Choi Mun-kee, who received an engineering Ph.D. from NC State in 1989, has been named to a high position in South Korea’s government.
Park Geun-hye, South Korea’s president, named Choi last month as the Minister of Future Creation and Science.
That position will play an integral part in reinvigorating South Korea’s economy. “The Ministry of Future Planning and Science has been dubbed the centerpiece to achieve Park’s campaign pledge of developing a ‘creative economy,’ aimed at boosting national output as well as offering decent jobs,” reported the Korea Times in April.
Before his recent appointment, Choi was a faculty member at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology and led South Korea’s Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute. He’s credited with forming one of the best Internet infrastructures in the world.
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Curtis Dail, a long and devoted supporter of NC State University who made significant contributions to Wolfpack athletics, has died.
Dail, who was 85, and his wife of more than 50 years, Jackie, were Wolfpack fans despite never having attended NC State. Campus athletic facilities prospered thanks to more than $10 million in donations by the Dails over the years. Their names appear on the Curtis & Jacqueline Dail Basketball Complex at the Weisiger-Brown Athletics Facility, the Dail Plaza at Carter-Finley Stadium, Dail Club at Vaughn Towers, a football practice complex and an outdoor tennis stadium.
“He’s one of the men I most admired at NC State,” says Wolfpack Club Executive Director Bobby Purcell. “He cared deeply about his church, family, community and NC State. If you were a friend of Curtis, you were a friend forever.”
Jackie and Curtis Dail in 2007.
Originally from Cumberland County, Dail grew up on a tobacco and cotton farm with nine siblings. He received a partial scholarship to play basketball and baseball at East Carolina University, but he didn’t have the money to pay for the rest of his college expenses. He was drafted by the Army, where he spent three years as a jumper with the 101st Airborne.
After a series of jobs, Dail finally hit upon the business in 1975 that would define him — in the fast food industry. That year, he bought a half-share in two Hardee’s fast-food restaurants in Fuquay-Varina and Raleigh. According to a 2007 article in NC State magazine, Dail would go on to own 24 Hardee’s across North and South Carolina before selling the restaurants in the late 1980s to shift his focus to real estate.
Dail’s allegiance to NC State was secured during an encounter in Fayetteville, N.C. Dail refereed high school and college basketball games there that legendary Wolfpack basketball coach Everett Case would visit annually.
“Case would bring his squad to Fayetteville every year to go over rules changes with the referees,” Dail said in the 2007 article. “I really respected the commitment he had to educating both his players and all of us, and I’ve been a State fan ever since.”
The Dails funded athletic scholarships through the Wolfpack Club, and Curtis served on its board of directors. They also named the grand reception room in the Park Alumni Center on Centennial Campus. Curtis and Jackie Dail were named as Honorable Alumnus and Alumna by the Alumni Association in 2006.
There will be a visitation for Curtis today, May 30, from 6-8 p.m. at the Bryan-Lee Funeral Home in Garner, N.C. His funeral will be held Friday, May 31, at 11 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church in Garner.
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For a leader who was NC State’s first female student body president, it’s a bit odd to hear Cathy Sterling say she can’t exactly remember why she got involved in student government. She said in an interview for NCSU Libraries’ Student Leadership Initiative, a project showcasing former Wolfpack student leaders, that she had never really been involved in student government and had always viewed it as nothing more than something North Carolina governors had on their résumés.
But then 1970 happened, and people wanted some change to the status quo on campus.
“It was a just a period of time when people were like, ‘We need a change,’ like that and ‘Why don’t you do that?’ and I’m like, well, okay,” Sterling said.
One of Sterling’s chief concerns was the administration’s use of student fees. She saw leaders directing money to programs like the Friends of the College concert series, but doing so without seeking any input from the students. So she felt compelled to make that a focus in her administration after she won as a write-in candidate in 1970.
But she would be confronted with push back to her historic election. “I was really naive about hostility,” she said in the interview. “I was raised in a religion that was very gentle and very loving and very positive, so it was like a bath in cold water to look at somebody and go, ‘But you don’t like me just because of the opinion I hold. I mean you really, really don’t like me. You’re really angry at me?’”
Sterling talked about how she dealt with such emotions in her interviews with the Student Leadership Initiative. She also talked about how she saw the student union’s mission transform and how she transferred to NC State after a disastrous freshman year at UNC-Chapel Hill as a music major.
“I didn’t know music theory,” she said, “and I look back and I think who in the world thought this was a good idea? Someday, I’ll write it up because it was the classic freshman experience of everything going wrong.”
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As more than 5,000 seniors graduated from NC State earlier this month, it was not unusual to hear stories of some new grads having difficulty finding a job. There are signs that the economy is recovering, but a lot of businesses are still being careful about adding additional employees. The national unemployment rate has been hovering just under 8 percent for the past several months.
But imagine what it must have been like for seniors graduating in 1932, during the worst of the Great Depression. The national unemployment rate reached 25 percent that year, just three years after it had been at .04 percent.
So it’s no surprise that on this day in 1932, the Technician reported that “a large number of seniors will leave State College without a job.”
But the article went on to note that the news was not bleak for all graduating seniors. It noted that job placements were exceeding the expectations of a few months ago and that about 75 percent of graduates with business degrees had found jobs. The story noted that four ceramic engineering students and several chemical engineering students had landed jobs. About half of the textiles majors had found jobs.
The story said that seniors had found jobs at businesses such as Firestone Tire and Rubber Co., Liberty Mutual Insurance, the U.S. Post Office Department and Carolina Power & Light.
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Few individuals have had closer ties to NC State through its 125 years than John W. Harrelson.
Harrelson was valedictorian of his class when he graduated from North Carolina State College in 1909. He immediately went to work as a math instructor at the college, and later became a professor. He was head of the math department when he was appointed dean of administration in 1934. That meant he was in charge of State College — the first alumnus to hold that position — since there was no university chancellor at the time. That would change in 1945, when Harrelson’s title was changed to chancellor.
Then, on this day in 1952, Harrelson announced that he was resigning, effective the following summer when he would be 68. The Technician reported that for 18 years, Harrelson “was a familiar sight, garbed in a navy blue suit and a hat with a downturned brim.”
Clarence Poe, a member of the Board of Trustees for the university system, said at the time that State College had made more progress under Harrelson than under all of his predecessors combined. Another trustee, not named in the article, praised the excellent work being done in the schools of Textiles and Agriculture.
But Harrelson also had his controversies, most notably with students who felt they were not given enough freedom under his leadership. One nagging issue was how students were penalized for missing classes. When a student dance was cancelled in 1938 to avoid disturbing the neighors of fraternity houses, students staged a protest. “At the next freshman assembly when Harrelson rebuked the students for the incident, he was loudly hissed,” according to an account by Alice Elizabeth Reagan in North Carolina State University: A Narrative History.
Harrelson, a World War I veteran, was known for his military bearing. In 1943, he became the first head of a major college in the South (and 56th member of the State College faculty) to be called for permanent active duty. He was appointed deputy chief of the Army Specialized Training Program in the Fourth Service Command, a post he held for 16 months before returning to State College. The Faculty Council ran the college in Harrelson’s absence.
It was not so easy to replace Harrelson following his resignation. Reagan writes that several possible candidates refused the job “because of the low salary and limited authority.”
It took trustees more than a year to finally settle on Carey Hoyt Bostian, director of instruction in the School of Agriculture, to be NC State’s next chancellor.
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Gus Gusler’s time as student body president in 1971-72 did not come without its unrest. First there were numbers of students protesting the Vietnam War in the streets and at the Capitol building. And then there were his fiery exchanges with Chancellor John T. Caldwell.
Gusler remembered how in his first meeting with the chancellor, Caldwell had intended to intimidate him with his stature by having the president-elect sit next to him. But Gusler had been tipped off and chose to sit at the other end of the table, a symbolic move foreshadowing how the two would face off in the ensuing year.
But Gusler, who is a Raleigh attorney and owner of Hillsborough Street’s Players’ Retreat, pointed out in an interview for the Student Leadership Initiative, NCSU Libraries’ showcase of former student leaders at NC State and their recorded reflections of their time at the university, that there was always behind-the-scenes mentoring going on.
“Chancellor Caldwell, had the biggest impact on me of anybody,” Gusler said. “I worshiped the ground the man walked on. He was an amazing person, probably one of the most amazing people I’ve ever met.
“…We were constantly at each others’ throats publicly in meetings and stuff, completely disagreeing on an awful lot of stuff, and it was very high energy disagreement, and then that night I’d go have dinner with him at his house.”
In Gusler’s three interviews featured in the Student Leadership Initiative, he also talked about how he and Caldwell would frequently be at odds over the pace of advancements in the African-American community and education.
“He just couldn’t understand why I would get so angry about that, that we were moving in the right direction, but a little too slow for me,” Gusler said. Gusler discussed how he was sensitive to racial and socioeconomic issues, having grown up on the poor side of the tracks in a segregated Burlington, N.C.
And Gusler described his love of the Players’ Retreat, one of Raleigh’s most famous bars and restaurants, which he bought in 2005. “When I got here in ’67 it was the first place I went and had a beer… It’s always been a very eclectic place,” he said, “where you’ll walk in and there’ll be a plumber sitting there drinking a PBR on Friday afternoon and at the next table, the governor’s sitting there or the mayor, dressed up, eating an early dinner to go to the symphony, and everybody gets along.”
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Caroline Delaney says she’s easy to please when it comes to dipping into the spirits. She’ll try anything, she says.
But lately she’s had a favorite drink of choice — her own.
Delaney, who graduated from NC State in 2008 with an accounting degree, and her husband own Muddy River Distillery, in Belmont, N.C., and produce Carolina Rum. The couple uses a still that her husband, a former contractor, built. They do everything from making the rum to bottling the rum and attaching the labels to the bottles.
Delaney says the idea came to her husband a couple of years back when he was on the road a lot for his contracting job. He wanted something that would allow him to be home more and just happened to come across an in-flight magazine that talked about the craft distilleries that were making a mark.
The couple worked on making Muddy River for a year while they both held down full-time jobs. But recently, both left those jobs to concentrate solely on the distillery.
“It was pretty crazy,” Delaney says. “We did it as a hobby on weekends. It reached a point where we had to do it full time or just let it go. We weren’t having any time for ourselves.”
So they both committed. And the gamble is paying off. So far, Carolina Rum is in more than 275 ABC stores around the state. It’s also a staple in some bars around Charlotte, which is close to Muddy River’s headquarters in an old textile mill sitting nicely on the banks of the Catawba River, for which the company is named, in Gaston County. And Muddy River’s work space is expanding from 500 square feet to a 6,000 square-foot space on the other side of the mill.
Delaney says that Carolina Rum won its first award in December at a competition in Greensboro, and that customers compliment its distinct taste.
“They say it’s really smooth and has a different aftertaste than most rum,” she says.
The Mecklenburg County Alumni Network will tour Muddy River Distillery Tuesday, May 28. If you would like more details on the event, check out the event’s page on the Alumni Association’s website.
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Need a job? Want a better job? Considering a career change? We may be able to help.
The Alumni Association is partnering with My Workster and other universities to host the second annual Recruit NC Alumni Career Fair on Thursday, June 6, at the McKimmon Center. The event is only open to alumni of participating colleges and universities, including NC State, UNC and Duke. Registration is on a first come, first served basis.
Catherine Tuttle, alumni career services coordinator for the Alumni Association, says that career fairs can help people stand out in a market where there are still more job hunters than there are jobs. “It puts a face to a name,” she says. “It gives you the opportunity to sell yourself beyond a piece of paper.”
Representatives from more than 80 top companies, including Citrix, Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC, LORD Corporation and UPS, will be there to talk with. In an effort to keep the crowds smaller, a small fee is required to attend the career fair. Click here to register online.
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Many alumni hang their diplomas on the wall in order to remind them of the good times they had on campus and to symbolize their academic accomplishments.
But in May 1958, there were some NC State students who didn’t want to hang their diplomas, much less look at them, because of a change to the diploma’s design.
Earlier that year, the university’s administration had decided to change the style used on 1958 graduates’ diplomas from a more ornate Old English style to a simpler block style, according to an issue of The Technician from that same year.
That move did not go over well with students. That May, they started to speak out against the change to the administration.
That blossomed into a larger dialogue about students having a say in the debate about issues that affected them. And on this day 55 years ago, students had a petition printed in The Technician along with an article making a plea for at least some consideration in having input in the change. Senior-class president-elect Arron Capel supported the petition and voiced his desire to return to the Old English style.
“I have a statement from three of the four student members of the diploma committee, who definitely express their dislike for the block print type diploma,” Capel said in the article. “The student body does not understand why the diploma was changed so drastically.”
School administrators agreed to meet with students, but we couldn’t find if there was ever any détente to the diploma debate of 1958.
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The courses were known as Ethics 409, Ethics 410 and Ethics 411, and they were so popular at NC State in 1947 that hundreds of interested students were turned away.
Were they debating the ethics of war, given that World War II had recently ended? Perhaps they were debating the ethics of communism, and President Truman’s efforts to combat it. Could it have something to do with the furor surrounding Jackie Robinson’s debut in major league baseball?
No, the subject of the three ethics courses was marriage. And the headline on the front page of the Technician on this day in 1947 told the story — “Warm Weather Fills Marriage Courses.”
In the article, professor W.N. Hicks, head of the Ethics and Religious department, talked about plans to expand the popular marriage courses. There had previously been only three sections offered per term, but Hicks planned to offer five sections that spring. The story said he could have easily filled seven sections.
“Now that spring has sprung there has been a run on the marriage class,” read the story.
Professor W.N. Hicks
Apparently, marriage courses were popular throughout the country at the time, with 500 colleges offering such classes. The Technician, with no further explanation, said that Stephens College in Columbia, Mo., and Michigan State had outstanding marriage courses.
At NC State, Ethics 409 focused on what was described as “pre-marital adjustment,” Ethics 410 focused on “sex adjustment” and Ethics 411 forced on the “larger aspects of the family.” Ethics 409 was a prerequisite to the other two courses.
“Professor Hicks plans to start the second term next fall and then add the third, like building a house, one step at a time,” read the story.
Hicks also said he hoped to bring in an expert to help with one of the courses. “”He hopes,” the story said, “to get a woman who specializes in aspects of the family to help in the third term.”
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