Alumni from around North Carolina and the country are coming together this weekend to give back to their communities as part of National Wolfpack Service Day.
The projects range from working on Habitat for Humanity sites in Burlington, N.C., to helping clean up an abandoned duplex that is part of a redevelopment project in Minneapolis, Minn. Alumni in Pittsburgh, Pa., will be assembling boxes of school supplies for more than 7,500 school children, while alumni in Washington, D.C., will help staff a Light the Night Walk for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
“Last year our group worked at a water station at a charity race, and it proved to be a great way to get people together in a relaxed atmosphere,” says Jennifer Upchurch Bradley, an alumni network leader in Washington, D.C. “We all know State fans make great cheerleaders, and last year the DC Alumni group had a great time cheering on runners during the Boo! Run for Life event on National Wolfpack Service Day in 2012.”
Closer to campus, the Wake County alumni network has already had its first Service Day event. Volunteers showed up last Saturday to help with SONshine in the Park, a ministry providing meals to those in need. The network is still looking for volunteers for some gardening work at Hemlock Bluff Nature Preserve this Saturday.
Thank you to all alumni and friends who take part in National Wolfpack Service Day. Go Pack!
Want to have some Wolfpack fun? Looking for some interesting ways to get reconnected to your alma mater?
Then check out Packapalooza, an all-day block party and street festival along Hillsborough Street on Saturday, Aug. 24 to help kick off the new academic year. There will be music from several different bands, food and a wide range of activities – many of them showing you some of the interesting stuff being done at NC State these days.
Yes, students will be there to wrap up Wolfpack Welcome Week. But alumni and friends of the university are welcome to join in on the fun.
The event runs from 2-10 p.m. from Pogue Street to the roundabout near the Memorial Bell Tower and it’s free and open to the public.
MuteMath is the musical headliner, but you’ll also be able to hear from the likes of Kooley High, The Embers, GalFriday Band, and Pam Saulsby and the Reel Deep band.
And did we mention that NC State’s Scotty McCreery will be performing a song — with Chancellor Randy Woodson and Head Football Coach Dave Doeren?!
But there’s so much more. You can enjoy deep-fried candy bars, turkey legs and NC State’s own Howling Cow ice cream. You can learn about the history of the Bell Tower and what makes it chime. You can learn about sustainability efforts at NC State and check out the alternative vehicle showcase, or connect to your inner arts in the Arts Zone.
Wolfpack sports fans will get a chance to meet some of their favorite NC State athletes or try their hand at hitting a baseball or being a combatant in a water balloon battle.
You can even learn more about all the cool stuff going on at the Alumni Association, and the benefits of being a member.
There’s much, much more to do at Packapalooza, so check here for more details on the day’s events. Have fun and Go Pack!
Nashville is one of the South’s most famous cities, sitting proud atop its rich cultural and music history. Most probably know that it’s the birthplace of country music and a vibrant sports town. But when we caught up with some of our Music City-based NC State alums to serve as guides for those heading to the city for the Music City Bowl matchup between NC State and Vanderbilt, we found out that Nashville is also home to the best restroom in America.
Luanne Price Howard
That’s the honor which Luanne Price Howard ’83 says was given in 2008 to the men’s room at The Oak Bar in the Hermitage Hotel in downtown Nashville. Price Howard, a freelance graphic designer, says the Oak Bar is one of the best places in town to get a drink and unwind.
But, she says, any visitor should focus on food. And in Nashville, she says, that means getting used to “meat and three” restaurants, where a patron gets a choice of one meat and three sides. Arnold’s, located on 8th Avenue South, is one of the best in the city, Price Howard says, and the owner, Jack Arnold, is from North Carolina.
When it comes to something more unusual, Price Howard says to stop by Las Paletas, made famous by their gourmet Mexican popsicles. “Keith [Urban] and Nicole [Kidman] are rumored to go there when they want to celebrate,” she says.
Ben Schmidt ’04, a researcher in the chemical and biomolecular engineering department at Vanderbilt University, says there are other great choices for eating downtown, like Rotier’s on Elliston near Centennial Park. He says if you want burgers, check out Gabby’s Burgers and Fries and The Pharmacy Burger Parlor.
But, Schmidt says, it’s music that visitors will end up wanting to devour.
“I think visitors should just spend some time wandering through downtown and experiencing all of the music options,” he says. “There are great live country, rock, and blues bands all within a few blocks, and it’s easy to spend the day passing in and out of places. ”
Schmidt is particularly fond of The Station Inn, a bluegrass venue near downtown around 12th Avenue South and Division Street. “Last time I was there, an 11-year-old violinist performed solo and got a standing ovation from the crowd,” he says.
Brock Slagle with Scotty McCreery.
Brock Slagle ’98, one of the owners of BlueSky Filmworks in Nashville, says visitors should not miss out on Nashville’s old standards, like the Ryman Auditorium, the Grand Ole Opry House and the Country Music Hall of Fame.
But he says the best thing about Nashville is the feel of it. “I have been here 13 years and am still discovering new things about the city,” he says. “You can feel the creative juices flowing all the time, and it is obvious by the amazing things that Nashville produces.”
Price Howard, Schmidt and Slagle all plan to be at the Music City Bowl, and all feel good about the chances for a Wolfpack win.
“There is no doubt in my mind that I will be rooting for the Wolfpack!” Schmidt says. “Black and gold [Vanderbilt's colors] reminds me too much of Wake Forest, and I’ve been against them for years. Even though Vandy trounced Tennessee, who we struggled early with in the year, I expect State to put up a strong showing and win by a touchdown.
Students and alumni across the nation will unite this weekend to participate in service projects on National Wolfpack Service Day. Several alumni networks are participating in service events with organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, local food banks and schools. The volunteers from the Orlando alumni network will be spending their day in the alligator habitat at the Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens.
Mary Jevitt, '79, is one of the co-leaders for the Orlando alumni network
Mary Jevitt, ‘79, is one of the co-leaders for the Orlando network and came up with a different sort of service opportunity after collaborating with the business director at the Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens.
“We met at a leadership class and both discovered we were connected to NC State,” Jevitt says. “With her help, our network was able to come up with a unique service event that families could participate in together.”
Jevitt moved to Florida eleven years ago, and has been a member of the alumni network in Orlando for nearly nine years. Saturday’s project will be the first service event for the network.
“We really want to reach out to the greater Orlando alumni,” Jevitt says. “We hope that after this event we can start participating in more service events together.”
On Saturday morning, the two American alligators will be removed from the exhibit and volunteers will engage in light manual labor such as cleaning, digging, cutting and removing plants that are overgrown.
The American alligator is native to the southeastern United States and typically lives in habitats like freshwater lakes, swamps and marshes. In the wild, the alligators live in dens in rivers and spend time sitting in the sun. Like all zoos, the Central Florida Zoo and Botanical Gardens has an exhibit that imitates the American alligators’ natural environment. Those conditions have contributed to the overgrowth.
“Everything grows so fast in Florida and I think the zoo has been having trouble keeping up with the maintenance of the exhibit,” Jevitt says. “With our help, we will clean the habitat and the alligators will be more visible to the zoo visitors.”
After the service project, the group will enjoy lunch at the zoo pavilion and spend the afternoon at the zoo. The volunteers will get lunch and free admission to the zoo.
“I think National Wolfpack Service Day is a great idea and wish they had something like this when I was an undergraduate,” Jevitt says. “There is no lack of agencies or non-profit organizations in the area that need our help and we are excited to help.”
Members of the Wolfpack community will come together this Friday to raise 1,250 pints of blood to commemorate NC State’s 125th anniversary at the third annual Service NC State blood drive.
Service NC State is hosted by the Center for Student Leadership Ethics and Public Service (CSLEPS) and has been a part of the Week of Welcome lineup since 2003. The service event was originally introduced as a way to show incoming students NC State’s passion for giving and volunteering in the local and national community.
The event will take place from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. tomorrow at Carmichael Gymnasium on main campus.
Melissa Green, the assistant director of CSLEPS and Service NC State blood drive coordinator, believes the Service NC State tradition is a way to show people in the community that service is a priority at NC State.
“From the beginning, our commitment as a land-grant institution has been to serve the people of North Carolina,” Green says. “With this blood drive, in partnership with the American Red Cross, we have the opportunity to serve those even beyond the borders of North Carolina.”
Last year, NC State hoped to receive 1,000 pints of blood, and expectations were exceeded with a grand total of 1,032 pints collected. If the CSLEPS blood drive meets its goal and collects 1,250 pints of blood by the end of the event, it will be the largest one-day drive in the state of North Carolina. And it could leave a national mark, too.
“If (and when) we reach our 1,250-unit goal, we will be one of the largest drives in the United States,” Green says. “Each unit donated has the potential to save three lives, and collecting 1,250 pints will impact the lives of 3,750 people.”
There are currently 1,100 scheduled appointments for the blood drive, and the number of appointments has increased as students have started classes today on campus. Approximately 30 appointments will be processed every 15 minutes.
“Service NC State goes to show the strength of the NC State community when we all unite to accomplish a goal,” Green says.
Terrence and Torry Holt, brothers who starred at NC State before going on to play in the NFL, have hosted their share of charity golf tournaments to raise awareness and money for cancer research.
But the Holts wanted to do something different this year — something that might appeal to a broader range of people. Golf tournaments are fun, Terrence Holt says, but they are expensive and time-consuming. They don’t appeal to everyone.
So this year, the Holt brothers are holding the first Answers for Cancer Walk on April 21 at PNC Arena. The event is being held in conjunction with NC State’s spring football game later in the day.
Terrence Holt, photo courtesy of Holt Brothers Enterprises
“Golf is great, but we think more people can be active in this walk,” Terrence Holt says. “We think more people can spread our message that help is out there for you.”
The Holt brothers, through their Holt Foundation, have worked for ten years to raise awareness about cancer and raise money for the Kids Can! Hospital Program and the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. It was their response to the death in 1996 of their own mother, Ojetta V. Holt-Shoffner, after a 10-year battle with cancer.
Participants can register online as individuals, part of a team or sign up to be a fundraiser. Prizes will be awarded to some of the most successful fundraisers. Walkers are encouraged to participate in honor or memory of a loved one who has dealt with cancer.
“Our whole family will be out there walking in our mom’s honor,” Terrence Holt says. “I quite often tell people that everything we’re doing now through our programs is therapeutic for us. We go and hear other people’s testimonies and share our testimonies.”
The Kids Can! program is designed to help children understand what’s going on when a parent is diagnosed with cancer. The program provides emotional support, information and the chance for children to express themselves through arts and crafts, music and group discussions.
“We were the kids who didn’t have this program,” Holt says. “We couldn’t research what our mom was going through. All we knew was fear.”
Holt says now that he and his brother, Torry, are both retired from the NFL, they hope to have more time to get involved in community efforts in Raleigh. He says it’s possible that will include another charity golf tournament.
But he hopes that people in the community, including NC State fans planning to attend the spring football game at Carter-Finley Stadium, will take part in the walk and join the battle against cancer.
“We would love for our alumni to come out and walk,” Holt says.
When it comes to community service, few schools can top NC State.
We’ve known that for years, but now it’s official. NC State is one of five universities to be recognized with the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for 2012.
The award was in recognition of the wide range of service activities that NC State students engage in. Almost 22,000 students at NC State spent a total of 330,000 hours doing community service work during the 2010-2011 academic year. The estimated “dollar value” of that effort was more than $7 million.
“North Carolina State University aims to transform lives, improve the human condition and create positive social change through partnerships with communities, business and government,” read the citation. “Community engagement partnership cultivation is an expectation of all college and university departments.”
The other institutions in the top five were Seattle University, University of Pennsylvania, Miami University and Carson Newman College.
The 2012 Statewide Poetry Contest is underway.
The annual event, sponsored by the NC State Creative Writing Program through the Barnhardt Family Fund, is one of the largest free literary programs in the South. The contest is open to all North Carolina residents, except those who have published a book, are tenure-track professors in the UNC system or have been a winner in one of the earlier contests.
This year’s guest judge is Barbara Ras, a poet and editorial director of Trinity University Press.
Entries must be postmarked by March 1. Winners will be announced, and Ras will read from her own work, at 7:30 p.m., April 11, at Caldwell Lounge in Caldwell Hall.
The grand prize winner will receive $500. Four honorable mentions will be chosen and there will be special prizes for undergraduate and graduate student winners.
Details on how to prepare entries can be found here. Entries should be submitted to: NCSU Poetry Contest, Campus Box 8105, English Department, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, 27695-8105.
NC State Professor Ted Simons
What’s become nature’s ultimate reality show — a live broadcast of nesting bald eagles — to fans around the world all started when NC State ornithologist Ted Simons took his ZOO 501 students on a field trip to Jordan Lake.
Watching an active nest, the students were surprised that bald eagles were nesting so close to Raleigh. “As we were walking back, we started talking about it, and realized most people would be surprised,” says Simons, a professor of biology. He remembers thinking: “Maybe we should put a camera on that nest.”
Today the website — www.basic.ncsu.edu/eaglecam — has hundreds of followers every day, with more than 160,000 live views since it went online in December. The site is getting hits from around the world, and although there are other “eagle cams” around the country, the two eggs in Lake Jordan’s nest were the first to hatch. That has made celebrities out of the Jordan Lake eagle family.
A view from the eagle cam
Online eagle fans delight in watching the parents bring fresh fish to their nest to feed the two eaglets. The eaglets looked like tiny gray puffballs when they hatched but now, at two weeks old, they are developing stubby wings.
Sometimes the eagle dad rearranges the nest with new branches, only to have his mate come and move the sticks around. When one eaglet gets more than his fair share of food, one of the parents walks around the nest to feed the other one, gently offering bits of fish with a giant curved beak. (Warning: Watching the eagles can be addictive. A few of us here at the Alumni Association have become fans, with one staff member dubbing the group “Wingdings.”)
The project started two years ago. Simons worked with NC State computer science students on the technical part. Brent Lineberger ’96 ’01 mr, who owns a tree service in Raleigh, helped hoist the equipment some 80 feet up into a loblolly pine when the nest was dormant. Since the same pair (eagles mate for life) had been using the nest for several years, Simons could be fairly sure they would return.
The view from below the nest
One of the biggest challenges was the remote location. The camera runs on solar and battery power, and the team found a private landowner on the other side of the lake who agreed to let his shed be used to house an antenna and an internet connection. “It was total seat of the pants,” says Simons. “All volunteer. We didn’t have any funding.”
The first year was successful, with two eaglets hatching and eventually fledging in the spring. This year looks to be a repeat of that success.
“We have a tremendous following on Facebook,” Simons says. Next year he’s hoping to push the technology and work toward a clearer screen image. But the real goal is to illustrate and help the public feel a personal connection to one of the country’s great conservation success stories.
Bald eagles were threatened with extinction in the 1960s because of pesticides that ended up in their food supply. After pesticide regulations were changed, the birds began to make a comeback. Today, there are some 75 to 80 nesting pairs in North Carolina, Simons says, many of them along the coast. “This is a very powerful way to help people make a connection with wildlife,” he says.
After more than a decade teaching ornithology, Simons said he is still captivated by the eagles. “They still make my hair stand up,” he says. “They are such spectacular birds.”
– Sylvia Adock ’81
Some veritable Hillsborough Street institutions are falling victim to progress as NC State and Raleigh leaders seek to bring new life to the recently spruced up thoroughfare.
A 125-room hotel will fill the block across from the Memorial Bell Tower, displacing longtime tenant Sadlack’s Heroes. Earlier this month, bulldozers took down The Brewery, a music venue that hosted many a rising star over the years. Its former spot west of campus will house a drug store and apartments.
The 1.3-acre hotel site is owned by the University Endowment Fund. NC State chose local developers Bell View Partners and The Bernstein Companies to complete the project, which will include street-level retail. “This is a big step forward in the continuing effort to make Hillsborough Street a destination for the greater community,” Ralph Recchie, NC State’s director of real estate, said in a statement earlier this month.
But the plans are bittersweet for patrons of Sadlock’s, which has served sandwiches and beer to generations of NC State students and locals.
“It’s like Cheers, where you come in and everyone knows your name, and you recognize everyone in the place,” says Jeff Burton, who eats lunch and drinks happy-hour beers there several times a week.
The Brewery was demolished earlier this month.
The changes come a year after the city completed a $10-million project to improve Hillsborough Street, adding roundabouts to calm traffic and improving parking and sidewalks.
Sadlock’s owner, Rose Schwetz, isn’t sure when the demolition will take place, or if her shop might find a home in the new building.
”It’s kind of sad,” says Schwetz, who took over the shop from Frank Sadlack in 1984. “But that’s just what progress is.”
– Marti Anne Maguire