Much of what goes on during Homecoming week is about having fun — concerts, contests and parades.
But NC State is also committed to service, so it should be no surprise that Homecoming week includes events such as a blood drive and a clean-up of Hillsborough Street.
And, today, a canned food drive culminated with several student organizations — from fraternities and sororities to college councils — bringing the cans they had collected to the Brickyard. There, student ambassadors for the Alumni Association helped collect thousands of cans that will be donated to the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina.
The collection got started around noon with more than 1,000 cans donated by students in the College of Textiles. “It’s a great cause,” said Carl Santos, a junior from Wake Forest, N.C., who is president of the Tomkpkins Textile Student Council, which organized the college’s effort. “With the hurricane, there are going to be a lot of people in need of food.”
Christopher Lawing, a sophomore from Charlotte, N.C., helped organize the canned food drive as part of a week-long Homecoming Spirit competition that included a craziest fan contest, a cupcake contest and a banner contest. Lawing is a student ambassador with the Alumni Association, which stages most of the events during Homecoming week.
“Last year, we collected 11,000 cans,” Lawing said. “I would love to beat that this year.”
They appeared to be well on their way as the cans piled up through the afternoon. One fraternity brought more than 3,000 cans for the drive.
THE CANNED FOOD DRIVE BEGINS: Carl Santos delivers cans collected by students at the College of Textiles
THE CANNED FOOD DRIVE NEARS THE END: Christopher Lawing tosses more cans onto the growing pile
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As alumni make their way back to campus for the Homecoming festivities this week, many will spend their time reminiscing about their friends, experiences, classes and adventures at NC State. Sonya Windham-Wilder ’90 and Kirk Wilder ’90 will be caught up in more recent memories as they celebrate at the place where they re-connected and fell in love two years ago.
Windham, from Charlotte, N.C., and Wilder, a Virginia native, came to NC State as undergraduates in the fall of 1986. Windham-Wilder spent her time at State studying chemistry and decided to pledge Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority her sophomore year. Wilder, a law and political philosophy major, pledged Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity his freshman year. The two met each other through their involvement in Greek life.
“We would always see each other around campus and would be at the same parties, social functions and other events,” Wilder says. “Because of our close connection in Greek life I saw Sonya all the time.”
The two began casually dating in the spring of their sophomore year.
Sonya Windham-Wilder and Kirk Wilder tailgate before the homecoming game in 2010
“We went on a few dates during our sophomore year but it was very casual,” Windham-Wilder says. “But I always had a little bit of a college crush on Kirk.”
Both earned undergraduate degrees in 1988 and went separate ways after graduation. Windham chose to pursue a career in dentistry and received her dental medicine degree from Medical University of South Carolina in 1996. She completed her residency in Columbia, South Carolina, and took an advanced training program in pediatric dentistry in 2001. Then she moved to Atlanta and opened her first practice.
Wilder, meanwhile, returned to Virginia to attend law school. He received his Juris Doctor degree from Howard University in Washington D.C., in May 1993 and relocated to his hometown to practice family law.
Throughout the time that the duo was apart, both spent their time with other people and went almost twenty years without keeping in touch.
That all changed when they both returned to Raleigh in 2010 for the NC State homecoming football game.
Wilder was a season ticket holder and was planning on coming back to Raleigh for homecoming but Windham-Wilder was not even sure if she was going to make it to Raleigh for the game.
“I returned to NC State in 2009 for a homecoming game and wasn’t planning on coming back in 2010,” Windham-Wilder says. “At the last minute one of my sorority sisters convinced me to go and I am glad she did.”
The evening before the game, both attended a karaoke night hosted by the Black Alumni Society. They saw each other and began to talk, catching up on their lives for the past twenty years. As Windham-Widler began to walk away she turned back and decided to tell Wilder that he had always been her “college crush.”
Both of them, as well as their friends, realized that night that their relationship was going to grow.
“All of our friends recognized that there was a spark,” Windham-Wilder says. “They knew as they saw us talking that something was going to happen between us.”
Windham-Wilder and Wilder got married in Georgia on August 11, 2012
As luck would have it, their seats for the football game were next to each other despite having ordered their tickets at different times.
The couple spent about a year and a half in a long-distance relationship, seeing each other once or twice a month. In May, Wilder decided to move his law practice to Atlanta and the two were engaged to be married in September 2011. They got married on August 11 in Jonesboro, Georgia, surrounded by family and friends that they made during their time at NC State.
NC State will always have a special place in their hearts.
“NC State helped me become a mature, independent woman and allowed me to establish some lifelong friendships,” Windham-Wilder says. “It helped lay a great educational foundation for the both of us to continue on into graduate school in our respective fields and it’s where we met.”
“NC State means absolutely everything to me,” Wilder says. “I met my best friends and fell in love with my wife at NC State. I love NC State will all of my heart and I can’t help but smile when I think how much this school has given me.”
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Despite high winds and chilling temperatures, students braved the rainy weather and came out to the Brickyard to get free food during today’s “Wear Red, Get Fed” event.
‘Wear Red, Get Fed’ has been a part of the Homecoming week lineup for several years and is hosted by the Alumni Association. Beginning at 11 am, students lined up outside of Harrelson Hall for free barbeque sandwiches from Backyard Bistro for any student wearing at least a handful of red.
Local restaurants like Backyard Bistro, Chile Bomba, Marco’s Pizza, Wing Zone and Jimmy John’s are taking part in “Wear Red, Get Fed” this week. Students look forward to the event, with many saying it is one of the biggest highlights throughout the week.
“I love ‘Wear Red, Get Fed’ because it boosts school spirit on campus and provides students with a great snack that we normally can’t get while we are on campus,” said Kate Mattox, a sophomore from Charlotte, N.C. “’Wear Red, Get Fed’ is a neat tradition because it is an easy way to show our Wolfpack pride.”
Despite the less than ideal weather conditions produced by Hurricane Sandy, students have shown an interest in coming out and showing their school spirit in rain or shine.
“The bad weather isn’t going to prevent me from waiting in line,” Mattox said. “I can’t wait for the rest of the week.”
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For many engineers, going from job site to job site doesn’t require the same amount of foresight as it does for Col. Vincent Quarles MSE ‘97, commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Afghanistan Engineer District-South 12.
“Planning is absolutely necessary to successfully delivering completed facilities in Afghanistan,” Quarles said a recent interview conducted by email. “We can’t stop for fast food along the way. We can’t stop at a hardware store to pick up nails or a new tape measure. We can’t rely on adequate electricity or restroom facilities. Everything we need, we must bring with us. And if our vehicles break down, we can’t just pull over and call a mechanic.”
Quarles began his military career at the age of 17 as a cannon fire direction specialist. Since then, he has held numerous active duty assignments, from platoon leader early in his career to twice being a brigade-level commander. He was named to his current position with the USACE in July.
“I have been here for a little more than three months and am learning something new every day. Afghanistan is a country of contrasts — there is incredible beauty and unimaginable poverty,” Quarles said. “I have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of people. It is incredibly humbling and satisfying to work with and for the people of Afghanistan.”
The district Quarles commands oversees 126 projects that totally nearly $2 billion across three categories. The Afghan National Security Forces projects are for the Afghan National Army and National Police and include completing operating bases, training ranges, hospitals and police compounds. The group also works on projects for the Afghanistan Sustainable Development Program – constructing roads, water and power infrastructure and more – along with general U.S. military construction on airfields, barracks, medical facilities, etc.
While all engineering work requires problem solving, building in Afghanistan provides a unique set of challenges.
“One of the biggest issues we face in here is logistics,” Quarles said. “Afghanistan is a land-locked country in the middle of a war, so shipping items takes longer and is more dangerous. Long-lead items, those items that require manufacturing or shipping from the U.S. or Europe, can easily put our projects behind schedule if the contractor delays ordering.
“However, we are always looking for more efficient and sustainable ways to design and construct. For instance, we incorporated austere design standards to maximize the use of locally available materials, simplify construction, and result in buildings that will be easier to maintain.”
In addition to using local materials, Quarles and his team does significant work with the locals. USACE employs an “Afghan First” program designed to utilize Afghan-owned and operated enterprises. The idea behind the program is to create long-term stability, security and economic development. The group also works directly with many Afghan engineers – described by Quarles as a critical part of his team’s family – who function as quality assurance representatives on project sites.
Despite only serving in his current position for a short amount of time, Quarles has already found the experience to be incredibly rewarding.
“Every day we have an opportunity to mentor Afghan engineers and teach safety and solid construction techniques to workers who come to Afghanistan from India, Pakistan, Philippines, Egypt, Turkey and other countries,” Quarles saaid. “It is satisfying when we finish projects here because we meet current requirements while building capacity for Afghanistan’s long-term future.
“I just attended a ceremony recognizing newly-trained Afghan facility engineers. These men now perform operations and maintenance on facilities that the United States and our coalition partners constructed. USACE provided this critical training so that these engineers would have the skills necessary to maintain and repair electrical and plumbing systems, perform preventative maintenance, and keep the buildings useful for years to come. The sense of accomplishment on the faces of the Afghan engineers is a memory I will always carry with me.”
– Caroline Barnhill ’05
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As NC State fans gear up for the Homecoming football game against Virginia this Saturday, the student body is showing their excitement by participating in creative events like the spirit banner competition and the residence hall competition hosted by the Alumni Association and the Inter-Residence Council (IRC).
At noon today, seventeen student organizations revealed banners that incorporated images and messages geared toward this year’s homecoming theme: “A Wolfpack State of Mind” and NC State’s 125th anniversary celebration.
The designs created by the various student groups were kept a secret until they were hung around campus. Groups had the option of choosing where they wanted to hang their banners and some of the locations include Witherspoon Student Center, various academic buildings, residence halls and fraternity and sorority houses.
“This year’s theme is a ‘Wolfpack State of Mind’ so I expect to see lots of NC State icons throughout the decades,” says Taylor York, a junior from Westfield, N.C. who is the Spirit Chair for the Homecoming Committee and a student ambassador for the Alumni Association.
At the end of the week, York and a panel of judges comprised of faculty, Alumni Association staff and a few alumni will decide which group has the most impressive spirit banner.
The organizations will gain points toward the overall spirit competition and the participants will be recognized during the third quarter at the football game on Saturday. The top three banners will be displayed at Carter-Finley Stadium.
To go along with the spirit banner competition, IRC also started off the week with an artistic competition for students living on campus. As a way to encourage students to participate in homecoming events through the week, all twenty of the hall councils in residence halls, as well as the hall council in Wolf Village apartments, were given homecoming decorating kits.
“Each hall council and residents should be decorating a common space in their residence hall,” says Wesley Lo, ajunior from Cary, N.C.,who is president of the Inter-Residence Council. “IRC wanted to promote more homecoming spirit in the residence halls and are giving residents and hall councils the opportunity to decorate a lounge in their building.”
The homecoming kits given to the hall councils included materials such as tissue paper, red, white and black streamers, NC State plates, garland, curling ribbon, balloons, homecoming posters, beads and other art supplies.
“The common areas should be decorated with messages promoting Pack pride and unity,” Lo says.
At the end of the week, students will be able to view the pictures of the common areas on Facebook and vote for their favorite area.
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Fifty years after its debut, music from a piece composed to celebrate NC State’s 75th anniversary will once again be played on a concert stage.
The NC State Wind Ensemble’s fall concert Tuesday night will include a performance of “Of Earth and Atom,” originally composed and performed in 1962 in honor of NC State’s anniversary as well as the centennial anniversary of the Morrill Act, the legislation that established land-grant universities.
The music for “Of Earth and Atom” — which includes spoken and sung parts that will be performed by the Singing Statesmen and the NC State Chorale — was thought to have been lost in the 1965 Pullen Hall fire that destroyed much of the sheet music used by the Music Department.
Harry Tune ’62, who played first trombone in the original performance, launched a search for the music, which turned up in the archives at D.H. Hill Library. Tune and Brent Cousins ’73, ’74, the son of composer M. Thomas Cousins, convinced the Music Department to perform the piece again.
Music Department Chairman J. Mark Scearce said the department was thrilled to present an encore performance of the ceremonial work, particularly in the university’s 125th anniversary year.
“Too often new compositions are given a premiere and that’s the end of them,” he says. “As a composer, I understand those all-important second performances. Many hours of added rehearsal have gone into this and we are all excited by the mounting of this mammoth project, uniting choruses and wind ensemble tomorrow night.”
The concert, which will also include Halloween-themed music, will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Stewart Theatre. Tickets may be purchased by calling 919-515-1100 or online.
—Sylvia Adcock ‘81
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Alan-Michael Cash laughs about his one regret from his time at NC State. “Back in school, coming up, everyone chooses Spanish,” he says. “But I’ve said to myself I should have taken French.”
Photo courtesy of the Montreal Alouettes.
Cash laments his chance at learning French because he hears the language everyday on his way to and at work. He takes the Montreal metro to football practice for the Montreal Alouettes, a team in the Canadian Football League. And in addition to French being the official language of Montreal, it is also the language spoken by most of the players on the team.
Language is just one thing Cash has had to adjust to the since coming to Canada two years ago. After leaving his football career at NC State behind in 2010, he played for the Richmond Revolution, an Indoor Football League team in Richmond, Va., his hometown. One of the coaches there, Billy Parker, played cornerback for the Alouettes and told Cash he should come up and try out as a defensive tackle.
“He brought me out to Canada, and the rest was history,” Cash says.
Canada had never been on Cash’s radar, having never visited the country. But, he says, passion for football knows no geographical boundaries.
“I never thought I’d play out of the country,” he says. “It was just something new. But when you have that love of the game, you’ll play anywhere. Wherever you get in, you go.”
Cash at NC State. Photo courtesy of NC State Athletics.
The CFL season runs from June to November. The league has different rules than the NFL and college football. For instance, if a kicker misses a field goal, the defense can run it back, much like a punt return, as seen in this 125-yard return from earlier this season.
Cash felt the difference in the rules when he lined up for the first time. In Canada, linemen have to play a yard off of the ball, farther away than they do in the American game. But now such nuances don’t bother him and he’s taken his transition in stride. “It’s not even a big adjustment to me now,” he says.
Though there are no other Wolfpackers playing in the CFL, Cash says he bonds with other ACC players on the Alouettes, who have already clinched their division with a 10-6 mark through Friday, about their time playing football “down south,” sometimes through bragging rights.
Cash has only been able to see one NC State football game this season, and that was the Wolfpack’s last-minute win against Florida State. He immediately let Alouettes teammate and former Seminole Adrian McPherson know about NC State’s victory.
And Cash has learned that the language barrier is only so vast, especially when it comes to fans of the Alouettes rivals, like the Hamilton Tiger-Cats or the Toronto Argonauts.
“They know how to talk trash,” he says. “You definitely get the trash talk in English.”
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Just six months after graduating from NC State with degrees in chemical engineering, David Brower ‘12 and David Shaner ‘12 have already found themselves far from the laboratory. Deep into the process of building a start-up venture from scratch with co-founder Michael Pell, a 2011 graduate from Duke University, the trio has set out to revolutionize the way young professionals meet and socialize with one another around the country.
“We had a strong feeling that the way society has allowed social media to change the way we interact isn’t necessarily positive,” Brower says. “We were frustrated with the trend toward spending more time on the computer.”
David Brower, David Shaner and Michael Pell
That frustration inspired the three to establish Offline Media, Inc. with its website, www.get-offline.com, a networking tool that uses LinkedIn to help young professionals meet new people in their area and find fun, casual ways to socialize.
In conducting research to gauge the feasibility of their product, the group learned that Americans spend the equivalent of 100,000 years of time on Facebook each month. Furthermore, Brower cited the fact that on average young professionals spend seven hours of their day wired into some sort of technology.
“You come to this realization that when you graduate your social life changes dramatically,” Brower says. “The number of people you hang out with shrinks and it’s worse if you’re moving to a new area and starting from scratch.”
Through their own experiences with moving around the country for different jobs, the guys of Offline Media recognized that most sites geared toward meeting new people were either dating oriented or struggling to attract the type of people that young professionals want to meet.
Brower says that he and Shaner began developing the idea for their website while still in school at NC State, calling friends who had already graduated and asking broad questions like “How do you meet people now?” and “Is it a struggle to meet new people?” From this initial research, the pair came up with three main goals for the creation of their website.
“The three things people were concerned about were the quality of people they’re meeting on the site, the fact that they don’t like the idea of going to a big networking event and wearing a name tag and they don’t have time to invest in something unless it’s really easy,” Brower says.
The resulting product, which is now in its second stage of launch, gives site members a platform to create events, find people worth meeting and things worth doing in their area.
“There are more than 200,000 working professionals in the Triangle between the ages of 22 and 50,” Brower says. “Every one of those people can be valuable to you in some way but there is nothing out there that helps you discover that.”
The events published on Get-Offline.com resemble things you might find on Groupon rather than something like a 500-person conference, Brower says
Offline Media is one of the only companies in the Triangle in the last ten years to raise money for its idea without having an actual product developed yet. “We had raised money from five private investors before even launching the site,” Brower says.
Currently, the three are trying to identify different channels to get their message to the public with the goal of encouraging even greater investment from venture capitalists in the next few months.
“We’ve run LinkedIn ad campaigns, we’re spending money on Google ads, doing print media, doing events,” Brower says. “We’re just measuring everything and trying to figure out the cheapest and most effective way to get someone onto the website.”
Although the process has been a whirlwind so far, Brower says that’s what has made it so rewarding.
“There’s no such thing as a work-life balance,” he says. “You eat, sleep and dream about your company. But it’s something that society needs – a way to get back to what life is all about. And that makes it easier to justify the amount of time I’m spending on the project. I enjoy it in the same way I enjoy education. There’s more pressure and stress, but I look where I was at a year ago and I’ve added so much value to my career.”
To learn more about the Offline team, visit their website at www.get-offline.com, their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/OfflineYoungProfessionals, or on Twitter via @OfflineMedia.
– Jamie Gnazzo
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The former chancellor’s house will be filled to the brim with local artists and musicians this Sunday as more than 2,000 people are expected to gather to see the future home of NC State’s Gregg Museum of Art and Design.
Art Outside the Box is a free event that is open to the public from 12-4 pm and was designed for audiences of all ages. Guests will be able to tour the chancellor’s house, view renderings of the future museum and enjoy demonstrations of art forms such as pottery, painting, jewelry making, origami, calligraphy and digital art. Light refreshments will be provided and a variety of musicians will perform.
The chancellor’s house was constructed in 1928 and has been a sort of hidden landmark in the Raleigh area. The Gregg Museum of Art and Design staff came up with the idea for Art Outside the Box as a way to introduce the public to the new location.
Art Outside the Box will be held at the historic chancellor's house on Sunday from noon to 4pm.
“I got together with some friends from different areas of my life that were interested in NC State and art and we started kicking around a few ideas,” says Anna Ball Hodge, a local artist at Roundabout Art Collective and member of the Art Outside the Box team. “The renderings of the new addition include a box-like structure, so we decided to call the event ‘Art Outside the Box.’
“We wanted to make the event a different art experience than the usual and wanted to include artists who would engage or tempt the public to try different art,” Hodge says.
The Gregg Museum of Art and Design currently is located on the second floor of Talley Student Center and will be there until April. However, various pieces of art have already been moved and are on display at the chancellor’s house. In the coming years, the full museum will be housed at the historic residence as soon as the funds are raised.
Last November, the NC State University Board of Trustees approved the proposal to renovate the chancellor’s house and create an adjoining gallery and educational wing. The total project is a $7.5 million endeavor and nearly $3 million has already been given to NC State and the Gregg Museum of Art and Design through non-state funds. However, approximately $4.5 million still needs to be raised in order to make the 16,700-square foot addition to the chancellor’s residence a reality.
“We wanted to have a party to introduce its new location to the public,” Hodge says. “They wanted it to be free to the public and be a ‘friend raiser.’”
Pearl Fryar, a self-taught topiary artist, is internationally known and will give a demonstration at Art Outside the Box.
The special guest artist at the event is Pearl Fryar, a self-taught topiary artist from South Carolina who has used his own techniques to create a living sculpture garden. Fryar will be demonstrating his art form at 2:30 pm.
“Frayer is the coolest,” Hodge says. “He has such a positive, hopeful, encouraging spirit that goes beyond his creations.”
As guests make their way through the house, Hodge hopes people get a greater idea of what the Gregg Museum is all about.
“The Gregg Museum collection has 26,000 pieces of art and continues to grow,” Hodge says. “We want people to leave the event with a sense of excitement about the Gregg Museum.”
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Failed banks and high unemployment were the norms across the country in 1932. And joining them was a sweeping doubt that incumbent president Herbert Hoover could rescue the nation from the Great Depression.
So on this day 80 years ago, New York Gov. Franklin Delano Roosevelt came to Raleigh, offering himself and his New Deal as solutions to the problems the nation was facing.
Roosevelt appeared at the N.C. State Fairgrounds to campaign against Hoover, and NC State College canceled classes so students could attend the speech.
Presidential portrait of FDR.
The election, held a few weeks later, resulted in a landslide victory for Roosevelt, who became the 32nd president of the United States. He captured 57 percent of the popular vote, which was the largest percentage cast for a candidate up until that time. Roosevelt would serve three terms and part of a fourth before he died in office in 1945.
The 1932 campaign stop was not Roosevelt’s first visit to Raleigh. He was the closing speaker at the NC State College of Agriculture and Engineering’s commencement when he was assistant secretary of the Navy.
“You in this state are essentially country-bred,” Roosevelt said in 1913. “You ought to thank God for it.”
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