Campus Buildings Category
E.T. hit movie theaters in 1982, chronicling a boy’s friendship with an kind alien from outer space.
But on this day almost two decades earlier, NC State was home to its own alien invasion. According to a 1961 article in The Technician, a crowd gathered to see — and welcome – the extraterrestrial, which had landed his spacecraft on top of Harrelson Hall.
“Hundreds of students, mistaking him for the Great Pumpkin, surrounded the flying saucer where they knelt in silent reverence and presented offerings of candy, popcorn, and one unfortunate professor,” the article read.
But, according to The Technician‘s report, once students realized it was an alien, he was vaporized: “It was not until the invader said, ‘Take me to the College Union’ that the students realized he was from outer space. He was immediately disintegrated by an [electrical engineering] major with a modified slide rule.”
We weren’t there, but we’re guessing this was an ”unreal” experience for the students who saw it.
For more than 60 years, NC State students had only the classroom in which to gain and test their knowledge of their desired disciplines. It wasn’t until 1954 that they had a place on campus where they could become “Grade-A humans as well as Grade-A technicians.”
Such was the promise in The Technician that came out on this day in 1954, announcing the opening and dedication of the new College Union. The article outlined the purposes of the more-than $1 million facility that opened in the heart of campus. The newspaper emphasized how the building’s game room, ballroom and art gallery would provide State students with new activities, programs, weekend recreation and “above all, pride in his school.”
Students enjoy the “sharpest snack bar” in the Student Union
The dedication of the building, which would go on to be named the Erdahl-Cloyd Student Union and is now known as the Atrium, was the culmination of six years of planning and construction. The Technician claimed it contained “the sharpest snack bar you’ve ever seen.” It also boasted a 40-by-12 mural painted by famed American artist Manuel Bromberg that contained in it 60 symbols and formulas from all disciplines taught on campus in order to represent the marriage between art and science at NC State.
But as snazzy as the snack bar was in 1954, it probably won’t hold a candle to the new food options opening this fall in the renovated Talley Student Union. That $120 million renovation began in 2011 and is slated to end in the fall of 2014.
Until a few years ago, it wasn’t easy to walk from the Brickyard to the Court of North Carolina. A straight path would take you between Ricks and Withers halls, and then, something stood in the way: The 1911 Building.
“It was the building you had to walk around,” says Ed Funkhouser, assistant professor of communication and a former facilities coordinator for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.
The 1911 Building was originally a dorm (named for the Class of 1911, which abolished hazing), and after it was put to use for classrooms and offices it was still a hodgepodge of small rooms and hallways, says Funkhouser, who once had an office in the building. In the 1990s, some walls were knocked down to make it easier to navigate.
But it wasn’t until 2008 that a major renovation cleared the sight lines between the front door at the top of the hill on the Court of North Carolina and the back door, which opens onto a tiny side street.
Originally, Funkhouser says, university officials considered building a tunnel through the middle of the building, much like the one that was made a part of David Clark Labs when a new addition was added. But in the end, the idea of a clear front and back door with easy access won out.
Now the building’s front door opens into a spacious lobby, and the back door is clearly in view. The 2008 renovation also replaced clanking radiators and window air conditioners with central heating and cooling. Some columns within the building could not be moved, so there are no large lecture halls, but classrooms and offices were enlarged.
The renovation was complemented by new landscaping in the Court of North Carolina, which had already undergone changes in 1996 when Hurricane Fran uprooted dozens of stately trees, including two huge willow oaks behind Winston Hall. “Prior to Fran, we had more trees and less lawn,” says Funkhouser.
Today, sloping brick walkways (that are also handicapped-accessible) now lead to the terrace at the top of the hill in front of the 1911 Building. And from the top of the hill, it’s a straight shot to the Brickyard.
– Sylvia Adcock ’81
Banks Talley was never a student at NC State, but there are few as influential in the development of student programs at the university than the former vice chancellor of student affairs.
A holder of three degrees from UNC-Chapel Hill, Talley first came to NC State in 1951 to become the assistant dean of students. That job offer is something he remembered fondly in his interview with the Student Leadership Initiative, which is NCSU Libraries‘ archived collection of former campus leaders telling their stories on camera.
“I came over and applied for the job and ultimately I got a little handwritten note from Dean [Ed] Cloyd saying, ‘If you want the job you can have it, starting-,’ date so-and-so, salary thirty-six hundred dollars,” Talley said. “That’s the sort of thing you remember. So, here I’ve been most of my life.”
Talley worked in the university’s division for student affairs for 32 years. In that time, the arts flourished at NC State, with Talley believing more students needed to be exposed to cultural programs. He developed the Friends of the College program, which brought renowned performers like Leonard Bernstein to Raleigh. And he helped enrich and expand the arts curriculum at the university, opening it up to engineering, agriculture and textiles students.
In 1984, Talley left his post at NC State to become executive director of the N.C. Symphony Society Inc, but he made frequent returns to campus in varying capacities. The Talley Student Center bears his name.
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.
The faculty and administration at the College of Textiles were not eager to be pioneers on Centennial Campus. They voted unanimously in 1987 against the college moving from Nelson Hall and David Clark Labs on the main campus to the new campus that was still more imagined than real.
Nonetheless, it was on this day in 1988 that the ground was officially broken for a new home for the College of Textiles on Centennial Campus. The 300,000-foot square foot facility, which was actually to be four interconnected buildings, was expected to cost $30 million to build and equip. Over 175 people turned out for the groundbreaking.
“If this $30 million investment says anything, it says the textiles industry is a number one priority at North Carolina State University,” then-Chancellor Bruce Poulton said at the groundbreaking, according to an account in the Technician. “This building is really symbolic of our constant commitment to have the best College of Textiles in the free world.”
The new College of Textiles complex was dedicated in 1991.
Most NC State alumni will remember Park Shops as the drab, industrial-looking building sandwiched between Page and Daniels halls.
Built in 1914, it once housed mechanical engineering “shop” classes such as woodworking and welding. In later years it became a headquarters for the university’s facilities operations such as keymaking and plumbing. Although its functions had nothing to do with students, it was smack dab in the middle of student activity.
But thanks to a 2009 renovation, Park Shops is now home to light-filled lecture halls, laboratories for classes such as anthropology and forensic analysis, and advising offices. A Port City Java café with arched windows and exposed brick walls provides a place for students to gather. A loading dock where white service vans once parked is now an inviting plaza with trees and benches that faces the new SAS Building, which is home to mathematics and statistics.
During the extensive renovation, architects gutted the building, removed wallboard and sandblasted the existing brick. Narrow gaps between the ceiling edges and the brickwork allow strips of light to wash over the bricks. The renovation also made use of skylights and included acoustical improvements.
Park Shops may not be home to machinery shops anymore, but it keeps its name. It was named for Charles Benjamin Park, a Raleigh native who graduated from the Raleigh Male Academy. A former machinist with the Seaboard Coastline Railroad, he was superintendent at the shops for nearly 50 years, and impressed students with model locomotives he constructed.
–Sylvia Adcock ’81
Campus Changes is a periodic series on redandwhiteforlife.com looking at changes to NC State’s campus. Some installments will look at major changes, such as the ongoing renovation of Talley Student Center, while others will look at smaller changes in various corners of campus.
The James B. Hunt Jr. Library has been open since January, but it remains a work in progress.
The Hunt Library makes the latest technology available to students and faculty, but the final touches are still being made to some of the most innovative spaces in the new library on Centennial Campus. The Game Lab, with its 20×5-foot MicroTile display screen, is now open four hours each evening for students wanting to try their hand at the latest video games and is expected to be open around-the-clock soon. The Teaching and Visualization Lab and the Creativity Studio are scheduled to open this summer, although the spaces already have been used by a couple of different groups.
The challenge, says Maurice York (right), head of information technology for NCSU Libraries, has been to make sure library patrons can easily make use of all the new high-tech tools.
“We’ve got a lot of advanced technology in the building, but if the right human interface isn’t there to make it easy to engage with, it just becomes a big pile of hardware,” says York. “With any of these spaces, no matter what the level of technology, you should be able to walk in, push some buttons, and get to work. You should not have to have a secret handshake or three months of training, so that this building really is in the hands of the students.”
Making such cutting-edge technology readily available to students is at the heart of what the Hunt Library is about. Students and professors can even check out some items, ranging from iPads to credit-card sized computers that plug into a television.
“It’s a crazy idea,” York says. “But we know they want to get their hands on stuff. They’re not happy with a passive presentation of technology, because it’s not that interesting. They’re not here to learn how to use a computer or how to use a display. They’re here to learn how to engineer the next generation of that stuff. So if they can’t get their hands on it and mess with it, we haven’t really done our job.”
York has been pleased with the initial response to the new library, which is featured in the spring issue of NC State magazine. He says the library is full most nights and weekends and that students have occasionally complained about not being able to find a seat. He says the library’s group study rooms have been extremely popular, and that students have taken advantage of the display screens and other technology available in each of the study rooms.
One of York’s next challenges is to find a way to get some of the technological features of the Hunt Library into D.H. Hill Library. “It’s easy to get to Centennial at night and on weekends, but there’s an enormous center of gravity on North Campus, and we’ve got to be able to bring these services back up there,” he says.
The automated bookBot at the Hunt Library, with its capacity for 2 million books, has freed up space in D.H. Hill that had been devoted to the stacks. One of those spaces is being remade into a visualization room, much like the visualization lab at Hunt Library. Those spaces — York calls them black box theaters — will allow students and professors to rethink how they do presentations and other projects. “It’s a very flexible, dynamic learning environment,” York says.
From there, York looks forward to seeing where their imagination will take them. He takes comfort in knowing that they won’t be limited by inadequate technology.
“It’s just so rewarding,” he says, “to be able to listen to what people want to do and say, ‘Yeah, we can do that,’ and know that you’ve got a space for them.”
Alan Aitken ’63 usually needs a good reason to leave his home in Juneau, Alaska, every spring and fly halfway around the globe. And that reason is usually the Final Four, the annual culminating weekend of college basketball that crowns a champion.
But it just so happened this year, he had two. Last weekend, he attended the Final Four in Atlanta, his 22nd in a row, and arrived in Raleigh Wednesday night for the Class of ’63 reunion, going on this weekend at NC State. That put a cherry on top of his 3,900 mile trip across the country, the longest distance that any alumnus traveled to this year’s reunion.
“I’m looking forward to seeing campus again,” Aitken says. “When I was here, there were 13,000 students. Now you have 34,000.”
Aitken originally came to NC State from New York state in 1961, when the college was the first forestry program to respond to him with an opportunity to transfer out of a tw0-year program in New York. He vividly remembers his first trip to the South and the culinary adjustments Raleigh’s diners brought.
“I ordered two eggs over easy with bacon,” he says. “When the waitress brought it out, I said, ‘Why did you give me Cream of Wheat?’ She said, ‘That’s not Cream of Wheat. That’s grits.’”
But, he says, he quickly liked the people in the South, something he appreciates to this day in his travels. “They’re friendly and they’re courteous,” he says. “They say, ‘Thank you’ and ‘Glad to see you.’
Aitken worked more than 30 years for the U.S. Forest Service in Alaska, retiring in 1994. And he still remembers where he was when he got the offer to go West here at NC State. He was a senior living in Turlington Residence Hall when he got a call from his mother. She had a telegram with a job offer in Alaska. And it was an easy choice for him.
“It just sounded like a big adventure,” he says.
It’s been open for three months. But today, the James B. Hunt Jr. Library was formally dedicated.
Keynote speaker Vartan Gregorian, president of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, called the library “a Laboratory of human endeavor, a window to the future.” He said the library embodies the spirit of the Morrill Act, the legislation signed 150 years ago that created land-grant universities such as NC State. Gregorian, the former president of Brown University, praised the vision of Gov. Hunt and his support of education. “I salute you. Today is your day,” he said to Hunt, who sat on the front row with his family.
Chancellor Randy Woodson said the library on Centennial Campus is nothing like the libraries of the past. To those who haven’t been through its spaces, he said, “you’re in for a surprise.’’ Woodson added, “Today’s students need to interact across disciplines in creative ways….We created space for that to happen.’’
The library uses an automated bookBot retrieval system that allows storage of over a million volumes while freeing up more space for study areas. The group study rooms are each equipped with large-screen display monitors, and walls made of whiteboard are ready for students to write down equations and notes. A Teaching and Visualization Lab and Creativity Studio offers opportunities for simulation that can enhance teaching. And patrons can use technology such as 3-D printing. At the conclusion of the dedication, Woodson presented Gregorian with a 3-D printed version of the Hunt Library.
Andy Walsh, student body president, spoke of the buzz among students about the building— saying it was a constant presence on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. He noted that more than 1,700 images of the library are online through the #myhuntlibrary campaign to collect photos of the library.
You can read more about the library in the upcoming issue of NC State magazine, a benefit of membership in the Alumni Association.