As early as pre-school, it’s evident that some kids either won’t — or can’t – draw between the lines. The same, apparently, is true of some college students.
On this day in 1995, a meeting was held at the University Student Center to discuss problems at the Free Expression Tunnel. The subsequent headline in the Technician spelled out the problem: “Scribblers who can’t stay in between the lines are costing the university thousands of dollars.”
The issue was not what people were painting inside the tunnel. It was what they were painting outside the tunnel, ignoring rules that had been in place since 1967.
“People are only allowed to paint within the confines of the tunnel,” said a campus official, who noted that the university spent $14,000 the previous year cleaning up vandalized areas outside the tunnel.
Student Body President Bobby Johnson said that students weren’t aware of the boundaries.
Bob Bryan, president of the Faculty Senate, seemed more concerned about what was being painted within the tunnel. “My biggest concern is all the crude, crass and immature expressions,” he said. “The good part is that we value free speech. I would just like to see enlightening and positive art instead.”
That prompted Clayton Goldsmith, a junior in mechanical engineering, to speak up for the Free Expression Tunnel and the role it played on campus.
“The Free Expression Tunnel is a book of sorts,” he said. “New pages are written every day. Although the pages cannot be turned back, those few thick inches of paint represent the history of expression.”
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The last remnants of Riddick Stadium, as noted in the winter issue of NC State magazine, came down last April when the stadium’s field house was demolished to improve pedestrian access and safety near the railroad tunnel. That means that the only remaining salute to one of the most important figures in NC State’s history is Riddick Hall, which houses the physics department.
And as much as Wallace Carl Riddick did for the university, both as an athletics coach and as an administrator trying to grow NC State, it’s fitting that the campus can’t wholly shake his name.
Riddick first came to NC State in the college’s infancy, joining the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts in 1892. He came as a professor of civil engineering after graduating UNC-Chapel Hill and obtaining a graduate degree from Lehigh University (and, according to his obituary in the American Society of Civil Engineers, even being expelled from Wake Forest College for being a member of a fraternity, or as the college saw it, a secret society).
In his years of building a robust civil engineering department at the college, Riddick became known as being the “father of engineering in North Carolina,” as former chancellor J.W. Harrelson once described him. And David Lockmiller, in his History of the North Carolina State College of Agriculture and Engineering, credits Riddick’s efforts as being the driving force behind bringing sewer connections and city water to campus in the early 1900s. Riddick also coached the 1898 and 1899 football squads.
Riddick was elected vice-president in 1908 and president in 1916. The college’s name was changed to North Carolina State College of Agriculture and Engineering during his time in office, according to Hardy D. Berry’s Place Names on the Campus of North Carolina State University. Riddick gave up the post in 1923 to become the first dean of the School of Engineering.
When Riddick Engineering Laboratories were dedicated in April 1951, the formal program memorialized Riddick, who had died in 1942, as “the man who has served State College in more capacities and for a longer time than any other person.” It also hailed his leadership for guiding “the college through the turbulent period of the first world war and its aftermath. Under his guidance the college made some of its greatest progress.”
Riddick later in his life.
In Riddick’s file at the Alumni Association, there is a letter from his wife, Lillian Daniel Riddick, in which she outlines her husband’s belief in NC State and the students it serves. She tells a story about a group of Serbian students who were brought over to study at NC State with their first year paid for. But when it became apparent that personnel changes at the college had led to those same students not having a funding source for their remaining three years, Riddick stepped in. As president, he persuaded the Board of Trustees to let the Serbian young men finish their studies with the college giving them their tuition and board.
It was that belief in education that defined Riddick and his commitment to NC State, where his name will never be forgotten.
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The winter issue of NC State magazine includes a story about photographs that Michael Ligett, a part-time lecturer in the College of Engineering, has taken of the Free Expression Tunnel. The story includes three photographs of a wedding proposal that took place at the wall outside the tunnel on Labor Day last year. Here is the story behind those photos.
Jimmy Nguyen had no problem figuring out where he wanted to propose to Sonya Patel. Making it work, though, was a tad more complicated.
Nguyen and Patel met in 2005 as students at NC State — they were both members of a dance team on campus — and they started dating soon afterward. They continued to see each other after they graduated and lived in different cities.
So when Nguyen was ready to propose last year, he knew the perfect spot to pop the question.
“Sonya was born and raised in Cary,” Nguyen says. “Her family had season tickets to NC State football — she was a Wolfpacker through and through. During our relationship, she would say, ‘I love NC State. I’m so glad I met you here. Everything has worked out.’”
So Nguyen decided to propose at the Free Expression Tunnel. Nguyen initially thought about copying the style of the graffiti artists who frequently paint on the wall outside the tunnel. “I tried to do it myself, but spray painting was not my thing,” he says. So he tried to find one of the graffiti artists, hoping they would accept a commission to paint his proposal on the wall. That didn’t work, either. “They were hard to find and wanted to remain anonymous,” he says.
With painting no longer an option, Nguyen thought about pasting large photos of he and Patel on the wall. But he worried that NC State might have rules against pasting items on the wall and that they would be too easy for others to take down before he could get Patel to the wall.
Then, after brainstorming with a cousin, Nguyen figured out his plan. He would paint the wall white, frame the black-and-white photos in red, wooden frames and stick the frames to the white-washed wall. Then he would make another red frame for he and Patel to stand in when he popped the question. “I wanted to do it in NC State colors – red, white and black,” he says. “It all made sense, kind of tied it together.”
Making his idea a reality was no small task. He wanted to propose on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend, so he blocked out the entire weekend to buy the wood, cut it to make the frames and stain it red. Then Patel called, telling him that her father had tickets for the NC State football game that Saturday. Nguyen tried to beg off, offering the “lame” excuse that he needed to do yard work. But he went to the game, thinking the whole time about how much work he still had to do before Sunday afternoon.
“I stayed up 72 hours straight working on this,” he says.
Nguyen enlisted some cousins and friends to paint the wall white on Sunday morning, a job that took about an hour. But when they started trying to attach the frames to the wall, the frames kept pulling off the paint and crashing to the ground. It was 2:30 in the afternoon by then, and Nguyen had told Patel he would pick her up at 5 p.m. for dinner that night.
“So I’m freaking out,” Nguyen says. “What am I going to do? Then we get some twine and tied the photos to bricks we had found and strung it over the wall. It worked – it had movement, it was kind of crooked, it was nice.”
Nguyen only had a couple of hours left to get home, get cleaned up and pick up Patel for dinner. He had come up with a plausible reason to give Patel for stopping by campus on the way to dinner, but he was running out of time. And then he noticed the storm clouds moving in. He picked up Patel, and high-tailed it for the Free Expression Tunnel.
“We headed to campus, and I’m speeding,” he says. “She tells me to stop speeding, but the clouds were moving in pretty quickly. That’s the reason I was speeding. I’ve never seen clouds move so fast in my life.”
Nguyen and Patel made it to the wall in time. She says she was initially so focused on the tunnel itself that she didn’t notice what was on the wall. “I just remember thinking, “I haven’t been here in so long – and I miss it,” she says.
Patel’s initial reaction to seeing her photos on the wall was confusion. What are these red frames? Why are our pictures on the wall? Then it hit her.
“Once she realized, the waterworks turned on and they didn’t stop,” Nguyen says. “She completely knows what’s happening at that point.”
Or, as Patel says, “Jimmy started talking, saying he wanted to surprise me and show our story together for the past several years up on the wall. And I knew. And, yes, the waterworks came full speed! I could hardly talk.”
So Nguyen took Patel by the hand and led her to the large frame. He got down on one knee, pulled out the ring and popped the question. “For a split second she was speechless, which kind of worried me,” Nguyen says. “She eventually said ‘Yes.’ That’s how we got engaged.”
Nguyen and Patel hope to get married this summer. They are both glad that the Free Expression Tunnel was where they agreed to spend the rest of their lives together.
“Jimmy putting up our story on the wall was poetic and very ‘us,’” Patel says. “Proposing there was our next chapter. I just love that place, with all its good, bad and in between. Even when there was controversy surrounding tags in the tunnel, it is always a conversation starter and I love that.”
Nguyen says the tunnel is a “huge part” of NC State. “It shows that the university is open to having any and every conversation,” he says. “It’s a really good space.”
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We caught up with our master Wolfpack brewers over at NC State’s research brewery for an article in the winter issue of NC State magazine, which should be hitting mailboxes soon. The brewery is housed in the basement of Schaub Hall and conducts research on bioprocessing issues like fermentation technology and automation processes.
Though the research is fascinating, we thought it would be nice to talk with Blake Layfield, one of the brewers and graduate student in the Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences, about the beer the lab produces for campus events. (Alas, it is not for sale to the general public.)
What is the most requested beer you provide? Our seasonals are our most popular. In the fall, it’s our Wolf-toberfest that’s incredibly p0pular. In the winter, it’s our Pullen Porter. If you’re talking our year-rounds, it’s our Brickyard Red. It’s easy to drink.
Since it’s winter, tell us a little more about the Pullen Porter. With most winter beers, you think of high alcohol and a heavier body. You want something to warm your insides against those cold North Carolina winters. [The Pullen Porter] ranges from dark brown to black. It has a pleasant bitterness to it. It’s roasty, and some might even call it smoky. It has some chocolate notes in it.
You have a beer called “Ma Blonde Do’r.” What does the mean? It means our “blonde girlfriend.” …I actually have a brunette wife, and she hates the name of it. It has some very light character. It’s very easy to drink during your summer months or during your sporting events.
Blake Layfield. Photo by Marc Hall.
How do you come up with the names? We just kind of put things in there to make us think of State. Alliteration is very easy to do. Pullen [Road] runs through the center of campus. We have our Brickyard Red. It’s totally for fun.
And Chancellor Randy Woodson even has his own favorite? The chancellor does indeed like the [Chancellor's Choice] IPA. He has tasted it …He’s actually had it multiple times, so much so that he requested it at his house for an event with some ACC administrators. I was the bartender. He’s actually a homebrewer himself, so he has come over and looked at our setup. We try to help him as much as we can since he’s the boss.
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Roland Kays is a research associate professor and director of the Biodiversity and Earth Observation Lab at the Nature Research Center at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences.
We talked with Kays for the winter issue of NC State magazine about his role on a team that confirmed a new mammal species, the olinguito, during a 2006 expedition to the cloud forests of Ecuador. News of the discovery — which came after research in museums and elsewhere suggested that such a species might exist — captured the attention around the globe when it was announced last summer.
Our interview with Kays covered more ground than we could fit in the magazine, so here are excerpts from the rest of the interview:
What do you know about the olinguito’s diet? We definitely saw them eating fruit, so we know they eat fruit. If you look at their teeth, they’re kind of pointy like a predator or like an insect eater. So we think they might eat some other stuff.
How were you able to get so much information about the olinguito by looking at in the trees? Well, we shot one and put it in the museum collections. If you want to describe a new species, you need to have a voucher specimen. You need to have that in your hand. We didn’t want to kill any of them. It’s not very fun. But we had to have our vouchers so that other scientists can go back and verify our findings, and also so we can have the fresh DNA to make these comparisons.
What does this discovery tell us about the area where the olinguito was found? It shows that the tree canopies are this sort of frontier of discovery, that there’s still a lot of unknown stuff up there. I’m sure there’s more discoveries to be made in these forests, and especially in the canopies.
How does the olinguito compare to other olingos? This one is a lot redder, has a bushier tail and is smaller – it’s actually the smallest member now of the raccoon family.
How is it possible that we’re still discovering new mammal species at this point? Every year we’re finding new mammals, and most of them are bats and rats and smaller things. But the age of discovery in mammals is still ongoing. There’s still lots and lots to learn.
Why are such discoveries important? There are still things to learn about our planet and still just this basic cataloguing of what’s here that is ongoing. It’s an important endeavor. This discovery, in particular, highlights the importance of these cloud forest habitats, that these are really special places that are really diverse. In addition to the olinguito, there’s a special bear called the spectacled bear that lives only in South America, only in these cloud forests. This is a really special habitat that is under siege by developing agriculture. This really highlights the fact that these are biologically rich places that deserve protection.
Were there any common mistakes in the reporting of the discovery? Yes, but it’s a little complicated so I can’t necessarily blame them. They reported that it’s the first new carnivore [discovered] in 35 years. But when we say carnivore in this way we mean member of the order Carnivora, which is a group of mammals that includes the raccoons, the bears, the weasels, the dogs, the cats. And most of them eat meat, but a lot of them don’t. So in this case, this is a fruit-eating carnivore. And so the press messed that up a lot — they called it a meat eater.
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Though it’s usually the NC State Student Senate that captures the headlines in the Technician, the Faculty Senate can find itself in the midst of heated debates, too.
And it was one such debate that almost came to an even draw 40 years ago. On this day in 1972, the Faculty Senate killed a motion to employ a university ombudsman at NC State.
The vote against the motion that could have established a position on campus responsible for independently investigating and arbitrating matters was a shock to some who felt it would pass, according to an issue of the Technician. In December of 1971, in fact, the very same body had approved in principle the notion of creating the position.
It seems part of the Senate’s reservation was the perceived ambiguity of the proposed office’s jurisdiction. As the Technician reported, there was no real clear framing of whom the ombudsman would serve at the university (faculty, for example). Instead, it seems it would have been more of an arbitrary, case-by-case determination.
And when asked to specifically outline the duties, the ombudsman committee chairman presenting the proposal “said that would be hard to do, for the ombudsman would be largely responsible for determining the tenor of the office.”
But the measure almost passed anyway. It was defeated by a vote of 11-12, with one voter abstaining.
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Wesley Osborne Doggett, who passed away in December following a lengthy career as a physics professor at NC State, clearly did not believe in leaving stones unturned.
As a student at North Carolina State College, Doggett finished at the top of his class when he graduated in 1952 with two degrees — one in nuclear engineering and another in electrical engineering.
As if that was not enough, Doggett invented a machine that dramatically reduced the time it would take to make certain atomic calculations — from six hours to four minutes. He was also the business manager for the campus humor magazine, chairman of the nuclear engineering department honor committee, vice president and president of the Order of Thirty and Three and was the first NC State undergrad to become an associate member of Sigma Xi. He was even named to the all-campus intramural horseshoe team. Not surprisingly, he was elected permanent president of the Class of 1952.
Doggett went on to earn a master’s degree and Ph.D. in physics and UC-Berkeley – in three-and-a-half years – before returning to NC State as a physics professor in 1958. And, again, Doggett’s approach was to cover every base.
He was a member of the NC State Academy of Outstanding Teachers, and served as assistant dean of the new School of Physical Sciences and Applied Mathematics from 1964-68. At one point, Doggett taught every course offered by the Department of Physics. Even after his retirement in 1993, Doggett continued to work with the physics department and served as associate editor of the Cornelius Lanczos Collected Published Papers with Commentaries.
Since 2011, the physics department has honored Doggett by awarding its outstanding graduating senior with the Wesley Doggett Award. Not surprisingly, Doggett received the outstanding student award when he graduated in 1952.
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If you’re a member of one of NC State’s many campus student groups, you want that group to stay out of Student Government‘s crosshairs.
And it would seem that the pep club might have the easiest time doing just that since it welcomes the charge “to boost the spirit of the campus.”
But on this day in 1951, The Technician‘s headline placed the club directly in Campus Government’s “frying pan” due to a perceived power grab for A-1 athletics tickets.
According to the article, Student Government’s treasurer submitted a motion to cease financial support to the pep club, adding that “the campus as a whole has not profited from the activities of the Pep Club. No dividends have been seen except for the members themselves.”
The treasurer cited the allotment of 50 50-yard line seats for home football games the previous fall. And, he added, that the pep club was trying to make a similar play for men’s basketball tickets without the approval of Student Government.
He went on to make the point that if the club had that many members to fill that many seats, then the pep club had enough to sustain itself without the aid of Student Government.
The NC State Pep Club in 1951. Photo from 1951 Agromeck.
The motion was tabled until the pep club’s president could appear before student government.
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The Career Services Webinar Series is back, ready to help alumni who are looking for a new job or ways to take control of their careers.
The Alumni Association launched the series last year, with speakers offering tips on everything from how to write a an eye-catching resume to how to make better use of online services such as LinkedIn. The series was a success, with alumni able to tap into a network of experts without having to leave the convenience of their computer.
“We had really good numbers,” says Catherine Tuttle, career services coordinator for the Alumni Association.
So the series is returning, with some new subjects. It will kick off on Jan. 14 with a webinar on preparing for the GMAT and tips on pursuing an MBA and applying to business school. The instructor is Jeffrey Miller, the head quantitative GMAT instructor for Target Test Prep. The webinar is free and open to all alumni, but registration is required.
Other webinars planned for this year will cover subjects such as public speaking skills, how to effectively use recruiting agencies and managing your online presence. A complete list of this year’s webinars can be found here.
“We’re trying to reach as many people as we can,” says Tuttle. “This gives them information they can use to advance their career or make a shift in their career.”
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