Campus Landmarks Category
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 addresses the audience at the dedication of the James B. Hunt Jr. 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.
Central America was a region of civil unrest and political turmoil in the 1980s. There was no more potent symbol of that than when Archbishop of San Salvador Oscar Romero was assassinated in 1980.
And it was on this day in 1983 when students at NC State turned their conscience toward that region and held a fast for peace. There they honored Romero, whose assassin was never caught.
The students also read the names of everyone who had died or disappeared in Guatemala, where the government was committing mass genocide, and El Salvador, where the nation was embroiled in civil war.
The event was sponsored by Cooperative Ministry and the NC State Committee for Central America. There was also a Central American film festival held all week in the Walnut Room to raise awareness about the strife in that region.
A campus landmark that students have called home for decades — the Talley Student Center — is undergoing an extreme makeover.
Construction is underway on the new Talley Student Center, a $120-million project that will transform the aging building into what planners are calling “the crossroads of central campus.”
The Talley project is a renovation and an expansion made necessary by NC State’s growth and the building’s deteriorating conditions. Since the center was built in 1972, the student population of NC State has more than doubled to its current level of 34,000, making the facility too small to meet the increasing number of students.
The old building also suffered from numerous infrastructure problems including limited electrical power, plumbing problems, inefficient heating and cooling systems and elevator failures. The existing building also has no sprinklers for fire protection, says Tim Hogan, operations director for University Student Centers.
But that will all change when the new student center opens in 2014.
Students — and visiting alums who drop in — will find an “open and welcoming” student center with abundant glass across the exterior offering a sweeping view of campus, Hogan says.
Those who want a bite to eat can check out the Pavilions Food Court. It will offer freshly made pizza, burritos and more vegan and vegetarian options than ever before. A variety of international cuisine will also be available in the dining area, and those pulling a late night can stop for a burger in the new Talley diner. They can perk up the next morning with coffee at Starbucks or Port City Java in the student center.
Talley will also be modernized to allow for Wi-Fi access throughout the building, and a two-story grand ballroom and meeting spaces will be equipped with audiovisual technology for presentations of up to 1,000 people.
Student organizations and several university services will also call Talley home, including student government, the Union Activities Board, student Senate, Student Union Administration and Facilities Management.
Quiet nooks and recreational spaces will be built into the new Talley – all part of the design to give it a living room feel. Large screen TVs will allow for group viewing on Wolfpack game days as well, says Jennifer Gilmore, spokeswoman for Campus Enterprises. And plans call for an elevated walkway across the train tracks to connect north and south campus.
Talley replaced NC State’s first student center — called the Student Union — which was built in 1952 and located in what is now the Erdahl-Cloyd wing of D.H. Hill Library.
The last vestige of Riddick Stadium has finally outlived its usefulness.
For almost 50 years, students have used the old Riddick Stadium Field House as little more than a conduit to get to the tunnel under the railroad tracks. But next month, the field house will be demolished, taking the last bit of NC State’s early football history with it.
University planners say the field house — which once housed the campus police force and later was a headquarters for contractors working on nearby construction projects — has outlived its usefulness and fallen into disrepair. Its demolition will also make way for plans to improve pedestrian access and safety in the area near the railroad tunnel and on local streets.
The two-story, white masonry field house was built in 1936.
“The building has been innovatively repurposed over the years. But its useful life without major investment has come to an end,’’ says Kevin MacNaughton, vice chancellor for facilities. He noted that the university has placed a plaque along Stinson Drive noting where Riddick Stadium once stood.
The first game was played on what was then Riddick Field in 1907. In 1912, wooden bleachers and a grandstand were added and students voted to name the stadium for Wallace Carl Riddick, who coached the 1898 and 1899 football teams and later became the college’s president. In 1916, the wooden bleachers were replaced with concrete ones.
But with 20,000 seats, Riddick proved too small for the growing crowds of football fans, and in later years NC State played most of its games on the road. When Carter Stadium (now Carter-Finley) opened in 1966, Wolfpack football officially moved off campus.
The remains of Riddick have come down slowly. It wasn’t until 2005 that the last of the concrete bleachers were leveled, making way for SAS Hall.
As for the field house, MacNaughton said the university is saving a “block S” that graced the side of the building. No other memorabilia related to its football past were found in the building, according to Tim Peeler, a communications official with the Athletics Department.
—Sylvia Adcock ’81
We are launching a new 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 building attracted attention while it was still under construction in 1958. Shaped like an “X” when seen from above, the building was described as a “new modernistic dormitory.”
But when it came time to name the newest addition to the NC State campus, university officials looked to the past and named the new dormitory Bragaw Residence Hall. It was named after Henry Churchill Bragaw, an NC State alum who had managed the Orton Plantation near Wilmington, N.C. He was credited with developing one of the largest collections of camellias in the South, according to an account in Historical State, an online archive maintained by NCSU Libraries.
Henry Churchill Bragaw
The new dormitory was dedicated on this day in 1959.
Bragaw had been a stellar student at NC State, where he studied forestry. He earned membership in Golden Chain, was chairman of a foresting competition and was vice president of the agricultural fair. He also managed and edited publications in agriculture and forestry.
But after his four-year stint at Orton Plantation following his graduation in 1938, Bragaw was inducted into the armed services and saw action in Italy during World War II. He was killed during the Battle of San Pietro. He won the Silver and Bronze Stars and two Purple Heart medals.
Pullen Hall had seen many different purposes carried out within its walls over the years as a campus landmark. The first men’s basketball game was played there in 1911. It had housed a dining hall, auditorium and library. The English and math departments has been based there.
“Since 1955, it had been home to the music department,” wrote Cherry Crayton ‘01, ‘03 MED , in a 2009 NC State magazine article about the fire. “But because of its age and mostly wooden construction, it was restricted to limited use.”
That age and wood gave way to a towering blaze on this day in 1965, when around 8,000 people watched in the night as Pullen Hall burn to the ground.
Firefighters fight the Pullen Hall blaze.
There had been a string of fires on campus that year. And on April 2, 18-year-old former student Vernon Dodd was arrested and charged with eight counts of unlawfully burning property. He went to trial a year later and pleaded guilty to five charges of willful and malicious burning of property, but not to the charge involving the Pullen fire, according to Crayton’s piece.
A new Pullen Hall went up on campus in 1987 and today houses student affairs offices.
Louis Armstrong was intent on taking his wonderful world around the states in 1957 as he and his “All Stars” embarked on a U.S. tour.
And on this day 56 years ago, instead of featuring a heated ACC basketball game, Reynolds Coliseum played host to the trumpeter Armstrong and other jazz musicians including Trummy Young and Edmond Hall.
The Technician reported that around 3,500 peopled “watched, applauded, and rocked” their way through the two-and-a-half hour concert. And “Satchmo,” as Armstrong was called, tried to keep up. “We gotta keep it jumping,” he said, according to The Technician.
The Interfraternity Council sponsored the event, which marked a first for Reynolds. “As far as could be determined, ‘Satchmo at the Coliseum’ is the first concert ever to be held at the Coliseum that has not lost a lot of money,” reported The Technician. “Even Vaughn Monroe, at the height of his popularity, was a financial failure. The IFC, therefore, is quite gratified with the results of the concert.”
Apologies to all Vaughn Monroe fans.
It was a far cry from the selection an NC State student sees today, but even in the 1970s, campus food went well beyond the flattened grilled cheese sandwich or the cold soup often found in elementary school cafeterias.
And to help usher in that culinary variety, the Walnut Room opened in the University Student Center (now Talley) on this day in 1973. Students could spend anywhere from 65 cents to a dollar for an entree. They could add 25 cents for each choice of vegetable they chose as a side.
The Walnut Room in the 1970s.
“Entrees will vary from the ordinary, such as chicken and ham,” a 1973 issue of the Technician reported, “to slightly more exotic choices such as spare ribs, chow mein, and various specials.”
But NC State spared no expense for that exoticism to extend to the Walnut Room’s ambiance. Larry Gilman, Union food services director at the time, hired musicians that first semester the Walnut Room was open to come in on Sunday nights and bring a coffeehouse feeling to campus.
The NC State men’s basketball team played a historic game against High Point in 1948, with the Wolfpack obliterating the Panthers, 110-50. It was the highest scoring game in NC State’s history up to that point, according to an article by Tim Peeler in The Wolfpacker, and it was only the second time in history that a Southern Conference school had scored 100 or more points in a game.
But for all the offense in the contest, it was mostly invisible to the public because the doors to Frank Thompson Gymnasium, which had been home to men’s basketball since it opened in the early 1920s, had been locked amid worry about the building’s structure.
And it was on this day in 1948 that Thompson Gym was condemned.
Peeler wrote that worry over the building’s structure had begun swirling in 1947. Everett Case’s team had been so successful that fans were packing the gym in droves. The Raleigh fire marshal had to cancel the NC State-UNC game that February because of so many fans trying to get into Thompson Gym.
That worry continued into the 1947-48 season, Case’s second at NC State, when a home game against Duke was canceled because, as Peeler wrote, “the building inspector said there were insufficient exits.”
Thompson Gymnasium, with the construction of Reynolds Coliseum in the background. Photo courtesy of NCSU Libraries.
After the High Point game, the Wolfpack played out the rest of the 1948 home schedule at Memorial Auditorium in Raleigh. Reynolds Coliseum opened in December 1949, becoming the home of Wolfpack men’s basketball until the PNC Arena — then RBC Arena — opened in 1999.
In 2009, the Frank Thompson Gymnasium was renamed Frank Thompson Hall, which now houses the Crafts Center and University Theatre, the home for the dramatic arts at NC State.
Going to college, it seems, has always been a costly proposition.
There have been countless news stories and studies done in recent years about the rising costs of higher education amid concerns that some people won’t be able to afford a college education.
But concerns about rising tuition are nothing new at NC State.
On this day in 1939, students at State College gathered in Thompson Gymnasium to protest plans to increase the tuition from $85 to $125 for North Carolina residents and from $180 to $225 for out-of-state students, according to an account in Historical State, an online archive maintained by NCSU Libraries.
“Students don’t know much about State legislation, but when they are hard pressed they can step into action with amazing promptness and really get things done,” read an account in the February 1939 issue of Alumni News.
It was an increase “which most of the boys that go to State College cannot afford,” read the account.
“The plan before the General Assembly was to decrease the school’s appropriation and increase the tuition. Carolina sent over three of its lobbyists, State students called on their legislators and had a few heart-to-heart talks, and the folks back home did their part by sending letters to the Assembly.”
The protest apparently worked, as the Alumni News account said that “the plan seems abandoned.”