Six NC State alumni were included when the Triangle Business Journal recently released their annual “40 Under 40″ list of young professionals in the Triangle who have made positive contributions to their organizations and their communities.
The Wolfpackers honored were:
- Matt Cunningham, a 1996 graduate who is an attorney with Smith Moore Leatherwood in Raleigh.
- Brian DuMont, 1998 graduate who is the owner of Yard-Nique, a full service landscaping and turf management firm based in Morrisville.
- W. Kyle Greer, a 2003 graduate who is a broker with NAI Carolantic Realty, a commercial real estate firm.
- Tracy Wood Kimbrell, a 2002 graduate who is general counsel to state Sen. Phil Berger, president pro tem of the N.C. Senate. Kimbrell is a member of the Alumni Association’s board of directors.
- Mike Munn, a 1995 graduate who is president of the John R. McAdams Company., a land-development consulting firm based in the Research Triangle Park.
- Josh Whiton, a 2004 graduate who is the founder and CEO of TransLoc, which provides technology and information systems for mass transit systems.
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NC State is establishing its first-ever Athletics Hall of Fame, with the first group of inductees to be selected this summer.
“Those who appreciate the achievements of NC State athletics will finally have the opportunity to appropriately recognize the individuals who have represented us so well,” said Deborah Yow, director of athletics for NC State.
The inaugural class will be enshrined during a celebration at Reynolds Coliseum on Oct. 5, the night before the Wolfpack’s home football game against Florida State. The inductees will also be recognized at halftime of the Saturday game against Florida State.
A 14-person Hall of Fame Election Committee has been appointed and has been charged with selecting the initial class. Wolfpack fans are encouraged to submit nominations for the committee’s consideration.
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As far back as the 1920s, when the School of Engineering added a department of architectural engineering, there was a push for NC State to have a separate School of Design.
But it took almost two decades and a threat to establish an architecture program at UNC before NC State established its own School of Design, on this day in 1948.
The move came after countless delays and endless negotiations that at one point prompted the North Carolina chapter of the American Institute of Architects to demand that the program be transferred to Chapel Hill, according to Alice Elizabeth Reagan’s North Carolina State University: A Narrative History. But UNC President Frank Porter Graham refused, telling the architects that the university system’s plans assigned architecture to NC State.
A panel of deans at NC State recommended Henry L. Kamphoefner, a professor of architecture at the University of Oklahoma, to be the school’s first dean. Kamphoefner accepted, but only on the condition that he could replace 11 of the 15 faculty members already at NC State. Several students followed Kamphoefner to NC State from Oklahoma, including one named David George who will be featured in the summer issue of NC State magazine.
Dean Henry Kamphoefner
Kamphoefner wasted no time in making his mark at NC State, bringing the likes of Frank Lloyd Wright and Buckminster Fuller to campus to work with students.
“The new School of Design made a rapid impression on architecture in North Carolina,” Reagan wrote. “Eschewing traditional styles, including the popular southern colonial, the school endeavored to create a new, modern style for North Carolina and the South. Many North Carolinians expressed shock at the results, typified by Matthew Nowicki’s Dorton Arena and the Erdahl-Cloyd College Union on the campus.”
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Nothing better defines NC State’s prominence as a leader in science and technology than its marriage to nuclear power. It was on the university’s campus where the first nuclear reactor housed outside of the Atomic Energy Commission appeared. Built in 1953, that reactor marked a dedication by the engineering program to nuclear research.
John Harold Lampe.
As Alice Elizabeth Reagan writes in North Carolina State: A Narrative History, John Harold Lampe, then dean of the School of Engineering, set out to improve the school’s physics department. So he appointed a faculty committee that steered the department toward a commitment to nuclear science. Clifford K. Beck, who was a member of the Manhattan Atomic Bomb project, came from Oak Ridge National Laboratory to head the department, developing a program in nuclear physics. With Beck in hand, Lampe then pursued the Atomic Energy Commission in hopes of obtaining its permission to build a nuclear reactor at NC State.
The reactor and facility around it was completed in 1953. The Atomic Energy Commission supplied the uranium-235 isotope needed to fuel the reactor, and Burlington Industries, the North Carolina textile company, financed the construction. It was on this day in 1955 that Burlington Nuclear Laboratories was dedicated.
In 1973, the larger facility that is today known as Burlington Engineering Laboratories was built. It now holds a one million-watt Pulstar reactor.
The Burlington reactor in the 1950s.
Reagan writes that Lampe’s efforts solidified NC State’s School of Engineering as a top program in the country.
“It insured State College’s leadership in the field of nuclear engineering for many years,” she writes, stating that Lampe secured new faculty members and the accreditation of several programs in the department.
“After this success, only Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology had more accredited engineering programs.”
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When the School of Law at N.C. Central University held its commencement earlier this month, four students were given seats on the platform and a chance to speak in recognition of their leadership and scholarship.
But they had more in common than their good work in law school — all of them are proud alumni of NC State.
Doucette, Guyton, Robinson, Adams
None of the students knew each other when they studied at NC State, but they became friends during their time in law school.
“N.C. Central’s law school has a small, tight-knit student body, so all of us became friends over the past three years through our different activities,” said T. Greg Doucette, a 2009 NC State graduate who was president of the Student Bar Association at N.C. Central.
The others in the group are:
- Shauna Guyton, a 2008 NC State graduate who was president of the senior class at the law school.
- Sharika Robinson, a 2005 NC State graduate who was valedictorian of the three-year day program at the law school.
- Jeremy Adams, a 2005 NC State graduate who was valedictorian of the four-year evening program at the law school.
All four of them will be busy for the next several weeks getting ready for the North Carolina bar exam in late July. But Doucette says everyone in the group already has plans beyond taking the bar exam.
- Doucette is executive director of the N.C. Small Practice Incubator & Collaboration Environment (NC SPICE), a nonprofit that provides mentorship, education and office support to new attorneys in exchange for pro bono legal service for those who can’t afford legal representation.
- Guyton is hoping to be a law clerk at the N.C. Supreme Court, but is also considering becoming an assistant district attorney.
- Robinson is moving to Michigan to become a law clerk for a federal judge.
- Adams plans to start his ow law firm in the Triangle, with a focus on employment law.
Some of the new law school graduates made it a point to include a touch of the Wolfpack in the commencement exercises at N.C. Central. Doucette wore a Wolfpack red dress shirt and an NC State tie under his robe, while Guyton wore her NC State class ring. “I never take it off!,” she said in a text message.
“State is just the best school in this state!!!” Robinson wrote in a text message. She said that NC State’s homegrown students are “the best talent, and it is evident in us.”
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If you Google “secret societies” at NC State, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anything with the intrigue or secrecy of Yale University’s Skull and Bones. If there’s one club whose name suggests a possible secret club, it’s the Order of Thirty and Three, an organization unique to NC State.
Of course the Order of Thirty and Three doesn’t have the exclusivity of the Skull and Bones. Any NC State student, male or female, can apply to be in it.
It was founded on this day in 1931 to promote leadership, strong relationships with alumni and school spirit on campus. The organization consists of 33 members, eleven from each of the sophomore, junior and senior classes.
An application calls for second-year students who exhibit strong moral character, a high sense of honor, leaderships and a desire to “accomplish the greatest good” for the university. The first full class of all 33 members was in 1933.
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By the 1920s, NC State had become an emerging state educational power. And with that newfound relevance came a higher visibility, which sometimes led to a culture war between progressive academics and traditionalists.
Such was the case on this day in 1922 when entomology professor Zeno P. Metcalf debated religious leader William B. Riley over evolution.
Alice Reagan outlines the events that led to the debate in North Carolina State: A Narrative History. In what she calls the “first public controversy to involve State College professors,” six members of NC State’s science faculty issued a public statement replying to lecture given by Jasper Massee, a fundamentalist who asked North Carolina to halt support of colleges or universities teaching evolution. The controversy was prevalent throughout the South and gained steam in North Carolina when religious leaders like Massee questioned the teachings of William Poteat, a Wake Forest College professor who taught evolution. “The State College professors believed themselves to be true Christians, as well as scientists, however, and decided that they could not allow Massee’s action to go unchallenged,” writes Reagan.
Metcalf, who would go on to serve as the university's director of instruction, in 1940. Photo courtesy of NCSU Libraries.
After the professors issued their reply, Riley, the leader of the Baptist Bible Conference, challenged them to a public debate, which took place at Pullen Hall. Two thousand students showed up for the hour-and-a-half event in which Metcalf read from prepared text and Riley used more of an evangelical persuasive style.
The controversy would again arise in 1925 when a bill was introduced in the state legislature that required state-supported institutions to stop teaching evolutionary theory. The bill was defeated, and the controversy went national when John Scopes was found in violation of a Tennessee statute that outlawed the teaching of evolution in state-supported schools.
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It’s an age-old debate really, not limited to the culinary world. Some say tomato, accenting the long “a” sound. Others prefer the “tomotto” pronunciation of the word. And on NC State’s campus, a similar debate arose in the 1960s about Syme Residence Hall.
On this day in 1962, students learned that the correct pronunciation of the dormitory was actually “sim,” sounding like “dim.” In a survey by the university, more than half of the student body thought the pronunciation was “sime,” with a long “i.”
That thought is still around today, as the university’s facilities website lists the pronunciation as “sime.”
Syme Residence Hall in 1955. Photo courtesy of NCSU Libraries.
The residence hall was named for George Frederich Syme (prounounced “Sim,” like “him”), a civil engineering student who graduated in 1898 and garnered a reputation when he worked with C.L. Mann, an NC State professor of civil engineering, to survey the prospects of building a canal across Nicaragua after the turn of the century.
But as Hardy D. Berry writes in Place Names on the Campus of North Carolina State University, “It is said the heat, insects, and hostile surroundings discouraged their enthusiasm for the canal location.”
Syme, who was the first president of the Raleigh Engineers Club, came back to North Carolina as a highway and bridge specialist with his reputation, but apparently not his name, intact.
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The 1920s were a rocky decade for students’ extracurricular activities at NC State. A study by a graduate sociology student unearthed rampant cheating at the university as well as a lax attitude toward the offense. Administrators feared wild behavior in the dorms. And something seemingly innocuous as a cap set the campus into chaos.
On this day in 1930, Dean of Students Edward Cloyd took a stand against an existing dress code that many saw as an early form of hazing.
Former NC State Chancellor John T. Caldwell shows off a Freshman Cap. (Photo from the NC State Alumni Association Archives)
The controversy dates back to 1916, when freshmen first began wearing a red hat with an “F” on it to denote their underclassmen status. And, as Alice Reagan points out in North Carolina State University: A Narrative History, the rites of passage did not stop with the caps.
“Freshmen also were to learn all college songs, attend class meetings, and show a deference to upperclassmen,” Reagan writes. “For violations of the code, especially failure to wear the freshman cap, students were forced to run a gauntlet.”
Over the next nine years, freshmen got fed up with the initiation. Reagan writes that in 1929, NC State’s students voted to abolish the gauntlet as a means of punishment. A student body group known as the Court of Customs ordered a freshman football player to wear a dress as punishment for not wearing his cap that fall.
“A large portion of the freshman class attempted to burn the offending caps,” Reagan writes. The student body voted to keep the dress code, and the freshmen pleaded to the administration.
But Cloyd said he supported eliminating the tradition in his end-of-the-year address to students in 1930. The State College Board of Trustees voted to abolish the dress code that June.
But, as Reagan writes, “freshmen were still obligated to provide matches to upper classmen on request, and also run errands for them.”
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Former NC State head football coach Bill Fetzer wrote in the 1920 Agromeck that he believed college athletics had made a steady comeback since World War I. He drew parallels between being a good athlete and soldier. And he wrote about the values of Wolfpack athletics at the time.
“Clean living and clean thinking are of first importance to the person who expects to be an athlete,” he wrote. “All athletic directors lay stress on these facts. This is as it should be, especially the case in all intercollegiate athletics.”
The Monogram Club in the early 1920s. Photo courtesy of NCSU Libraries.
The Athletic Council apparently agreed with Fetzer and wanted some way to celebrate athletes who had accomplished great things in their respective sports.
So on this day in 1920, the Council made the decision to award sweaters to athletes who had received letters, or monograms, for their achievements. The sweaters, adorned with stars and an “N” and a “C” nestled inside of the block-S, soon made their way on campus.
Twenty-eight young men made up that first group of those who lettered in 1920. They are called “Monogram Men” in that Agromeck, and several of them lettered in the four sports listed: football, baseball, basketball and track. S.L. Homewood and R.N. Gurley lettered in three of the four. (Subsequent Agromecks dubbed them the “Monogram Club.”)
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