the Old English style.
“I have a statement from three of the four student members of the diploma committee, who definitely express their dislike for the block print type diploma,” Capel said in the article. “The student body does not understand why the diploma was changed so drastically.”
School administrators agreed to meet with students, but we couldn’t find if there was ever any détente to the diploma debate of 1958.
Photo of two diplomas from The Technician. The diploma on top reflects the administration's change for 1958 graduates. The diploma below represents the Old English style that the students wanted to see return to their diplomas.
The courses were known as Ethics 409, Ethics 410 and Ethics 411, and they were so popular at NC State in 1947 that hundreds of interested students were turned away.
Were they debating the ethics of war, given that World War II had recently ended? Perhaps they were debating the ethics of communism, and President Truman’s efforts to combat it. Could it have something to do with the furor surrounding Jackie Robinson’s debut in major league baseball?
No, the subject of the three ethics courses was marriage. And the headline on the front page of the Technician on this day in 1947 told the story — “Warm Weather Fills Marriage Courses.”
In the article, professor W.N. Hicks, head of the Ethics and Religious department, talked about plans to expand the popular marriage courses. There had previously been only three sections offered per term, but Hicks planned to offer five sections that spring. The story said he could have easily filled seven sections.
“Now that spring has sprung there has been a run on the marriage class,” read the story.
Professor W.N. Hicks
Apparently, marriage courses were popular throughout the country at the time, with 500 colleges offering such classes. The Technician, with no further explanation, said that Stephens College in Columbia, Mo., and Michigan State had outstanding marriage courses.
At NC State, Ethics 409 focused on what was described as “pre-marital adjustment,” Ethics 410 focused on “sex adjustment” and Ethics 411 forced on the “larger aspects of the family.” Ethics 409 was a prerequisite to the other two courses.
“Professor Hicks plans to start the second term next fall and then add the third, like building a house, one step at a time,” read the story.
Hicks also said he hoped to bring in an expert to help with one of the courses. “”He hopes,” the story said, “to get a woman who specializes in aspects of the family to help in the third term.”
Bill Friday served as senior class president in 1941, using his position to push for a new policy that would allow students to cut classes without penalty and to urge the N.C. General Assembly to increase funding for the university. He would go on, of course, to serve as the longtime president of the University of North Carolina system and then as host of North Carolina People with William Friday on UNC-TV.
But when he was interviewed for the Student Leadership Initiative, an effort by NCSU Libraries to document the efforts of student leaders at NC State through the years and record their memories of their time on campus, Friday talked more about challenging times during his years on campus.
William Friday, center, as senior class president
The project features three interview segments with Friday. In one, Friday talks about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, saying “it changed everything” at NC State. “Boy, it [NC State] got right into the war effort up to its neck,” Friday said.
Friday also talked about his days working in cotton mills for 18.5 cents an hour. He said that when Franklin Delano Roosevelt became president, his pay in the mills jumped to 37.5 cents an hour. “And I’ve been a Democrat ever since,” he said with a laugh.
Friday recalled “those glorious days at NC State,” but noted that he came here as a transfer student after initially enrolling at Wake Forest with a $50 scholarship. But given that his father was in the textiles business, Friday decided it was best to transfer to NC State.
The faculty and administration at the College of Textiles were not eager to be pioneers on Centennial Campus. They voted unanimously in 1987 against the college moving from Nelson Hall and David Clark Labs on the main campus to the new campus that was still more imagined than real.
Nonetheless, it was on this day in 1988 that the ground was officially broken for a new home for the College of Textiles on Centennial Campus. The 300,000-foot square foot facility, which was actually to be four interconnected buildings, was expected to cost $30 million to build and equip. Over 175 people turned out for the groundbreaking.
“If this $30 million investment says anything, it says the textiles industry is a number one priority at North Carolina State University,” then-Chancellor Bruce Poulton said at the groundbreaking, according to an account in the Technician. “This building is really symbolic of our constant commitment to have the best College of Textiles in the free world.”
The new College of Textiles complex was dedicated in 1991.
Kyle Blakely loves his job at Under Armour. It helps that he finds himself surrounded by other graduates of NC State.
At least 17 NC State alumni work at the Baltimore headquarters of the sporting apparel company, according to Blakely. “It’s a lot for a small company,” says Blakely, who graduated from NC State in 2007 with a textiles degree.
Blakely, director of material development, works with a team to develop and engineer textiles that Under Armour uses for their athletic wear. “We’re engineering the fabrics that go into garments,” he says. “Part of that is working with our mill partners and the other part is working with design partners here.”
The view from Kyle Blakely's desk at Under Armour
Blakely attributes the large number of employees at Under Armour from NC State to the education that the university provides. “Most of us are from College of Textiles,” he says. “But, one is from sports marketing – that’s a big deal. I think there are a few with engineering degrees, but it’s mostly textiles. We do have other fields present and we even have a few from UNC. Most of them majored in finance.”
It’s nice to have so many colleagues who share his Wolfpack background, Blakely says. “Baltimore – it’s a great city, but we’re from North Carolina,” he says. “Anyone from North Carolina that has lived there for an extended period has an understanding about how great it is down South. It’s nice to have people here that understand your culture and your background.”
Blakely and his coworkers have filled their walls with NC State paraphernalia. “I have an NC State jersey on the wall,” he says. “It’s everywhere. You can tell NC State people because we have it all over our desks. Everybody displays their NC State stuff with a lot of pride.”
In addition to hiring so many NC State graduates, Under Armour has developed a more formal partnership with the university. “We have a great working professional relationship with NC State,” says Blakely. “We show some of our designers our school, show them the textiles machine. We take proofs to NC State and (the designers) have a whole new perspective. It’s beyond just us working here.”
The success that Blakely and his NC State colleagues have enjoyed at Under Armour, he says, undercuts any suggestion that a degree in textiles is not useful in today’s economy. “While the manufacturing side isn’t as heavy as it used to be, there are still mills in this hemisphere and they are thriving,” he says. “There are many job opportunities and brands (in textiles) … In all reality, there is more opportunity than ever, especially since we’re specialized and there are not a lot of us (textile majors).”
Blakely says his textiles degree has worked well for him. “When I came into textiles, people were like are you kidding me?” he says. “I couldn’t be happier. I have the coolest job on the planet.”
In July 2014, Raleigh resident Neil Ramquist – a 1989 NC State graduate with a degree in industrial engineering – will climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, the tallest free-standing mountain in the world. But he won’t be doing it alone.
Ramquist will be joined on the expedition by his 10-year-old son Charlie. “Around the age of 2 or 3,” Ramquist says, “Charlie was diagnosed with a rare inflammatory disease called eosinophilic esophagitis (EE), which simply put means he’s actively allergic to almost all foods.”
Eosinophilic esophagitis is a disease in which the body produces an excess of esophageal eosinophils – a type of white blood cell – causing chronic inflammation, tissue damage and potentially permanent scarring in the throat and upper gastrointestinal tract.
Ramquist and his son are members of Team Climb for EE (Team Kili) – a diverse group of individuals including adolescents and adults diagnosed with EE, relatives and family friends of those affected by EE, as well as doctors, college students and outdoor enthusiasts, all hoping to raise money and awareness for the disease through the CURED Foundation.
Next summer, Team Kili will travel to Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa. Before beginning the 37-mile hike, Ramquist, Charlie and the rest of the group will spend a few days volunteering at a small orphanage for children.
For many of the climbers diagnosed with EE, preparations for the trip have already started. “This will require a lot of physical training, and we’re going to be dealing with a lot of dietary restrictions,” says Ramquist, who manages a team specializing in green energy development for Siemen’s Power Transmission & Distribution, Inc. “Currently, there are only eight foods my son can eat, such as turkey, chicken, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, carrots and tomatoes. A handful of the kids going, however, can only have formula.”
“As a protective dad, the idea of my 10-year-old son doing something like this is nerve-racking,” Ramquist says. It was ultimately the enthusiastic “You should go for it!” from his wife, who started a local EE support group in Raleigh, that convinced Ramquist to submit his and Charlie’s applications for the Climb for EE expedition.
Ramquist is grateful that the trip has given his family “an avenue to talk more about what we’re going through.” “Now,” he says, “we’ve accepted the disease, and we’re trying to figure out how to handle it. We don’t want Charlie to feel like a victim, but I also don’t think he understands what it will be like for the rest of his life – especially the medical aspects like the cost of formula and dealing with insurance companies.”
Additionally, Ramquist worries about Charlie’s matter-of-fact outlook. “Charlie asked me the other day, ‘I wonder what will be the first thing I’ll eat when we find a cure,’” Ramquist says. “For someone who can barely eat anything, he loves going out to dinner. He’ll walk around smelling what people have ordered, and then rate which foods he thinks would taste the best.”
Charlie was first hospitalized when he was three months old, and it’s been an uphill battle since for him, his parents and his older sister. “We fed him milk supplemented with formula every three hours, day and night. It was a very intense period – a lot of time and effort spent trying to get him to grow,” Ramquist says. Charlie’s symptoms, such as difficulty swallowing and inexplicable abdominal pain, persisted for a few years until he received his official diagnosis. “The only way to confirm EE is through an endoscopy and a tissue biopsy of the esophagus,” says Ramquist.
“We’re incredibly fortunate that Charlie’s pediatrician was really young and had just learned about EE during his residency,” he says. “Most doctors who graduated from medical school more than 10 or 15 years ago have little to no experience with EE and often misdiagnose it as other gastrointestinal disorders. The diagnostic process for Charlie – though it seemed like forever at the time – was much quicker than it is for a lot of kids.”
Shortly thereafter, Ramquist and his wife found out about the leading facility in research on EE, the Cincinnati Center for Eosinophilic Disorders (CCED) of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. “We elected to participate in one of their clinical trials on allergy testing,” says Ramquist. “Once we finished the trial and had an idea of which food antigens Charlie’s system could and couldn’t handle, we started the long and challenging process of gradually introducing a single food – we’re currently working on watermelon – and then waiting to see how he physically reacts to them.”
This trial-and-error process, combined with endoscopies and biopsies every 3-4 months, is common among patients with EE. The medication regimen for EE generally includes steroids, which coat the esophagus, and antacids. So far, there is no cure, but Ramquist hopes the money raised by the Climb for EE expedition will make a difference.
“This disease is really starting to impact adults as well as children, and it’s increasing significantly in prevalence. We need to raise money, and we need to spread awareness,” Ramquist says. If Team Kili reaches their fundraising goal, they’re hoping to give the CURED Foundation a check for approximately $200,000. “That would be one of the largest donations CURED has ever received, and 100 percent of the funds are applied to research for eosinophilic disease.”
Donations can be made directly through the CURED website. Contributions from corporate sponsors, individual donors, and equipment sponsors can be designated for a specific climber through the Climb for EE team support site.
It was for the love of Lacey that Brittany Saad started a non-profit rescue program for horses with medical conditions that have no other option.
“Lacey was my first rescue horse,” she says. “She had the biggest heart and when we lost her due to ulcers rupturing, I knew then that I was going to rescue horses like her that had no one to speak up for them and give them a chance.”
Lacey used to be a show horse. She developed a condition called Laminitis, which affects a horse’s hooves, and was then left outside to die until Saad found her. “No veterinarian could believe that she was alive,” she says. “Her X-rays were some of the most gruesome that they had seen and no other horse would have survived.”
Love of Lacey Equine Rescue, Saad’s non-profit organization, is named for this beloved horse. “Not a day goes by that I don’t think about Lacey and how much I miss her,” she says. “It is the extreme love for her and her love for life that I rescue horses.”
Saad, a 2006 NC State graduate, stays busy with her organization, which is based in Wake County. “I work with ten rescues, soon to be 11 when a foal is born this month,” she says. Saad was encouraged to begin her journey with her own horse rescue program after the death of her father. “When my dad passed away in August, I had to have something more to do with my life,” she says. “So I chose to help my life by doing what I love more than anything … and start my rescue.”
Saad knows her dad would approve. “He always told me I was going to have a rescue someday,” she says. “(He) really inspired me through my life with following my dreams and was always going to the barn with me. This is a dream come true.”
Saad works a full-time job as a veterinarian technician at Hilltop Animal Hospital in Fuquay-Varina, N.C., and cares for her ten rescues – horses that have been abused or neglected – and her own three horses every night. Her healing methods include gentle therapy and trust-building exercises that make the horses who have known mostly fear feel comfortable with her. “They have been neglected or abused by people,” she says. “Treats are a great way to show pleasurable responses to these guys as they are very food motivated.”
The length of time a horse spends with Saad is dependent on the kind of life the horse had before. “Horses that have been raced or over-ridden get a minimum of six months just learning to be a horse – eating, playing, just getting to have some time off,” she says. “They need to just get love and be a happy, grazing, playing horse. It is good therapy for their mind … they normally have not had that privilege in their lifetime.”
Love of Lacey mostly survives on fundraisers and donations. Adoption fees, which start at $400 a horse, also go back into funding the rescue. “The horses are adopted (by) homes that have been approved for horses and we hold partial ownership of the horses as a security measure,” she says. “This prevents the horse from being sold or given away.”
Saad loves her job and her work with horses, and hopes to go to veterinarian school and major in equine medicine in the near future. “It will certainly make things much more difficult but I am not a person that can just do one thing,” she says. “I don’t know what to do with myself if I’m not being pulled in five directions.”
— Molly Green
Wonder what it was like to be a student at NC State during the Great Depression? Or what it was like on campus when Pearl Harbor was attacked? Curious about what it was like to be an African-American student at NC State in the late 1960s, or how it felt to be the first woman to serve as the student body president?
Thanks to the folks at NCSU Libraries, you can find the answer to these and other questions about student life at NC State through the years. Through a project known as the Student Leadership Initiative, NCSU Libraries has assembled oral histories, photographs and other documents associated with student leaders at NC State. The project’s website featured video interviews with everyone from former senior class president William Friday to former student body president James B. Hunt Jr.
Over the course of this summer, we will periodically feature some of the project’s work here at redandwhiteforlife.com. So stay tuned.