Bryan Hum got an unexpected treat not long after he sat down to dinner last night at a restaurant in Albany, New York. And it appears he has a fellow NC State alumnus to thank for the pleasant surprise.
Hum, a 2013 NC State graduate who majored in international studies and political science, is in his second year of law school at Albany Law School. After attending a Student Bar Association meeting last night, Hum and a friend walked to a favorite restaurant for dinner. They had just ordered drinks, when a waitress walked up and handed Hum a hand-written note and a $20 bill. She said another diner had noticed Hum’s red NC State t-shirt, and asked her to give him the note and the money.
“Apply this to your bill! God bless!” read the the note. It was signed “Brian,” with no last name, and indicated that “Brian” was a 1996 NC State graduate with a degree in mechanical engineering.
Hum’s initial reaction was confusion. He wondered if it came from someone he knew, particularly since it was signed “Brian,” a different spelling of Hum’s first name. He asked the waitress to point the customer out, but she said that he had given her the note and the money as he was leaving. “He saw your shirt and wanted you to apply this to your bill,” the waitress told Hum.
Hum thought briefly about going outside to try to track down his benefactor, but quickly realized that he appreciated the anonymous nature of the gift from a fellow Wolfpacker.
“I was just astounded by it,” Hum said this morning. “It really touched me. It made me want to pay it forward myself.”
It also reinforced the strong feelings that Hum already had for NC State and its alumni — something that he quickly shared with friends via social media. “We talk about the great alumni we have, and this just proves it,” he said. “We look out for each other. It’s just a great connection we all have.”
Hum says he only spent $15 of the gift on his dinner, and plans to use the remaining $5 to pay it forward – hopefully sometime later today or this weekend.
There’s an endless list of rock ‘n’ roll and country music legends who roared through Reynolds Coliseum over the years and left the crowds wowed by their performances.
The Rolling Stones in ’65. Elton John in ’80. Van Halen in ’82. And who can forget Conway Twitty closing his show with “Three Times a Lady” and “It’s Only Make Believe” in 1984?
That succession of music memories ended temporarily on this day in 1984, however, when university officials announced Reynolds Coliseum would no longer host rock concerts.
“Reynolds Coliseum will not be booking any future rock concerts,” read the first line in the Technician‘s lead story that day.
That statement, as reported in the same article, was the only statement released by Richard Farrell, business manager of Reynolds Coliseum at the time. It seemed to be a response to a request from Jim Edwards, chairman of the Union Activities Board‘s entertainment committee. He had written a letter to Athletics Director Willis Casey earlier that August asking for approval to invite such acts as ZZ Top, Bruce Springsteen and Prince to play inside Reynolds.
Instead of receiving a response from Casey, Edwards got the one-sentence statement from Farrell, according to the Technician.
“I personally feel the administration has made this decision because most of the crowd (at rock concerts) are non students, and because they don’t like the type of crowd that rock ‘n’ roll concerts draw,” Edwards told the paper. “For Friends of the College events, I feel that student attendance is lower than at rock ‘n’ roll concerts such as Van Halen. …To me they’re segregating the types of music.”
The policy by NC State administrators turned out to be only a temporary injunction on fun at the coliseum, as acts like the Charlie Daniels Band, Alabama and Aerosmith went on to rock out Reynolds in the late 1980s.
Justin LeBlanc, the NC State graduate and design professor who won fans and friends on Lifetime’s “Project Runway” last year, is previewing his spring/summer 2015 collection tonight with a show titled “Inaudible.”
In the collection LeBlanc, who is deaf and wears a cochlear implant, revisits the theme of his thesis show at the Art Institute of Chicago, where he explored communication between hearing and deaf people.
He describes the looks as upscale, casual and comfortable. No word on whether we’ll see anything like the gown made of tiny pipettes that wowed the judges last summer on the “Project Runway” finale, but the collection does include the use of 3-D printing, something that’s become a hallmark of LeBlanc’s style. You can buy one of LeBlanc’s 3-D printed bow ties on jleblancdesign.com.
LeBlanc has been busy since “Project Runway.” He spoke to students at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design about his transition from architecture to fashion, showed his 3-D printed fashion at the International CES Show in Las Vegas, Nev., and presented a collection last spring at Charleston Fashion Week. That was on top of teaching classes and serving as co-director of NC State’s own Art2Wear show.
The show is 7:30 p.m. Thursday at CAM Raleigh, 409 W. Martin St. Tickets can be purchased at camraleigh.org.
A sponsor of the event is Bida Manda restaurant, a Laotian restaurant in Raleigh owned by Vansana Nolintha, who was a Caldwell Fellow at NC State with LeBlanc. (We profiled Nolintha in the Autumn 2013 issue of NC State magazine.) Arts Access, a Raleigh-based nonprofit dedicated to increasing access to the arts to those with disabilities, will provide a sign language interpreter and an audio description of the event.
–Sylvia Adcock ’81
UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC-Greensboro and East Carolina University had already decided by the summer of 1973 that they would make prescription services available to students who wanted birth control.
Yet NC State still had made no call as to whether it would provide those services.
That all changed on this day 41 years ago, when the university announced Clark Infirmary would offer prescriptions that would enable students to get birth control pills. The service, however, did not directly dispense the pills to students.
The move was partially made in response to a growing sense among Wake County, N.C., health department officials that there were too many students using the county’s clinic, according to an article in the Technician.
It was the Technician’s lead story on this day in 1973, when prescriptions for birth control pills first came to NC State’s campus.
“This is part of the overall health care of the student community and has been inappropriately publicized,” said Dr. Nina Page, a physician at NC State’s infirmary. “The infirmary is not by any means condoning or promoting premarital sex by offering the service.”
There was an $8 fee attached to the physical examination and prescription for the females who wanted them. And they also received educational information detailing multiple forms of contraception when they received the prescription.
The Technician also pointed out that all medical records at the infirmary would remain confidential. “Why should we notify the parents when we do not notify them in any other health situation?” Page asked. “This should be a very private, personal thing.”
For years it had become an annual August custom for students to stand in the lines on Reynolds Coliseum’s floor and sweat it out — literally and figuratively.
They waited for hours to see if they could drop the course with the professor who was a harsh grader and get into a class that might offer them a more comfortable academic setting or might allow them to sleep in on weekdays.
But all of that ended on this day in 1988 as NC State held the last-ever registration/change day in Reynolds.
“The day is a finale for a university-old tradition,” the Technician reported, “and the signs and posters mean a new easier process of registration is on the way.”
This scene in Reynolds Coliseum became a thing of the past in 1988, when NC State held its last-ever change day.
The signs and posters were advertising TRACS, or Telephonic Registration Access in Computerized Scheduling. It was described as a “high tech” and efficient system that enabled students to get into that one business class they needed before graduation by simply picking up the phone and dialing a number.
NC State was the first university in the state to go telephonic, according to the Technician. “We’re on the cutting edge in technology,” an NC State official told the paper. “Only 30 to 35 schools in the nation have this system.”
The system allowed for the use of 12 telephone lines for a 22 day period that started Oct. 30, 1988. Each student was assigned a certain window in which he or she could call.
WKNC has enjoyed a noisy part of NC State’s history on campus over the years, becoming a mainstay in Southern college radio.
But for one brief summer, the station’s signal couldn’t be heard and listeners were treated only to dead air.
“Due to an electrically overloaded antenna, WKNC … has not been to able to broadcast since the early part of June,” the Technician reported.
But it was on this day in 1977 that Sam Taylor, WKNC’s station manager at the time, announced plans to replace the overworked antenna for a new $3,500 one that had increased input power. “It will be able to run at 1,000 watts as compared to the 250 watts the station ran last year,” the article stated.
And as WKNC’s new signal headed across the sky and over the airwaves, it carried with it not only the usual classical, jazz, progressive and top-40 music, but also new programming, which included a one-hour daily show that was centered around the happenings around Raleigh and the state.
Filmmakers Kieran Moreira and Andrew Martin were sitting around in the summer of 2012, charged by their boss at Drawbridge Media, a Raleigh video production company, to find content the studio could produce. They read script after script, but nothing really struck the pair. So Moreira decided to present his own idea.
“I had this one idea I called ‘Cloud Fortress,’” says Moreira, who graduated from NC State with a film studies degree in 2011. “I had this image of a boy trying to climb up to the sky.”
That nugget turned into the new short film, Harbinger, that Moreira directed and co-wrote with Martin. The independent movie will premiere at the James B. Hunt Jr. Library on Centennial Campus Wednesday, Aug. 27 at 7 p.m. Admission is free.
The film centers around a relationships between a mother and her young son Harold, whose imagination helps him deal with the changing complexities of his reality. “We had always seen it as a fantasy based in reality,” Moreira says. “The fantasy hides the more harsh realities of the world. Harold is at a transition. He is discovering things from his past. So the fantasy is an escape, but it is a shield, too.”
Moreira and Martin, who graduated from NC State in 1999 with a textile engineering degree, learned their own realities could be harsh, as well, in the three years it’s taken to get the film out. They launched a campaign on Indiegogo to raise money for the production costs, and they didn’t reach their goal. And they didn’t have the luxury of focusing solely on their movie.
“There was a tremendous amount of challenges,” Martin says. “This was going to be a year or two of our lives. Even though Drawbridge was encouraging us, we still had a full slate of work from our day jobs.”
But the fact they were able to pull it off with the help of many volunteers was instrumental in accomplishing one of their main goals. They felt they could show that while movies like Iron Man 3, some of which was shot in Cary, N.C., garner a lot of attention for the film industry in North Carolina, there is a strong independent movement afoot in the state that is already producing quality work.
From left to right, Kieran Moreira, Andrew Martin and Paul Frateschi.
“Something we always wanted to do was to showcase the talents here at home,” says Paul Frateschi, the film’s director of photography and 2009 NC State graduate. “A lot of those big films come in and bring in a DP from New York or out of state. We wanted to show what quality work we’re doing here locally. It was freelance crew people. It was the actors. We wanted to tell a North Carolina story with a North Carolina crew and cast.”
And that goal is tied to another one Martin sees as directly tied to his Wolfpack roots.
“Ultimately, so much of the reason we did this was to build the community,” he says. “We would love to build the film department and communication department at NC State so more film can come out of there.”
In the early 1980s, D.H. Hill officials informed Chancellor Bruce Poulton of their beliefs that the library needed an addition to accommodate the growing number of students who were crowding the study spaces and room for stacks, according to a 1986 issue of the Technician.
And it was on this day in 1986 that NC State announced that the next phase in the construction of a new tower would begin. The first phase, in which underground utilities were moved, was finished earlier that year, in February.
Photo courtesy of the Technician.
“Phase two is the construction of the building itself…the foundation, walls and roofs,” University John G. Fields told the Technician.
NC State received $9.3 million from the N.C. General Assembly for the construction, which was estimated to be completed in 20 months.
Fields also told the Technician the existing tower and the planned tower would connect and would “look like one.”
Construction was completed and the tower, now known as South Tower, opened in 1990.
The College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences (PAMS) was very much in the computer age in mid-1988, housing NC State’s computer science department.
But that all changed on this day 26 years ago, when the department moved from PAMS to the College of Engineering.
The change did not affect incoming freshmen that year, nor did it bring any immediate change to the computer science curriculum and degree requirements. It did, however, shift the responsibility of signing off on diplomas from the PAMS’ dean to the College of Engineering’s dean.
According to the Technician, the move was an outgrowth of a movement in the computer science department. “During the departmental vote last spring, the CSC faculty ranked their preference for reorganization among several alternatives,” the paper reported. “As their first choice, 17 voted to move to the College of Engineering as an autonomous unit, while eight voted to transfer to the College of Engineering and merge with computer engineering…. Four voted to remain in PAMS.”
The faculty members felt they already were working more closely with their colleagues in the College of Engineering and that their new home might hold more resources, according to the Technician.
NC State’s computer science department still calls the College of Engineering home, and PAMS became a part of the newly formed College of Sciences in July 2013.
North Residence Hall doesn’t take reservations, and there’s no nightclub to entertain Raleigh’s politicians on the premises.
That wasn’t always true, though. North used to be a hotel, first called the Lemon Tree Inn and then the John Yancey Motor Hotel. There was a restaurant and even a night club known as Merry Monk that, according to an NC State facilities website, served as “a favorite establishment among legislators and other politicians during the 1970s.”
And it was on this day in 1979 that the university completed its deal to buy the hotel and convert it into a residence hall.
North Residence Hall
The deal came in at $3 million and held the promise of offering 362 students newly converted hotel rooms for their housing, according to the Technician.
Regular dorm rooms were priced at $245 per student per semester in 1979, but a room in North cost a student $450 per semester. Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Banks Talley defended the price due to the building’s built-in amenities.
“Each room, [Talley] said, has wall-to-wall carpeting, air conditioning and a private bath,” the Technician reported. “Also, residents of the North Building will not be subject to the annual lottery and can retain their rooms as long as they are students.”