Fred Gunther graduated from NC State in May, and he’s spent that time since hiking the Appalachian Trail with Madison Driver ’08. They started their hike in Amicalola Falls State Park, Georgia, on May 10 and plan to reach Maine on Sept. 9. You can follow them and see photos of their adventure on their blog, Mountains Under Foot. Here’s a portion of their first blog entry in which Fred writes about how the trip came to be:
[I]t begins with your classic story of a couple of guys talking about the future over some over-sized burgers in downtown Raleigh. Madison was graduating from NC State the following semester (Spring ’08) and had intended to start the hike immediately afterwards. I still had another two semesters left because of all the co-oping I did throughout college but did not want to miss out on the opportunity of a lifetime. Maybe it was the one-pound burger I had just eaten or maybe I realized that there was no better time in my life to make this happen, but I said to Madison, “Buddy, if you can wait for me to graduate, I will hike the AT with you.”
We’ve mentioned it before, but Goodnight Raleigh! is a fun blog that always has some interesting items about Raleigh’s past and present (like the twosets of pics of the NC State steam tunnels). One of its contributors, Karl Larson, who’s helping to lead the effort restore the Color Wall in D.H. Hill, has been researching that piece’s creator. Turns out NC State design prof Joe Cox had another work just right down the street at a BB&T branch. The bank’s still there, but the mural has been removed.
Forty-seven years ago next month, Branch Banking and Trust Company opened its “State College Office” at the corner of Hillsborough St. and Oberlin Rd. The ribbon cutting ceremony was held with great fanfare, with the mayor of Raleigh, the chancellor of NC State and the president of BB&T in attendance. Though the pick and shovel groundbreaking had occurred several months earlier, the bank’s opening “broke ground” in another, more significant way — it was the first Raleigh bank to feature a work of public art as an integral part of its design — a dazzling stained glass mural. “The mural represents the growing cooperation between artist and architect that is rapidly spreading throughout the country,” the N&O reported in an article on the event in 1962.
State Auditor Beth Wood released today an interim report — a follow-up to a January audit — about her office’s investigation into the salary and raise of Mary Easley, wife of former N.C. Gov. Mike Easley. From the report:
“The preliminary finding expresses the conclusion that Ms. Easley’s salary [$170,000] was excessive. However, the University’s response and further consideration have raised valid concerns about the conclusion, at least to the amount considered excessive.”
A few of our readers here and on our Facebook page asked us about the whereabouts of a plaque that was in our Photo of the Day last Thursday. It was given to the university by an Iranian alumnus in 1966. We were able to track it down to the lobby of Primrose Hall, one of the oldest buildings on campus and, today, home to the university’s real estate office. One of our interns snapped this photo while she was on Main Campus yesterday. Click on it, and you can see the plaque in great detail. If anyone knows Persian, let us know what the inscription says.
On Aug. 18 nearly 700 first-year students and their family members attended the Alumni Association’s 13th annual Legacy Luncheon. This morning NC State’s Web communications team posted video from the event, which featured the NC State Marching Band and a pinning ceremony to celebrate multi-generational ties to the university. Chancellor Jim Woodward said that he met a couple at the event who has 12 relatives who attended NC State and whose great-grandson began school here this semester:
“It is heart warming,” Woodward said. “You know they had a wonderful experience at the institution, and you know they encouraged their kids, and their kid’s kids, and their kid’s kid’s kids in this case.”
Are you a legacy, too? Did you grandparents attend NC State? How many of your relatives have attended the school? What are some of the traditions they passed on to you? What are the stories they told you about their time at NC State? Did their experience influence you to come to NC State? Tell us about your family ties to NC State by leaving a comment or posting a response on our Facebook page.
No Week in Review this time, but I didn’t want to head out today without posting something. It’s always fun to see the things our alumni do after leaving NC State. This is Dan Murphy ’04, who’s a pro skateboarder and is on Nike’s skateboarding team. I’ve never been a skateboarder myself, but I can’t help but appreciate his skill and the ease with which he pulls off these 10 tricks. I’m sure he had a lot of practice on campus.
Here’s some behind-the-scenes footage from the new NC State commercial that was filmed yesterday on Centennial Campus and will debut on ESPN during the Sept. 3 game against South Carolina. If you saw any of the spots from last year, you’ll see a familiar face.
What qualifications and characteristics do you want to see in the next chancellor of NC State? Tell us! You can leave feedback in the comments section of this post or on our Facebook page. You can also e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out the university’s feedback form on the Chancellor Search page. We’ll deliver everything we receive to the search committee. One member of that committee is Lynn Daniel ’74, president of the NC State Alumni Association Board of Directors; feel free to e-mail him, too, at email@example.com.
The committee is also holding public forums throughout the afternoon of Wednesday, August 26, at Talley Student Center. An evening session will be at the McKimmon Center.
Redshirt senior Toney Baker is finally back. After promising freshman and sophomore seasons, he was sidelined with injuries through most of 2007 and all of 2008. The N&O has a writeup about him in today’s paper, and it sounds like he’s doing well.
Baker, now a senior, hasn’t played since tearing a knee ligament in the 2007 opener against Central Florida but finally feels right again.
“I feel like the old Toney,” he said after practice Monday. “No question. Each day I can feel myself getting better and more explosive.”
Baker kept an online journal for us his freshman season. It’s worth revisiting as we approach the Sept. 3 opener against South Carolina.
Former N.C. State University Chancellor James Oblinger just got a pay cut.
Oblinger, who resigned in early June amid revelations over his role in the hiring of former First Lady Mary Easley, had until today been earning his full administrative salary – $420,000 annually, or $35,000 a month.
Under an agreement he forged with UNC system President Erskine Bowles when he resigned, he was to receive that full salary for six months before returning to the faculty at a lower wage.
The UNC system’s Board of Governors voted Friday to scale his pay back immediately. He will now earn $173,000 annually, a salary commensurate with other members of the NCSU faculty. He will teach food science.
“This is absolutely an appropriate salary, and after such a careful process I am completely comfortable with it,” said James Woodward, NCSU’s interim chancellor.