Campus News Category
The young men who had matriculated to the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts in the 1890s had but a few rules to guide their conduct.
They had to pay $16.85 for their one gray uniform suit and make sure their tuition and lodging were settled up. They had to attend morning prayer in the chapel every day and church on the Sabbath. And they had to keep their rooms clean.
The students also had a general statement by which to set their moral compasses, as seen in the 1894-95 academic catalog.
“Students are expected at all times to demean themselves in a quiet, gentlemanly manner, and no student will be allowed to remain in the institution who, by misconduct or indolence, shows himself unworthy of its benefits,” read the “General Rules” section of the catalog.
But the conduct became a little more codified on this day in 1921, when The Technician reported the formal establishment and recognition of student government on the college’s campus.
“The student body of State College now knows from the laws which have been read to them and the talks which have been made by members of the House of Student Government , and others, just what is to be expected of them,” the article read. “To make Student Government stick and to make it an established institution on our campus, it must have the backing and the hearty co-operations of every student at State College. It must have the moral, as well as the physical support of every man in college.”
The Technician also listed six bylaws/articles, which spelled out all rules that had been passed 11 days prior by the House of Student Government. Article I explicitly took on hazing, in effect outlawing the shaving of another student’s head. Article II banned offensive noises on campus, drunkenness and bringing women to campus for the early 20th-century hookup. And Article III addressed plagiarism and cheating.
When you think of NC State’s greatest victories, the image of of Jim Valvano running around for someone to hug after the 1983 NCAA basketball championship is an easy go-to. Or the 1974 upset of UCLA in the national semifinals.
There’s more, sure. The march to the 1968 College World Series. The Wolfpack’s win over Houston on the gridiron in 1967.
But NC State was home to a different kind of triumph in the early 1940s, and it’s one that stacks up to the others nonetheless.
With America approaching its first full year of involvement in World War II, there was a national movement afoot in 1942 to help in any way possible on the home front. And one of the ways U.S. citizens tried to help was by salvaging their metal, rubber and other waste that could be used to make weapons and machinery.
So it was on this day 72 years ago that NC State students collected a scrap metal pile that totaled more than 150,000 pounds in less than three hours during what they called the “Battle of Scrap.”
“One purpose of their round-up was to demonstrate the tremendous possibilities for salvage on the average campus and to prove that hard work will pay big dividends in boosting the war effort by scrap metal thus collected,” The Technician reported.
The effort was so impressive that it started to attract national headlines, according to The Technician. “The story of [the students'] stupendous effort was sent throughout the nation on press association wires, with attention called to the students’ challenge to other schools to surpass the State College collection.”
The NC State student body tailored a message for the Axis powers to accompany their collected scrap metal. Photo courtesy of NCSU Libraries.
The students were so swept up in the scrap frenzy that they saw it important to place what The Technician termed “a personal message to the Axis” on top of the pile with a banner reading, “To HITLER & CO. FROM N.C. STATE COLLEGE.”
One of the fun aspects of campus life to revisit is the history of rivalries between dorms. Whether it be snowball warfare between Bragaw and Bagwell or intense badminton rivalries between Sullivan and Lee, students typically want to represent their campus homes with honor and respect while trying to take down a neighboring dorm.
And it was on this day in 1929 that the North Carolina State College of Agriculture and Engineering announced that such spirit would be encouraged by the formation of dormitory clubs.
“The purpose of this new group of organizations is to better the living conditions in our dormitories,” The Technician reported. “Also, in addition we will have a means of promoting desirable competition between dormitory men in the way of sports, social affairs, scholarship, and pride in rooms.”
The move allowed for intramural sporting events to be held between the dorms and fraternities. And it allowed for the Faculty Woman’s Club to sponsor room-decoration competitions.
“Curtains will be made for the students and sold to them at cost,” The Technician reported. “Pictures will be bought in large lots and sold to the students at wholesale prices.”
Too often, talk around the water cooler on Mondays involves this wronged football fan griping about that blown call by the refs. (Luckily, that’s not the case for NC State fans today, as the Wolfpack rolled South Florida on Saturday, 49-17).
But technology that NC State researchers have introduced may help to mute some of the grumbling and Monday-morning officiating.
David Ricketts, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, and Dan Stancil, department head for NC State’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, are part of a team that developed the Magneto-Track System. It’s technology that helps television viewers track the football with their eyes when they’re watching a game.
“It’s not meant to replace the chain, but to enhance the viewing experience,” Ricketts says. “When the quarterback hikes the ball, you don’t see it. The next time you see it, someone’s running it or the quarterback is throwing it.”
The research began at the Disney Research Lab at Carnegie Mellon University, where Ricketts and Stancil taught before coming to NC State. Ricketts says they were trying to do some research with sports visualization, and since Disney owned ESPN, it made sense that the team turned to football.
How Magneto-Track works is pretty easy to understand. There is an antenna inside of the football, wrapped around the belly of the ball. Also enclosed under the pigskin is a transmitter, which can be picked up by various antennae set up around the field.
The exchange is predicated on a magnetic field, not radio waves. “Why that is important is that radio waves, like with cell phones, get blocked by people,” Ricketts says. “But with magnetic fields, it goes right through. We can figure out where the ball is.”
An antenna and a transmitter are placed inside the football under the pigskin, making the tracking possible.
Ricketts believes the technology is ideal for situations where the ball goes missing at the bottom of a pile on a goal-line stand or at the bottom of a rugby scrum. In fact, he adds, one of the leading rugby manufacturers in Europe has expressed interest in adding the technology to their balls.
But as of now, there’s not any discussions between the researchers and the NCAA or the NFL to introduce Magneto-Track to their respective games.
UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC-Greensboro and East Carolina University had already decided by the summer of 1973 that they would make prescription services available to students who wanted birth control.
Yet NC State still had made no call as to whether it would provide those services.
That all changed on this day 41 years ago, when the university announced Clark Infirmary would offer prescriptions that would enable students to get birth control pills. The service, however, did not directly dispense the pills to students.
The move was partially made in response to a growing sense among Wake County, N.C., health department officials that there were too many students using the county’s clinic, according to an article in the Technician.
It was the Technician’s lead story on this day in 1973, when prescriptions for birth control pills first came to NC State’s campus.
“This is part of the overall health care of the student community and has been inappropriately publicized,” said Dr. Nina Page, a physician at NC State’s infirmary. “The infirmary is not by any means condoning or promoting premarital sex by offering the service.”
There was an $8 fee attached to the physical examination and prescription for the females who wanted them. And they also received educational information detailing multiple forms of contraception when they received the prescription.
The Technician also pointed out that all medical records at the infirmary would remain confidential. “Why should we notify the parents when we do not notify them in any other health situation?” Page asked. “This should be a very private, personal thing.”
Campus officials announced earlier this week that a new boutique hotel will take up residence on Centennial Campus in 2016. It’s just the latest building on the campus in a line of new development, including a clubhouse at Lonnie Poole Golf Course, the James B. Hunt Jr. Library and Wolf Ridge Apartments.
But it was on this day in 1988 that Centennial Campus first started to round into form, as officials announced the proposed streets and thoroughfares that would run through campus.
The plans were actually a composite of several plans that had been proposed by various entities, including NC State and the city of Raleigh, according to the Technician.
“The ‘X’ plan, which called for two large intra-campus streets to criss-cross one another, and the ‘Y’ plan which called for a main street which would branch off into two dissipating streets have been abandoned for the composite plan,” the Technician reported. The cost of the planned road work came in at a total of $2 million, according to the article.
NC State officials also announced that there was an ongoing study to research the feasibility of a monorail system that would connect Centennial Campus to main campus.
With the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts being founded as a men’s college, it set forth a history ripe with potential firsts for the gender-barrier being broken on-campus in Raleigh for many years.
In 1899, the trustees first started to debate whether to admit female students. Jane S. McKimmon became the first woman inducted into the college’s chapter of Phi Kappa Phi. And later that year, in June, the college first conferred degrees to women. One of those women was Mary E. Yarbrough, the first female graduate to complete all of her graduate coursework at the college.
And it was on this day in 1988, that another historic first for women happened on campus. Aquinas House, NC State’s Catholic Student Center, welcomed its first female staff member as Sister Mary Lynch started as an associate minister.
“I feel that it is important for me to be present, visible and seen,” Lynch said in the Technician. “I am looking forward to whatever opportunities open up for me at NC State.”
One of Lynch’s main goals, she said, was to serve as a role model for young women on campus. She cited that women then comprised 38 percent of the student body and said it was important for them ” to see a woman in a predominantly-male occupational field such as the Catholic ministry.”
Lynch is now director of silent retreats at the University of Notre Dame.
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.
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.
At the time of his appearance at NC State in 1957, Franz Polgar claimed to have put more than one million people to sleep. No, he wasn’t a boring lecturer. He simply used the power of psychology and suggestion to get people to do what he wanted under the power of hypnosis.
And on this day in 1957, he came to campus to demonstrate his mystical powers.
Born in Hungary, Polgar first came to the U.S. in 1933 and started to tour the states showing what people could be willed to do under hypnosis. Such performers would become a staple on the college circuit and still continue to this day.
The Technician was quick to point out that students could take Polgar’s “medical” opinion with a grain of salt: “No medical man, the ‘Dr.’ representing doctors of psychology and doctor of economics acquired in his native Hungary, Polgar nevertheless is convinced hypnosis has many beneficial uses in medical science and is campaigning for its wider application in psychiatry and surgery.”