Some 25 years after she captured the attention of the world by refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, Rosa Parks visited NC State to talk about the civil rights movement.
And on this day in 1981, a crowd of about 200 people gave Parks a standing ovation as she came onstage at Stewart Theatre.
Parks told the crowd that while much progress had been made, the civil rights movement needed to continue. “It is up to you and all of us to do our part to make this the great nation it was intended to be,” she said, according to an account of the speech in the Technician.
Parks said her arrest led others to rise up against racial oppression. “Just as I was against being mistreated, pushed around and denied an equal opportunity as a passenger on the bus,” she said, “so were many other people in Montgomery provided an incentive to not be pushed around.”
The civil rights movement succeeded, Parks said, because it captured the attention of people around the world. But she said that the effort needed to continue. She said that while there had been progress in areas such as public transportation and accommodations, racial segregation was still a problem in employment.
“Many are still unemployed in all parts of the country,” she said. “So we still have much to do.”
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There’s no telling how much ridicule an NC State student would receive if he or she showed up on campus wearing Tar Heel blue. Especially this week, when the heated rivals take to the hardwood for the second time this ACC season.
But apparently wearing other schools’ designs was enough of a problem in 1955 that the student body president felt compelled to release a statement on the matter.
On this day in NC State history, Lloyd McForrest “Doc” Cheek, a senior in textiles from Gibsonville, N.C., asked students to make more deliberate choices in the attire they wore to campus, especially garments featuring monograms. According The Technician, Cheek argued that monograms celebrating any letter other than “the Red and White ‘S”" robbed the Wolfpack men’s monograms of their significance.
Cheek said “the men wearing our monograms have earned the privilege and these men should be accorded alone the honor of wearing monograms on Campus.”
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The (still) new Hunt Library on Centennial Campus has something called a bookBot, a robotic book delivery system that holds about 1.5 million books inside a two-story 120-foot-long vault that can be seen through a large window on the library’s first floor.
It wasn’t that long ago that NC State didn’t have that many books in its entire library system.
It was on this day in 1981 that the Technician published a story celebrating the fact that D.H. Hill Library was about to reach 1 million books. It was the result of a push that had begun two years earlier, when NC State had only 850,000 library books.
Reaching the 1 million threshold was not just a matter of campus pride. NC State was trying to become a member of the Association of Research Libraries, and one of the requirements was a collection of at least 1 million books.
But even with 1 million books, the article noted that D.H. Hill’s collection still paled in comparison to the collections at Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
“We just got a late start,” said Isaac T. Littleton, then the director of libraries at NC State. “They had much higher budgets for so long. We didn’t start growing until the 1960s. They have had higher budgets for decades.”
The additional books did lead to less study space for students in the stacks. But then that’s part of the reason the new Hunt Library was built — to provide more library space for students.
And more room for the 4.6 million books (some of which are electronic) that NC State now has in its libraries.
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As the new chancellor at NC State, John T. Caldwell pulled into Raleigh in 1959 in a station wagon loaded with two Siamese cats, a cocker spaniel named Shirin and three of his four children. His wife, Catherine Wadsworth Zeek Caldwell, arrived later in a Simca with the couple’s youngest child after having car trouble in Tennessee.
Getting set up in their new home was a challenge at first. (“We couldn’t find any sheets or towels,” Catherine Caldwell said. “And the children’s clothes are all mixed up.”)
But as her husband quickly went about the business of running the university, Catherine Caldwell settled into life in her new home. She told a reporter for The News & Observer shortly after arriving that she looked forward to getting to know the people of Raleigh and that she had already visited the state art museum. She dismissed concerns about any town versus gown difficulties.
“Some folks speak of town people and college people,” she said, “but I’ve always found friends everywhere.”
Caldwell had plenty of experience with campus life. She grew up on the campus of Southern Methodist University, where her father was a French professor. She studied French as an undergraduate at SMU and then Spanish in graduate school at Vanderbilt University after he father joined the faculty there. (She would later study Chinese, as well.) She met John Caldwell, who was then on the faculty at Vanderbilt, at a campus party. He was offered the job as president of Alabama College when he and Catherine were on their honeymoon. Caldwell was president of the University of Arkansas before coming to NC State.
Unfortunately, Catherine Caldwell’s time at NC State would be brief. She died at the age of 41 on this day in 1961 following a lengthy illness that confined her to the Christian Science Sanatorium in Chestnut Hills, Mass. She died at a nursing home in Boston.
“As the wife of a rising college administrator, she was a gracious hostess, charming entertainer and mother of their four children,” read a story on the front page of the Technician.
Chancellor John T. Caldwell with his wife, Catherine Wadsworth Zeek Caldwell, and their children, Andy, Chuck, Alice and Helen. (Photo courtesy of Historical State)
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The Winter Olympics wrap up in Sochi, Russia, on Sunday, but not before some athletes get their last chance to capture a gold medal for another four years. Some of the most popular Olympians left competing are members of the four-man bobsled teams.
Hans DeBot and one of his Olympic sleds in his DeBotech shop. Photo courtesy of DeBotech.
And if you tune in to watch the bobsledding event on Saturday and Sunday, you will see just how much red and white compliment the blue of the American bobsled and skeleton teams. Hans DeBot graduated from NC State in 1993 with a mechanical engineering degree, DeBotech, his carbon fiber and composite parts company in Mooresville, N.C., built the Night Train 2, the bobsled that is trying to defend the gold medal the four-man team won in Vancouver four years ago.
DeBot says this may be his most rewarding project in a career that has included work in aerospace and military technology, NASCAR and the Aviation Racing Series. “It’s hard not to pay notice to the Olympics,” he says. “We’re especially making a difference. But was it a challenge. Sure, it was very risky.”
The risk DeBot refers to came in 2002 when he says an Olympic bobsledding hopeful named Bruce Rosselli came to him wanting DeBot to build a bobsled. “I didn’t know anything about the sport,” DeBot says, adding that he likes to solve any problem given to him. ” I didn’t know if he was a good driver. He didn’t have any money to do it. But I built that bobsled.”
DeBot’s sled showed up at the 2002 Olympics as a lighter ride made with carbon fiber instead of the usual heavier laminated glass and Kevlar. The U.S. team took home the silver and bronze medals that year in Salt Lake City.
Photo courtesy of DeBotech.
His Olympic involvement has led DeBot to partner on projects with former NASCAR driver-turned-bobsled-maker Geoff Bodine and BMW. DeBotech was brought in recently to help build the sleds used for the skeleton events, where athletes ride headfirst at speeds of 80 miles per hour on a sled that loosely resembles one the average Joe might go down on in the snow, and to help build the two-man bobsled.
DeBot’s work has made it to the podium in Sochi. The women’s skeleton team captured a silver, with the men’s team getting a bronze. The two-man men’s bobsled team won a bronze, the first medal won by Americans in the event in 62 years, and the two-man bobsled women’s team took home a silver and a bronze.
This weekend the four-man bobsled team will try to once again capture gold.
While many viewers choose to watch the tape-delayed results on NBC in prime time, DeBot says he and the 20 employees in his shop can’t wait for that and instead watch the events live in their shop.
“I pull it up on the T.V. in the shop so the employees can enjoy,” he says. “They get to sit back and say, ‘We’re sitting and watching our stuff come to life on television.’”
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NC State’s Kat Robichaud has been keeping busy since she left NBC’s “The Voice” last year, ending the season as one of the top 10 performers. The College of Design graduate is on her way to making her debut album, which she describes on her Kickstarter site as a “theatrical rock explosion.”
Kat Robichaud at Manifold Studios
Robichaud launched the Kickstarter effort on Feb. 3 with a goal of $20,000—and reached it in just three days. She’s now raised over $30,000 from over 600 donors, and will be recording the album at Manifold Studios in Pittsboro, N.C. where she’ll be assisted by Manifold’s chief engineer, NC State graduate Ian Schreier). She will continue soliciting backers through March 5.
She’s been putting together a core band (keyboard, drummer, bass, guitar) and hopes to include trumpet, string quartets and possibly guest artists as well with songs about love, heartbreak and even “Doctor Who” (Robichaud is a big fan). The album will be recorded this spring with a September release date.
Robichaud will be talking about her experience on “The Voice” and how her design education at NC State influenced her career on Friday, Feb. 28, at an appearance hosted by the College of Design. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. at Burns Auditorium in Kamphoefner Hall. It’s free, but space is limited so registration is required. Expect a few songs from Robichaud as well.
Here’s one way the 2006 graduate’s design background comes through: Robichaud created a portrait of Doctor Who using individually placed roses, and backers who pledge $75 toward her album can get a limited-edition print.
—Sylvia Adcock ’81
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Imagine a ballerina, clad in a white leotard and tutu, gracing the stage of the Durham Performing Arts Center. Now imagine that same ballerina dancing around in the streets of downtown Raleigh. Tim Lytvinenko captured those images and many more in his 15th Anniversary Book for the Carolina Ballet.
Lytvinenko has had a passion for photography since he was a child. He worked as a photo editor for the Technician while he studied computer science at NC State and had a few internships at newspapers after college. He graduated in 2006 with an engineering degree.
“I knew that’s what I was going to pursue for a while,” Lytvinenko says.
One First Friday, Lytvinenko happened to meet some of the dancers from the Carolina Ballet running around downtown Raleigh doing a photo shoot. The dancers wanted to bring a unique marketing strategy to the Ballet, so Lytvinenko thought that taking pictures in urban spaces instead of on stage was one way to do it.
“We tried to go around to familiar places in Raleigh,” Lytvinenko says. “Since they weren’t on stage, it was a lot easier for people to connect with them. They weren’t these icons. They were just normal people.”
Lytvinenko’s 15th Anniversary Book contains much more than just images of ballerinas frolicking through the busy streets of Raleigh. The book features shots of the ballerinas on stage, but also contains glimpses into their lives behind the curtain.
“Every night when I’m shooting backstage, it’s this kind of push-pull because I’m trying to get closer to shoot, but also leave them enough room to get ready for their performance,” Lytvinenko says.
During the 15th season, Lytvinenko took more than 100,000 photos over the course of about 60 shows. He narrowed them down to less than 200 for the book. Lytvinenko’s friend from NC State, Ben McNeely, helped him with the written content and editing of the 15th Anniversary Book.
“I couldn’t have done it without him,” Lytvinenko says.
McNeely, a 2005 NC State grad who works as a producer for News 14 Carolina, and Lytvinenko worked together at Technician and have been close friends ever since. Lytvinenko says they have worked together on projects before and even have some projects in the works this year.
“There aren’t too many people from college that I keep up with like him,” Lytvinenko says.
Lytvinenko (left, in a self portrait) keeps up with a few other friends from his time at Technician, including Ray Black, who helped with the copy editing of the 15th Anniversary Book. Lytvinenko says he still does a lot of photography work with Black as well.
“They aren’t just people from Technician anymore,” Lytvinenko says. “They’re people from my life.”
Lytvinenko plans to continue working with his friends McNeely and Black on future projects as well as with some of the dancers from the Carolina Ballet. He currently shoots for Walter Magazine, and has a residency at Chuck’s in downtown Raleigh, where some of his work is displayed year-round.
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There had been some momentum during the winter months of 1951 for the adoption of a student honor code at NC State. The chairman of the honor system committee at State had even implored the chief justice of the civilian honor court at Virginia Tech to write an open letter in The Technician entitled “The good that can come from an honor system.”
But on this day 63 years ago, two days after Valentine’s Day, The Technician reported there was no love among the student body for the proposed code.
According the the article, an honor system was a little more than mildly popular, with 78 percent of engineering students, 62 percent of textiles students and 67 percent of design students supporting it.
“We shouldn’t start unless we can get 90 percent of the students behind it,” said Ken Hansen, chairman of the honor system committee.
The NC State Code of Student Conduct that is in place today was first issued Feb. 17, 1990, according to the Office of Student Conduct.
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Football and Christmas cards aren’t the only Wolfpack traditions Worth Williams shares with his family. He even incorporated NC State into his marriage proposal.
Williams met his fiancé, Haley Hendrix, in 2010 through mutual friends. They were both enthusiastic about sports and attended most football and basketball games together.
Williams’ interest in NC State football came from members of his family. His parents, Tod and Donna Williams, both attended NC State, as did his grandfather and uncles. During football season, his family has season tickets and attends every home game.
“My family’s lives revolve around football season,” Williams says.
Hendrix’s parents, Doug and Carole Hendrix, also support NC State football, although they do not go to every game. They went to their first Wolfpack football game for parents weekend, and they now go to at least one game a season.
The first time Williams’ parents met Hendrix’s parents was at a game against UNC in 2011. “Even though my dad is a Carolina fan, he was wearing all red the day they met,” Hendrix says.
Their parents have been close ever since, and Williams’ invited Hendrix’s parents to his graduation in December 2013. (Hendrix graduated in May 2013 with a master’s degree in elementary education – she now teaches first grade in Pitt County.) After the ceremony, Williams’ mother suggested taking photos at the Bell Tower before going out to dinner.
“He asked me to take some pictures with him, too,” Hendrix says. “I said ‘Hey, let’s do the Wolfpack hand thing’ and then he unzipped his gown and pulled out a box from his pocket.”
All of their immediate family, including Williams’ sister, Ellen, parents and grandparents watched the scene unfold.
“I was so surprised. I asked if he was serious,” Hendrix says. “And then I said, ‘Yes, of course!’”
The family’s dedication to football played a big role in choosing a date for the wedding. “Since the football schedule was released, we finally got to pick a date. There’s no game on October 25, so we’re getting married that day,” Hendrix says.
Besides choosing a date, Hendrix and Williams, who works for his family’s Worthington Farms, want to include a few other Wolfpack-related traditions in their wedding plans.
“We want to have a Wolfpack themed groom’s cake for the rehearsal dinner,” Hendrix says. “And obviously the Fight Song will be played at some point.”
Hendrix is also considering having red and white pom poms instead of sparklers at the wedding. The couple hopes to come up with even more Wolfpack-related things to include in their ceremony and reception.
That shouldn’t be hard considering Williams’ family has so many Wolfpack-oriented traditions already. Most gifts in his family are Wolfpack themed, as well as their Christmas ornaments and even their family photos for Christmas cards.
“We will be Wolfpack fans forever, “ Hendrix says. “And we will carry on the traditions if we start a family some day.”
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Tyrone Davis describes himself as a low-key guy, someone who is not easily excited.
But even Davis had to admit to getting a little fired up when his telephone rang on a recent Friday. It was the White House calling, letting Davis know that he was being invited to sit in First Lady Michelle Obama’s box for President Obama’s State of the Union speech.
“I was thinking, wow, this is crazy,” Davis says. “My response was, ‘Of course I can make it.’”
So a few days later, Davis enjoyed a whirlwind day in Washington, D.C., culminating with the State of the Union speech in the U.S. House chamber.
Davis is now in law school at Elon University, but his invitation to Washington was the result of his interest in the environment that was sparked when he earned a bachelor’s degree (in 2007) and master’s degree in public administration (in 2009) at NC State. “I tried to focus on policy, and focus my studies on environmental and energy issues,” Davis says.
Davis, who grew up in Winston-Salem, N.C., went to work as an intern with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) after he finished graduate school at NC State. As an EDF Climate Corps fellow, Davis helped Elizabeth City State University find ways to become more energy efficient. The university then hired Davis on a temporary basis as a sustainability coordinator. He ended up showing the school how to save more than $31,000 a year.
“One thing that was easier than I expected was trying to change the culture,” Davis says. “It just came from me walking around the campus to see how things operated. I would walk around and talk to people. It kind of got them thinking.”
It was his work at Elizabeth City State University that prompted officials at the EDF to give Davis’ name to the White House as a possible guest at the State of the Union address. Davis was in Hong Kong as part of a study abroad program at Elon’s law school when he first heard from someone at the EDF that his name had been given to the White House.
“I just thought they would do some story on me or that my name might be mentioned in the speech,” says Davis, who hopes to work in some area of environmental law after he graduates from law school in May.
Davis meets with EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy
But a couple of weeks later, Davis found himself in Washington, D.C. His day included a tour of the headquarters of the Environmental Protection Agency, where he met several top officials, and then a tour of the White House. That was followed by a reception in the East Room and a chance to have his photo taken with the first lady. “It was just a great experience,” Davis says.
One of the highlights of his White House visit was seeing various paintings of past presidents and first ladies. That may seem surprising, given that Davis is legally blind and he couldn’t see the paintings unless he was standing next to them. “I learned a little bit of the history behind some of those paintings,” he says.
Davis’ vision also limited what he could see at the State of the Union. He could figure out where President Obama was standing, but could not make out the president himself. At one point, Davis heard applause for someone walking behind him and has to ask someone seated near him who the applause was for. It was a soldier who was making his way to his seat.
“That’s the sort of thing I have to deal with on a daily basis,” Davis says. “I have to concentrate and listen a little bit harder.”
Davis had a brief opportunity to get a photo with the president after the speech, and then enjoyed talking with one of Michelle Obama’s other guests – a survivor of the Boston Marathon bombing – when they both got back to the hotel that evening.
“It really did happen fast,” Davis says of his day in Washington. “I tried to take in as much as I could. The president and first lady were very warm and sincere people. The whole experience seemed very unreal.”
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