When we put together our special 125th anniversary issue of NC State magazine, we asked readers to tell us how NC State has transformed their lives. We got so many responses we couldn’t print them all. You can read many of them in the winter issue of the magazine, and here are some of the ones we didn’t have room for. Feel free to add your own memories.
A Proposal at Reynolds
How do you tell just one story about a place that has meant so much to me? It is the place that I forged lifelong friendships. It is where I started to learn that I was better at classes like public speaking and not math. Joining a fraternity seemed like the last thing I wanted to think about. But had I not I would not have been able to be a part of something so great. We lost one of our best friends, and worked so hard to honor him with a scholarship that will continue for many years to come.
My heart found love. Got broken. Looked again for love…and if not for NC State, I would not have found Rose (Grabner ‘95), the love of my life! We come back to reconnect with friends almost every fall and winter at football games and gymnastics meets. I even asked Rose to marry me at the “Sweetheart Meet” in Reynolds Coliseum. I consider myself very lucky to be a part of the Wolfpack family! I have the best of friends, a career and the woman of my dreams. She has blessed me with two wonderful daughters… And we all bleed Wolfpack RED!
—Zach Myers ’97
Speaking in Public
When I enrolled in engineering at NC State, I thought I was safe from any writing or speaking classes. As a shy high school student nothing was more intimidating than speaking before my small class. I was surprised when I learned that public speaking was a required course for an engineering major.
Professor Baker Wynn taught public speaking and business communication. While none of us were willing participants, he got us started on what had been viewed as a distasteful but required subject. Our transition was not immediate but by the end of the quarter we were not so fearful of being in front of our classmates. We also were starting to learn how to be persuasive in speaking or writing. Good oral or written communication is an important part of most people’s success. In later years I found myself making presentations in 50 countries to both small and large groups of decision-makers. The groundwork Professor Wynn laid was one of the most important things I learned at NC State.
—Ed Morton ’56
When I was a freshman, I had been hanging out with a friend in University Towers and was walking back to my dorm (Turlington) late one night, most likely past midnight. It was very cold and we were hoping for snow the next day. As I was walking by Tucker Beach, I noticed some people playing ultimate Frisbee. Some of them (who turned out to be friends I had recently made) got a good look at me and called me over to play. There were probably 15 people total playing. The people I didn’t know were very welcoming, and it was just such a fun and random experience. That moment definitely made me feel like NC State was a warm and welcoming family, even on a cold night.
Overall, NC State taught me about life balance. I am so lucky for my wonderful experience there, and I think that it plays a large part in how happy I am with my current life. I majored in chemistry, worked for the university at the NC State Annual Giving from my spring sophomore semester until I graduated, and had a very active social life. I am happy to say that I succeeded in all three facets. I graduated in four years in a very difficult major with a 3.2 GPA and made the dean’s list a few semesters. I loved working to help raise money for the university, and was promoted to help coach other callers while I was there. I was very happy with my group of friends and was still actively making new friends my senior year. I also won a seat as a student senator for PAMS going into my senior year, and became a very avid reader, something that still surprises my parents considering I never read for pleasure growing up.
I’ve been proud of keeping that balance since my time at NC State. I am very passionate about the things I do, and I always do them to the best of my ability, but I understand the importance of not forgetting the other parts of life along the way. It was crucial for my wife and I to keep some balance during the months leading up to our recent wedding so that we didn’t drive each other crazy. Balance and organization has also enabled be to become more involved with NC State by creating time to be a network leader for our small but dedicated alumni group here in Austin, Texas. Our group has had a lot of fun over the past year and I look forward to dedicating more time to developing what we have created so far.
I can’t imagine my life without my experiences at NC State, and am very proud and grateful for my time there.
—Taylor Cooke ’04
Here’s a picture of nine girls and four guys who graduated from NC State in 1970, 1971 and 1972. We spent the weekend of Aug. 4, 2012, in Manteo, N.C., having our own Olympic opening ceremony and game competitions. We even had Olympic T-shirts made for the occasion. We were very fortunate that our paths crossed in the late 1960s — and we have all remained friends since then.
—Margaret Seymore ’71
I enjoyed my time at the College of Forest Resources. Dr. Donald Steensen taught me to take time to evaluate a problem and look for the best and most efficient way to solve it. Dr. Larry Jervis gave me some good hands-on experience. Dr. Maurice Farrier was terrifying in public, but very personable in private — and that taught me to be careful not to always judge people on first impressions. A great experience!
—Thaddeus Banks ’81
Teaching a Teacher
I was able to get a master’s in education with a focus on marketing and business education. What I learned helped me be a better teacher and DECA Advisor.
—John D. Boothe ’04 MR
An Agricultural Education
NC State has been a big player in my success in agriculture. After graduating I went to work for Middle Creek Farms, where I helped in the spraying of crops and other day-to-day operations. In 2008 I had a chance to go to work for Crop Production Services, and currently I am a consultant at Crop Production Services. I call on a lot of resources at the university on a daily basis. NC State taught me a lot.
—Joshua Scott Latham ’05 AGI
A Lasting Impact
NC State has made a lasting impact on my life. I would not be where I am today without the help of some amazing professors who became mentors and are there for me even now. NC State is a great community and is a place that will always be special to me.
—Amanda Birman ’12
Lessons from Kay Yow
My personal history with NC State began when I was 10 years old. I convinced my parents to send me to Kay Yow’s summer basketball camp, and there I had the pleasure of meeting and working with Coach Yow and her amazing staff. I quickly learned the “game of life” was about much more than basketball. I was “transformed” by being exposed to ways of looking at life through Coach Yow’s lens with regards to sportsmanship, leadership and spirituality. She instilled a winning attitude in everyone she coached. As I went on to my undergraduate and graduate studies, and eventually becoming an entrepreneur, I am grateful for my time with Coach Yow.
I attended the Yow camps many times in my adolescent years. Little did I know that I would wind up doing my graduate work at NC State…and eventually working here. In 1987, I was working at my undergraduate alma mater, Elon University, as a designer in the communications office. I loved my job, yet I felt I needed to know more. I needed to study design, not just learn on the job. I began to research various schools and programs across the country. One day, someone said to me, “Have you looked at NC State’s design school? They’re supposed to have one of the best programs in the nation.” I have to admit, I was surprised. A land-grant university full of vets and engineers had a renowned design program? I called the School of Design [before it was the College of Design] and set up an appointment to visit. The second I set foot in Brooks Hall and saw all the students’ amazing work surrounding the galleries and studios, I was sold. I knew I was in the right place. I finished my master’s in graphic and product design and went on to run my own branding/interactive media firm, NIXdesign, in a renovated downtown Raleigh loft for over 18 years.
In addition to our international roster of clients, we worked with many of the university’s colleges and organizations to provide branding, design and interactive media, and I even had the opportunity to play a role in the development of the university’s core brand that exists today. A year and a half ago, a new opportunity presented itself and it was the right time in my life to take it. I am now the director of Marketing Communications at the College of Design and the associate professor of the practice.
NC State University means so many different things to me as I have experienced it at various and key points in my life. I have so much respect for this institution. It is “gritty” and authentic, and the research and innovation that comes from this university is unparalleled. NC State has helped shape my core values, provided me with a world-class education and is a great place to be employed. I believe in the integrity and value of this university and I look forward to continuing to be a part of the collective effort to transform its future.
And… we beat Duke and UNC!!
—Carol Fountain Nix ’91 MS
A Happier Me
I couldn’t believe how much NC State felt like home as soon as I unpacked the first box from my car. Everything here is exactly what I need to be a happier me.
—Tiffany Runyan ’16 (alum to be!)
A Smart Choice
I grew up a Duke fan (I know, I know, just read the whole thing). I had no family connections with Duke, but my best friend was a Duke sports fan. So, in the absence of another persuasive influence, the void was filled with dark blue. When it came time to choose a university, Duke was my top choice. NC State was my backup. Then something changed — I discovered the Park Scholarship. My first visit to NC State –the “backup school” — suddenly turned into a serious examination of an opportunity I didn’t know existed. The campus was alive with a sense of excitement and innovation. The students and faculty were warm and inviting. I could sense that NC State merited serious consideration, and its status as my backup school was in serious jeopardy.
Of course, NC State won me over. My undergraduate education was literally everything I’d hoped it would be. I was fortunate to spread my learning opportunities across campus, with my majors taking me to PAMS (BA, Chemistry) and to the College of Education (BS, Secondary Education, Comprehensive Science Concentration), and my minors taking me to the Music Department (Saxophone Performance) and the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures (Spanish). These diverse experiences prepared me very well for my next step, medical school, and eventually a residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at UNC-Chapel Hill. Yet despite continuing my education elsewhere, my NC State roots and the resultant immersion in an environment of innovation and discovery have changed my perspective of healthcare. While I didn’t earn a degree in computer science, the mobile health trend became apparent to me very early. In January 2010 I released UNC Housestaff, a simple application to help physicians across the hospital stay connected with patients and data that would improve their ability to practice medicine. This subsequently led the establishment of a small but successful app company, G-Whizz! Apps, and my continued interest in the burgeoning field of medical informatics.
Not only did my time at NC State yield a quality education, it also changed the entire trajectory of my life. From music to medicine and education to innovation, my perspectives were forever changed by my experiences there – experiences that I’ve been able to share with my wonderful wife, Kim Bloomfield ’02, and my daughters, Miriam and Catherine (both Class of 2028).
Many years have passed since I applied to NC State as my “backup school” and I’ve often considered where I would be had I made a different decision. Would I have had the opportunity to personally care for a sick child? Would I have had the opportunity to improve care for thousands through improvements to electronic health records? Would I have reached millions through mobile technology? I don’t know, and I don’t want to find out. I chose NC State, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
—Ricky Bloomfield, ’04
A Direction for Life
I entered the School of Forestry in September 1953, graduated in 1957, came back to get a master’s in ’62, and a PhD in forest genetics in 1964. During that time, I met and married a “Meredith Angel.” Next month we will celebrate our 54th wedding anniversary with three daughters and three grandchildren. My education set the direction for my career in forest research and management for the next 48 years. For the past 10 years, however, I have enjoyed frequent visits to NC State’s campus to the woodshop in the Craft Center. My education at NC State was definitely life transforming, and my time in the woodshop at the Craft Center has been life preserving.
—Charles D. Webb ’57, ’62 MS, ’64 PHD
Setting a High Standard
Several memories come to mind, but I will always recall the counseling I received from professors like Dr. Tom Shore, Dr. Farmer Smith, Dr. Betty Wilcox, Dr. Gary Moore, and Dr. Joe Clary. They were so patient, kind, and available. After completing my MEd, I was employed as an adjunct to teach methods courses in the schools of Psychology and Education. It was a wonderful opportunity to work with adults and to observe natural teaching talents in so many of our fine North Carolina teachers. NC State faculty and staff were always my support base as an educator. They set a high standard and helped me to accomplish my very best.
—Nancy Langley Raynor ’84 MED
Never Give Up
NC State helped me in so many ways. From the lifelong friends I met, to the realization that anything is possible if I put my mind to it. Jimmy V taught me about never giving up! It’s helped me a lot through the years.
—Mike Piper ’82
Go Pack, Always
I came to NC State a somewhat shy, non-participatory student. I worked in food service below the D.H. Hill library and made awesome fish fillet sandwiches! I was given the opportunity to join a fraternity — Sigma Nu. I remember the night some brothers came to the food service area and said, “You have a pledge meeting tonight.” I had no idea what to expect, but I went. I met lifelong friends at Sigma Nu. We did floats for homecoming, one that we built on top of a car (way before “Animal House”), and we won the Homecoming contest that year. (I think it was 1977.) We held Christmas at our house for underprivileged children, participated in an all night dance-a-thon with then-mayor Isabella Cannon and had some great dancing and parties at our house after every football game! I grew into an outgoing student and extrovert. I held leadership roles within the fraternity, played a multitude of sports and after graduation a fraternity brother helped lead me into the career I have today. I am very thankful to have been at NC State. I have been a member of the Wolfpack Club for 30-plus years now and attend all home football and basketball games, cheering loudly and proudly for the Wolfpack! Now, both my children are NC State graduates, one in 2011, one in 2012. I am blessed to have loved NC State since my youth. I am blessed to have raised my children to love NC State. I am thankful to be a lifelong Sigma Nu and have had all the experiences that have brought me to where I am today. We have the best fans, the best administrators, and a strong Wolfpack Club that I truly value more with each passing year. I can sum up my feeling for NC State: GO PACK, Always!
—Braxton Wesley Smith ’79
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We recently talked with Wolfpack basketball legend David Thompson, a member of the first class in the NC State Athletic Hall of Fame, for a story in the special winter issue of NC State magazine. But there wasn’t room in the magazine for our complete interview, so here are more of Thompson’s answers to our questions about basketball and his time at NC State:
When he knew basketball was his sport: When I made my first hoop when I was five years old, shooting in the backyard. Everybody played basketball and everybody loved basketball in my family. My sisters all played. My brother, he’s the one who taught me how to play, really. He was the one that I really looked up to as a basketball player. He would take me around to different parks and we would play against different players. He would always tell me, ‘For your age, you’re the best player in the world.’ And I believed that. So that was good for my confidence.
His impression when he first arrived at NC State as a student: It was a long drive way up here, and we finally got on campus and started playing these pick-up games. I felt right at home once I started playing basketball.
How he felt about practice: I loved to play anytime. I’d play every day, any time, all day. Down in Shelby, we played all the time. During the summer we’d go to Gardner-Webb College and play all day. They had a place called the Snack Shop and I’d go in there and get a doughnut with some ice cream on top, eat that, go back and play again.
On pick-up games when he was at NC State: We’d go play at Carmichael and play against Walter Davis and all those guys, and Bob McAdoo even after he got out of college. Allan Bristow would come down from Virginia Tech. I’d recruit all the guys to come work as counselors at the Gardner-Webb basketball camp, so we had some great counselor games down there. We had Quinn Buckner, John Lucas, Walter Davis…
Toughest loss while playing for NC State: The Maryland game at home. I wanted to go my whole career without losing a game at home, and Brad Davis hit that shot at the buzzer to beat us by one point. That was devastating. After that game, I said, ‘We’ll never lose to them again,’ and we played them in the ACC tournament and beat them.
On changes in the rules: I missed out on some great rules. I missed out on the three-point shot, you couldn’t dunk when I was there and freshmen weren’t eligible to play. So even though I’ve got the highest score, on average, I’m not the all-time leading scorer at NC State.
A lasting lesson he learned from head coach Norm Sloan: His motto was ‘Constancy to purpose of individuals results in a team of champions,’ and by that he meant that if everybody understood their role and did their job individually and collectively, we would win. I took that I share that with kids when I talk to them. In basketball, sometimes your role is not going to the role you want, but if you accept it and work hard the main thing is that you win. And if you win, then everybody will get the glory.
On being competitive: I want to win and everything. My daughter is the same way I am, so we go at it. My wife has to say, ‘Y’all calm down now.’
On whether the glory days are back for NC State basketball: I certainly hope so. We’re headed in the right direction. Getting into the Sweet Sixteen was incredible and I think the recruiting class we have this year should be very helpful, but we have to keep it going. We’ve got to keep bringing in classes like that so that there won’t be any dry spells.
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Jeramy Blackford ’04 was about to receive a call he’d been waiting for since he’d been at NC State studying business at the Poole College of Management in the early 2000s.
Back then, he had felt something had been missing in his life, so he auditioned for several plays and rekindled his love for acting, which he had first felt in high school.
A job at the Alumni Association running student programs followed graduation, but Blackford still felt that longing. So he released an album with his band, Kennebec, in 2007 and hired an agent. He started acting in some shorts and independent films. He left his job to pursue acting full time.
And then on a Monday last November, the phone rang offering him his first high-profile acting job.
The casting directors of ABC’s Nashville wanted Blackford for a part playing guitar in the band for one of show’s main characters. “I actually heard back from them on a Monday at 5:30 p.m.,” he says. “They were telling me I needed to be in Nashville at 6:30 [p.m.] the next day.”
And so Blackford was on his way to Nashville and to pursue his Hollywood dream.
It’s a 540-mile drive from Blackford’s home in Raleigh, and as soon as he hung up the phone, he was in his 2007 Mini Cooper, embarking on his nine-hour trip on I-40 West to Nashville. But it was valuable time considering the homework assignment the directors had given him. “That was one of the scariest things when I found out I got the role,” he says. “They tell me, ‘By the way, you need to learn these three songs. The role was for a lead guitar player, and I’m more of a rhythm guitar player. So for nine hours, I’m trying to learn these mp3s of my guitar parts turned up.”
Blackford made it to the set in Nashville, schooled in his parts. He found the show’s stars, like Hayden Panettiere, to be gracious and welcoming. He got his first taste of Hollywood, as he got a different hair and makeup artist than the rest of the backing band for Panettiere’s character because Blackford had a speaking part. And his scene went off without a hitch.
The episode aired January 16, and Blackford hopes it’s just the start. “Kind of the way that show has worked is that guitar players have jumped around from band to band,” he says. “I’m holding out hope that it will turn into more.”
But he can at least cross one goal off of his list for now. “That was a goal of mine, to land a large profile role, like on an episodic,” he says. “Just to experience it on a bigger stage, just to see how the bigger machine works.”
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We recently talked with Wolfpack track and cross country legend Julie Shea Sutton, who’s also a member of the NC State Athletic Hall of Fame’s inaugural class, for a story in the special winter issue of NC State magazine, which should be arriving in mailboxes later this week. But there wasn’t room in the magazine for our complete interview, so here are more of Shea Sutton’s answers to our questions about running and her time at NC State:
Life as a student in the College of Design: I enjoyed the design school, but I had absolutely no personal or social time. My life was totally studies.
A shocking class at NC State: I remember taking a life drawing class in summer school, not realizing that life drawing was nude drawing. I came in with all my supplies and stuff, and I had missed the whole first week of summer school because I had to run in Japan. I came back, and there was this male model, nude male, up on this platform. I thought it was going to be still life, you know, drawing plants and stuff, maybe a cow or two, and there’s this guy—this kind of Atlas, really well-muscled guy—and I drop my sketch pad and pencils. I’m hyperventilating. I’m drawing everything but, you know, the private parts. The teacher is like, ‘This is life drawing. Get over it. Grow up.’
Meals in the cafeteria: I used to actually eat with the football players, because I could match them bite for bite. I would burn calories. I’d get plate after plate and several glasses of milk in a sitting. They were like, ‘Damn, girl.’
Her weekly running regimen while at NC State: I would run hundred-mile weeks for multiple weeks.
Overcoming adversity: My junior year I had arthroscopic surgery on both knees after I barely got through the cross country season. I was really hurting. Somebody gave me this key to the Coliseum (after the surgery). I could use the Cybex machine, which is for resistance training. And I worked and worked and worked on that. I saw the football players come and go, and I was in my little corner on the Cybex, doing intervals with that machine, and it built my quads up. So I was getting really fit.
Winning the 3,000, 5,000 and 10,000-meter races within 24 hours at the NCAA nationals after the surgery: I was pretty happy, and no one has ever done that since, so that probably was my best running feat ever. Now the races are spread out, but they still haven’t done it. I mean, it was insane.
Being recognized for her accomplishments: The ACC Award (as athlete of the year, in 1980 and 1981) was huge. Probably bigger was the Broderick Cup for being the outstanding woman athlete in all the United States, and going to New York City and going on The Today Show and meeting Bryant Gumbel.
Her favorite running spot when she was a student: Lake Raleigh. It was a wonderful loop. That was one of my favorite tromping grounds. It’s all gone and developed now.
Her running hero: My childhood running hero was Wilma Rudolph. I met her and she was lovely and just very nice and composed. She overcame a lot of adversity to win her gold meals. I thought she was a strong, beautiful woman.
On the use of performance enhancing drugs by runners: That is just plain cheating. I think that’s like a capital crime. It really is, and I think they ought to be prosecuted like criminals.
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There are few moments in NC State’s history that stand out more than the Wolfpack’s NCAA basketball championship in 1983.
We know that a lot of memories were made during the Cardiac Pack’s run to the Final Four and the national championship 30 years ago, and we hope you will share your memories with us and other Wolfpackers.
How did you celebrate when the last shot went in? Did you still have any mementos of that amazing moment? What is your favorite memory from the championship game — or one of the games leading up to that moment?
Share your stories here, and we’ll publish some of them in an upcoming issue of NC State magazine. If you prefer, you can send your memories (and any photos) to us at email@example.com.
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The winter issue of NC State magazine that will be arriving in mailboxes soon is a celebration of the university’s 125th anniversary, and we hope it offers a rich array of stories about NC State’s origins and growth.
In the issue, we took a look at that first class of 72 students who came to the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts in 1889. Nineteen of those men would go on to graduate four years later in 1893. Some would become engineers, work for the railroad, start their own business or even sell shoes. But one of those first freshmen and graduates carved out a very prodigious career in research here at NC State.
Charles Burgess Williams, whom we mention in the article about the first freshmen, graduated first in that class. He became a chemistry instructor at the college and later the first head of the Department of Agronomy and the first dean of agriculture. In our research, we found some interesting artifacts concerning Williams, and we weren’t able to include them all in the article.
So we’ve included them below for you to see:
C.B. Williams, center, was quite frequently written about in newspapers and journals for his research in agriculture and soil science. He was known as "Mr. Soybean" for his work in finding uses for that species of legume.
A certificate recognizing Williams as a member of the National Geographic Society.
A certificate of two shares of stock awarded to Williams by the North Carolina State College Agricultural Fair Inc.
Look familiar? This is the house that Williams built around 1909 on Hillsborough Street (by the IHOP) in Raleigh. Called the Williams-Park House, it now holds offices.
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NC State alum Tim Tew will be at tomorrow night’s basketball game against UNC, but he will have a different vantage point than most fans. He will be watching the game through an inch-and-a-half viewfinder. And his view will be in black-and-white.
Tew is a freelance cameraman based in Gastonia, N.C., who frequently works for ESPN. He is a regular on ESPN’s crew for Monday Night Football games in the NFL and has been on the sidelines for several Super Bowls. But his favorite assignments may still be ACC basketball games.
“The NFL is really hard to beat,” he says. “On Monday Night Football, it’s always a good environment. We’re the only game in town, the only game on TV that night. But I was born and raised in North Carolina, and my earliest interest in any sport was ACC basketball. Even as great as the NFL is, ACC basketball is still my favorite sport to cover.”
Tew got his start in television production as a student at NC State in the early 1980s. He had planned to be an agriculture engineer and design tractors for John Deere, but decided after a few weeks of 7 a.m. math classes in Harrelson Hall that he should consider another major. When a friend told Tew that NC State offered a major in television and motion picture production, Tew made the switch.
One of his first jobs came when Tew was still in school. He videotaped lectures at the College of Textiles that were used for distance learning courses around the country. He also did some sports work for Jefferson Pilot, joining them full time in 1987. He did his first work for ESPN in 1988, and has been working with them ever since.
“I think the stuff I enjoy the most is the chance to do something creative, to have a large audience watch what I do,” he says. “Part of it is working with a group of people to put on a show. The fact that it’s live gives it a certain adrenaline rush. There’s something that’s instantly rewarding in doing something on live tv and doing a good job at it.”
Tew says he typically works with hand-held cameras, as opposed to the larger, fixed cameras that provide the primary game action. He can provide slow-motion and close-ups of the game action or reactions by players and coaches. When he works along the sidelines of NFL games, his footage may be used when referees review a penalty or a play.
“I love sports, but I certainly was never good enough to play at any level above rec league,” Tew says. “It’s a good way to be around sports. But the experience I get when I’m at a sporting event is different from a fan. I have to concentrate on my job. When you’re looking in the camera, your world is very limited visually.”
Tew says he doesn’t typically have much interaction with the players or coaches, but he did have a special Wolfpack moment when he worked at the Super Bowl game in 2000 between the St. Louis Rams and the Tennessee Titans. Tew had been a fan of the Rams because of former NC State quarterback Roman Gabriel, and former NC State football star Torry Holt was a rookie wide receiver for the Rams that year. When the game ended, Tew made his way onto the field to get footage of Rams players celebrating their 23-16 win.
As is his custom at Super Bowls, Tew was wearing an NC State hat. At some point, Tew noticed Holt looking at him and his hat. “He had just won the Super Bowl,” Tew says, “and he comes over to me and sticks out his index finger and starts poking the logo on my hat and chanting, ‘NC State, NC State.’ That was really cool.”
Tew won’t be wearing any NC State apparel or cheering for the Wolfpack when he works the game against UNC tomorrow night at PNC Arena. He is a professional with a job to do.
But Tew says it was easier to conceal his passion for NC State (his son’s middle name is Reynolds, a nod to the spot on campus where Tew met his wife when she was a student at NC State) during the years when the basketball team struggled. “They’ve screwed up everything by being good,” he says. “At the tournament last year, in the game against Carolina, it was a feeling I hadn’t had in a long time. You have to do your job first, but you really want to yell at the ref or tell somebody to play defense. It’s nice to have hope for a change.”
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NC State University, the Wolfpack Club and the Alumni Association will recognize some of NC State’s greatest stars tonight at Prestonwood Country Club in Cary, N.C., honoring 18 alumni and friends of the university for their professional and personal accomplishments and their continuing support of NC State, the Wolfpack Club and the Alumni Association.
The honorees at the 9th Annual NC State Evening of Stars are:
COLLEGE DISTINGUISHED AWARD RECIPIENTS
Tommy Bunn ’66, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences: Bunn, president of the U.S. Tobacco Cooperative, has spent more than 45 years in the tobacco industry. He got his start growing tobacco on his family farm, then went on to work for 21 years as executive vice president of the Leaf Tobacco Exporters Association and the Tobacco Association of the United States. He also worked in the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the N.C. Department of Agriculture, and was a charter member and chairman of the Golden Leaf Foundation Board of Directors.
Charlie Stuber ’65 PhD, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences: For more than 35 years, Stuber held a joint appointment as a genetics professor at NC State and a research geneticist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service. Stuber then came out of retirement to return to NC State in 2006 to develop and direct the Center for Plant Breeding and Applied Plant Genomics. The USDA Agricultural Research Service named him the Outstanding Scientist of the Year in 1989 and inducted Stuber into their Science Hall of Fame in 1989.
Steven Schuster ’73, College of Design: Schuster is the founding principal of Clearscapes, a full-service architectural design firm in Raleigh. Under Schuster’s leadership, Clearscapes has been recognized with more than 75 design awards and worked on such notable projects as the Marbles Kids Museum in Raleigh, the Haw River Ball Room, the Raleigh Convention Center and the Contemporary Art Museum. Schuster is also a national leader in the historic preservation community. He serves on the Board of Visitors at NC State.
Robert Bridges ’70 MED, College of Education: Bridges taught sixth grade and then high school in Wake County before becoming principal at Crosby-Garfield Elementary School. He then went on to work in Wake County’s central office as a director, assistant superintendent and deputy superintendent before becoming the superintendent in 1984. After five years leading the state’s second largest public school system, Bridges went on to become provost at St. Augustine College in Raleigh, and then worked as an education and management consultant and chaired the N.C. Advisory Commission on Raising Achievement and Closing Gaps.
Stephen Angel, ’77, College of Engineering: Angel is chair, president and CEO of Praxair, Inc., a Fortune 300 company that ranks as the largest industrial gases producer and distributor in North and South America, with sales of $11 billion in 2011. Before joining Praxair, Angel spent more than two decades at GE, most recently as general manager of the company’s $2 billion power equipment business. He serves on the board of directors of the U.S.-China Business Council and PPG Industries, and is a member of the Business Roundtable, the Business Council and the U.S.-Brazil Forum.
Jimmy Clark ’74, College of Engineering: Clark is the owner and president of Guy M. Turner, Inc., a diversified company that is a leader in the handling and moving of the heaviest equipment in the fields of rigging, machine tool installation, crane services and specialized transportation. The company has 12 offices in the United States and Canada. Clark serves on the NC State Board of Trustees, as well as on the board of directors for the NC State Alumni Association and the Engineering Foundation. He previously chaired the NC State Board of Visitors.
John Edmond ’87, College of Engineering: While earning his PhD in material sciences and engineering, Edmond teamed with other graduate students and young faculty on some promising silicon carbide research. Upon graduation, the group co-founded what became CREE Inc., one of the world’s top LED manufacturers. Today, Edmond is director of advanced optoelectronics for the Durham-based company, which makes energy-efficient LED lights, lighting components and semiconductor products.
Susan Warren Rabon ’82, College of Humanities and Social Sciences: Rabon is a member of the N.C. Utilities Commission, which regulates the rates and services of all of the state’s public utilities. Rabon, who received her law degree from the University of Virginia, has also worked as a clerk in the N.C. Court of Appeals, as special counsel and then chief of staff for the N.C. Department of Justice, and senior assistant for administration in the office of the governor. She has previously served on the NC State Board of Visitors.
Kevin Beasley ’79, Poole College of Management: Beasley, a CPA, is a partner-in-charge of tax practice at the Raleigh office of Grant Thornton, one of the Big Six international accounting firms. He previously worked at Arthur Anderson, where he rose to the position of partner and earned a spot in the inaugural class of the NC State Accounting Hall of Fame.
Ray Tanner ’80, College of Natural Resources: Tanner, a former All-ACC baseball player at NC State, was named athletics director for the University of South Carolina last year after spending 25 years as a collegiate head baseball coach, including nine years as the head coach at NC State. Under Tanner’s direction, the baseball team at South Carolina won two NCAA Division I Baseball Championships and made six appearances in the College World Series. Tanner has been named National Coach of the Year three times.
Sung Won Lee, ’60 MS, ’67 PhD, College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences: After earning his graduate degrees at NC State, Lee returned to his native South Korea to lead the S-Oil Corporation to success as the third largest oil refinery in Korea. He also served as chairman of two South Korean chemical companies. But his passion is downhill skiing, and his family built Korea’s oldest and largest ski and snowboard resort, which will host alpine skiing events for the 2018 Winter Olympics and 2018 Winter Paralympics. Lee is founder and president of the Asian Ski Federation, former vice president of the Olympic Council of Asia and honorary president of the Korean Ski Association.
Michael Fralix ’00 PhD, College of Textiles: Fralix is the president and CEO of [TC]2, a company that develops next generation supply chain technologies such as 3-D body scanners used in product development for apparel and equipment, made-to-measure clothing, clothing size and style recommendations and body shape analysis.
Dr. Laura Rush ’97 DVM, College of Veterinary Medicine: Rush began her career as a registered nurse, specializing in the care of cancer patients, before going to vet school. Following graduation, she joined the faculty at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine and headed a laboratory funded by the National Institute of Health that focused on cancer research in dogs and humans. Rush now works as vice president and associate medical director for GSW Worldwide, a healthcare marketing firm where she helps develop marketing strategies for healthcare companies.
WOLFPACK CLUB AWARD
Nora Lynn Finch, Ronnie Shavlik Award: Finch was a pioneer for collegiate women’s athletics, serving as the ACC’s first female assistant athletics director and negotiated the first women’s basketball tournament television contract with CBS. At NC State, Finch served as head volleyball and softball coach, associate head coach for women’s basketball, and assistant, associate and senior associate athletics director. She is currently the ACC’s associate commissioner for women’s basketball operations and senior women’s administrator. She has been inducted into the National Women’s Sports Hall of Fame.
ALUMNI ASSOCIATION AWARDS
Ryan DeJong ’05, Outstanding Young Alumnus: DeJong, chief operating officer of FIRM Consulting Group, has led the Tampa NC State Alumni Network since 2007. As network leader, DeJong has aggressively promoted his alma mater and the Alumni Association. He recruits and manages volunteers to staff local college fairs and plans many types of group activities for his fellow Tampa Wolfpackers.
Sherice Nivens ’98, Outstanding Young Alumnus: Nivens, cardiac sales manager for Intuitive Surgical, is a member of the PAMS Alumni and Friends Advisory Board and a founding member of the Dean’s Circle. She served as the keynote speaker for the 2009 Department of Chemistry graduation ceremony and the 2010 Society of African American Physical and Mathematical Scientists annual banquet.
Bill Collins ’54, ’61 MS, Meritorious Service Award: Collins, a world renowned expert in tobacco field production, was a Philip Morris Professor in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences for 28 years. Since retiring in 2005, Collins joined the CALS Office of College Advancement as senior director of development. He is a former member of the board of directors of the Alumni Association.
Judi Grainger ’72 MS, Meritorious Service Award: Grainger served as president of the Alumni Association board of directors in 2011 and served for a total of 14 years on the board. She also serves on the NC State Board of Visitors, the College of Education Advisory Board and the board of directors of The State Club.
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It looked like an announcement for a beauty contest — readers of The Technician were invited to select “the most beautiful Raleigh girl” and “most handsome State College student” — but the contest was apparently a way for the student newspaper to sell papers.
The contest got underway on this day in 1924. The rules, announced in an earlier issue of the paper, went like this: For the next month two coupons would appear in each copy of the paper. Readers could fill out the coupons — one was marked for male entries and one for female — to vote for whomever they pleased. Each coupon was worth 10 votes.
But participants could also buy votes. A $2 annual subscription to The Technician would give the new subscriber a coupon worth 100 votes. (For context on the value of $2, the contest was announced opposite an ad from Belk’s for “College Men’s Hats” that started at $1.95.) And readers could buy extra copies of The Technician for 10 cents a copy to get more coupons, allowing them to cast more votes for the guy or gal of their choice.
As the contest went on, the paper printed the number of votes for each contestant. “If some other fellow’s girl gets ahead, it just shows that fellow is working harder…Do not stop sending in the votes,” the paper said.
On April 4, the winner was announced. Beating out a slew of contestants from St. Mary’s, Peace and Meredith was Miss Emily Jones, who worked at the State College post office. Miss Jones was described as “an attractive little blonde’’ with eyes that were “ocean-blue wells of sympathy and understanding.’’ She was “a little girl who has smiled her way into the hearts of every State College man through the bars of the General Delivery Window down at the State College P.O.,’’ and always had encouraging words to students who didn’t get the mail they were looking for.
Votes came in not just from students, the paper said, but also from alumni, giving Jones more than 14,000 votes (the runner-up only got 2,230). A shorter story mentioned the most handsome student, C.E. Vick, and said he had been “beset with offers to appear in ads for facial beautifiers.”
The stories didn’t say how many subscriptions or additional single copies the paper sold. But it looks like the additional revenue may have been needed — an ad in the April 4 issue opposite the contest announcement implored subscribers to pay their bills: “The printer must be paid. A little cooperation is all we ask.”
Today the Technician is distributed free and is supported by advertising revenue and student fees.
—Sylvia Adcock ’81
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Bailey Finley Williamson
Bailey Finley Williamson grew up in Raleigh on his family’s farm in the 1870s and ’80s, driving Morgan horses for his father. The farm was dedicated to fruit crops, and it provided Williamson with an early introduction to finances.
Williamson’s father gave his son and his two brothers 10 percent of the profits for gathering raspberries in June, plums and peaches in July, and grapes in August. But Williamson wrote in a biographical note archived in the Alumni Association’s records that he and his brother never had time to enjoy the fruits of their labor and spend the money.
“By the time we got through it was time to go back to school, so we didn’t have time to run around on the streets,” he wrote.
So it makes sense with Williamson, who was one of the first 72 freshmen to come to the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts in 1889, would be remembered for his contributions to the agriculture and financial fields.
As a botanist, he is credited with pioneering the use of cottonseed and tung tree oils in industries ranging from varnishes to automobile manufacturing.And as a citizen, he played a part in leaving an indelible image on money.
“[Williamson] who has rubbed elbows with some of the greatest figures of the 19th and 20th Centuries has succeeded in his ten-year campaign to make it mandatory that all U.S. currency bear the inscription, ‘In God We Trust,’” the Gainesville (Fla.) Daily Sun reported in 1955. The motto had started to appear on coins in 1864 and had been used on all U.S. coins since 1938, but not on paper currency, according to the Department of Treasury’s website.
Williamson, who left A&M College before graduating, apparently began his campaign in the 1940s, according to the article. He feared that countries who “do not trust in God die,” so he felt the need for the U.S. to officially acknowledge that creed.
In the mid-1950s, he started to write congressmen in Florida, Williamson’s home state at the time, about the matter. Once legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives and in the U.S. Senate, there was resistance, according to the article. Aides in the Eisenhower administration claimed the inscription would cost too much and not even fit on currency.
But President Eisenhower approved a resolution in 1956 that officially made “In God We Trust” the country’s national motto. And in 1957, due in part to Williamson’s efforts, the phrase first made its way onto paper currency, appearing on the one-dollar silver certificate.
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