With about 100 group study rooms and a wide variety of chairs, sofas, tables and desks, the new James B. Hunt Jr. Library on Centennial Campus has plenty of spots for students to get ready for their next class or work on a project. You can read all about it in the cover story on the Hunt Library in the spring issue of NC State magazine.
What the Hunt Library doesn’t have yet, though, is memories. Those still belong to D.H. Hill Library on the main campus, where countless alums spent their college years prowling the stacks.
Did you have a particular carrel that got you in the study mode? Did you ever pull an all-nighter and find yourself asleep in the stacks? Do you remember your first encounter with technology at D.H. Hill?
We would love to hear your stories of life in D.H. Hill, and share them with our readers in the fall issue of NC State magazine. You can write us at firstname.lastname@example.org or share your story here in our comments section. In either case, please be sure to include your name, the town or city where you live and your graduation year.
Many people in Iran had a sense of hope when Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini came into power in 1979. But that hope soon vanished as his reign brought the closing of universities, the silencing of the media, and the torture and executions of those who opposed him.
And between June and October in 1981, more than 2,000 citizens in Iran had been executed, according to a Feb. 4, 1982, article in the Technician.
So on this day in 1982, a group of Iranian students at NC State acted as representatives for 50 of those executed in their home country and staged a protest on campus.
“We want to make people aware of (Ayatollah Ruhollah) Khomeini’s real nature to clarify the real action taking place in Iran,” one student protester said.
The students received more than 400 signatures on a petition they intended to send to the United Nations and the Red Cross to express a formal opposition to their home government. They also asked fellow NC State students to call for investigators to go to Iran and investigate the executions and torture and to call for democracy and freedom in Iran.
But Khomeini’s actions cast a shadow of fear that stretched even to Raleigh, as those students had to protest in anonymity.
“The Iranian students involved in Thursday’s demonstration to protest the Iranian government wish to be left unidentified for fear of losing their rights in Iran,” read the editor’s note in the next day’s Technician.
Pageantry has become a trademark of nearly all the presidential visits that have happened at NC State over the years, whether it was President Lyndon Johnson’s visit in 1964 or President Barack Obama’s in 2011.
But that wasn’t the case on this day in 1990, when President George H.W. Bush visited campus and made no public appearances.
Photo courtesy of NCSU Special Collections.
Instead, Bush spent his morning in Cox Hall touring two physics labs used in microelectronics research. He then joined a roundtable discussion with executives from the five top U.S. microelectronics firms who informed him how they were competing in an international market.
The visit was seen as a way to show Bush’s commitment to strengthen scientific education in the country. “I came her to learn and to listen and I started learning the minute I walked into those labs,” Bush said at the end of the roundtable discussion. “I learned not only a tiny bit about the science, but I also learned a lot about the dedication of the people that are teaching this generation of young aspiring Ph.D.’s. It’s been a good day.”
Bush also had a good day on NC State’s campus in April 1948, when he was a first-baseman for Yale’s baseball team that beat State, 9-6. “George Bush, Yale’s husky first sacker, racked up three hits…,” reads a 1948 News & Observer recap of that game. “He had a single, double and triple in his collection.”
When we put together our special 125th anniversary issue of NC State magazine, we asked readers to tell us how NC State has transformed their lives. We got so many responses we couldn’t print them all. You can read many of them in the winter issue of the magazine, and here are some of the ones we didn’t have room for. Feel free to add your own memories.
A Proposal at Reynolds
How do you tell just one story about a place that has meant so much to me? It is the place that I forged lifelong friendships. It is where I started to learn that I was better at classes like public speaking and not math. Joining a fraternity seemed like the last thing I wanted to think about. But had I not I would not have been able to be a part of something so great. We lost one of our best friends, and worked so hard to honor him with a scholarship that will continue for many years to come.
My heart found love. Got broken. Looked again for love…and if not for NC State, I would not have found Rose (Grabner ‘95), the love of my life! We come back to reconnect with friends almost every fall and winter at football games and gymnastics meets. I even asked Rose to marry me at the “Sweetheart Meet” in Reynolds Coliseum. I consider myself very lucky to be a part of the Wolfpack family! I have the best of friends, a career and the woman of my dreams. She has blessed me with two wonderful daughters… And we all bleed Wolfpack RED!
—Zach Myers ’97
Speaking in Public
When I enrolled in engineering at NC State, I thought I was safe from any writing or speaking classes. As a shy high school student nothing was more intimidating than speaking before my small class. I was surprised when I learned that public speaking was a required course for an engineering major.
Professor Baker Wynn taught public speaking and business communication. While none of us were willing participants, he got us started on what had been viewed as a distasteful but required subject. Our transition was not immediate but by the end of the quarter we were not so fearful of being in front of our classmates. We also were starting to learn how to be persuasive in speaking or writing. Good oral or written communication is an important part of most people’s success. In later years I found myself making presentations in 50 countries to both small and large groups of decision-makers. The groundwork Professor Wynn laid was one of the most important things I learned at NC State.
—Ed Morton ’56
When I was a freshman, I had been hanging out with a friend in University Towers and was walking back to my dorm (Turlington) late one night, most likely past midnight. It was very cold and we were hoping for snow the next day. As I was walking by Tucker Beach, I noticed some people playing ultimate Frisbee. Some of them (who turned out to be friends I had recently made) got a good look at me and called me over to play. There were probably 15 people total playing. The people I didn’t know were very welcoming, and it was just such a fun and random experience. That moment definitely made me feel like NC State was a warm and welcoming family, even on a cold night.
Overall, NC State taught me about life balance. I am so lucky for my wonderful experience there, and I think that it plays a large part in how happy I am with my current life. I majored in chemistry, worked for the university at the NC State Annual Giving from my spring sophomore semester until I graduated, and had a very active social life. I am happy to say that I succeeded in all three facets. I graduated in four years in a very difficult major with a 3.2 GPA and made the dean’s list a few semesters. I loved working to help raise money for the university, and was promoted to help coach other callers while I was there. I was very happy with my group of friends and was still actively making new friends my senior year. I also won a seat as a student senator for PAMS going into my senior year, and became a very avid reader, something that still surprises my parents considering I never read for pleasure growing up.
I’ve been proud of keeping that balance since my time at NC State. I am very passionate about the things I do, and I always do them to the best of my ability, but I understand the importance of not forgetting the other parts of life along the way. It was crucial for my wife and I to keep some balance during the months leading up to our recent wedding so that we didn’t drive each other crazy. Balance and organization has also enabled be to become more involved with NC State by creating time to be a network leader for our small but dedicated alumni group here in Austin, Texas. Our group has had a lot of fun over the past year and I look forward to dedicating more time to developing what we have created so far.
I can’t imagine my life without my experiences at NC State, and am very proud and grateful for my time there.
—Taylor Cooke ’04
Here’s a picture of nine girls and four guys who graduated from NC State in 1970, 1971 and 1972. We spent the weekend of Aug. 4, 2012, in Manteo, N.C., having our own Olympic opening ceremony and game competitions. We even had Olympic T-shirts made for the occasion. We were very fortunate that our paths crossed in the late 1960s — and we have all remained friends since then.
—Margaret Seymore ’71
I enjoyed my time at the College of Forest Resources. Dr. Donald Steensen taught me to take time to evaluate a problem and look for the best and most efficient way to solve it. Dr. Larry Jervis gave me some good hands-on experience. Dr. Maurice Farrier was terrifying in public, but very personable in private — and that taught me to be careful not to always judge people on first impressions. A great experience!
—Thaddeus Banks ’81
Teaching a Teacher
I was able to get a master’s in education with a focus on marketing and business education. What I learned helped me be a better teacher and DECA Advisor.
—John D. Boothe ’04 MR
An Agricultural Education
NC State has been a big player in my success in agriculture. After graduating I went to work for Middle Creek Farms, where I helped in the spraying of crops and other day-to-day operations. In 2008 I had a chance to go to work for Crop Production Services, and currently I am a consultant at Crop Production Services. I call on a lot of resources at the university on a daily basis. NC State taught me a lot.
—Joshua Scott Latham ’05 AGI
A Lasting Impact
NC State has made a lasting impact on my life. I would not be where I am today without the help of some amazing professors who became mentors and are there for me even now. NC State is a great community and is a place that will always be special to me.
—Amanda Birman ’12
Lessons from Kay Yow
My personal history with NC State began when I was 10 years old. I convinced my parents to send me to Kay Yow’s summer basketball camp, and there I had the pleasure of meeting and working with Coach Yow and her amazing staff. I quickly learned the “game of life” was about much more than basketball. I was “transformed” by being exposed to ways of looking at life through Coach Yow’s lens with regards to sportsmanship, leadership and spirituality. She instilled a winning attitude in everyone she coached. As I went on to my undergraduate and graduate studies, and eventually becoming an entrepreneur, I am grateful for my time with Coach Yow.
I attended the Yow camps many times in my adolescent years. Little did I know that I would wind up doing my graduate work at NC State…and eventually working here. In 1987, I was working at my undergraduate alma mater, Elon University, as a designer in the communications office. I loved my job, yet I felt I needed to know more. I needed to study design, not just learn on the job. I began to research various schools and programs across the country. One day, someone said to me, “Have you looked at NC State’s design school? They’re supposed to have one of the best programs in the nation.” I have to admit, I was surprised. A land-grant university full of vets and engineers had a renowned design program? I called the School of Design [before it was the College of Design] and set up an appointment to visit. The second I set foot in Brooks Hall and saw all the students’ amazing work surrounding the galleries and studios, I was sold. I knew I was in the right place. I finished my master’s in graphic and product design and went on to run my own branding/interactive media firm, NIXdesign, in a renovated downtown Raleigh loft for over 18 years.
In addition to our international roster of clients, we worked with many of the university’s colleges and organizations to provide branding, design and interactive media, and I even had the opportunity to play a role in the development of the university’s core brand that exists today. A year and a half ago, a new opportunity presented itself and it was the right time in my life to take it. I am now the director of Marketing Communications at the College of Design and the associate professor of the practice.
NC State University means so many different things to me as I have experienced it at various and key points in my life. I have so much respect for this institution. It is “gritty” and authentic, and the research and innovation that comes from this university is unparalleled. NC State has helped shape my core values, provided me with a world-class education and is a great place to be employed. I believe in the integrity and value of this university and I look forward to continuing to be a part of the collective effort to transform its future.
And… we beat Duke and UNC!!
—Carol Fountain Nix ’91 MS
A Happier Me
I couldn’t believe how much NC State felt like home as soon as I unpacked the first box from my car. Everything here is exactly what I need to be a happier me.
—Tiffany Runyan ’16 (alum to be!)
A Smart Choice
I grew up a Duke fan (I know, I know, just read the whole thing). I had no family connections with Duke, but my best friend was a Duke sports fan. So, in the absence of another persuasive influence, the void was filled with dark blue. When it came time to choose a university, Duke was my top choice. NC State was my backup. Then something changed — I discovered the Park Scholarship. My first visit to NC State –the “backup school” — suddenly turned into a serious examination of an opportunity I didn’t know existed. The campus was alive with a sense of excitement and innovation. The students and faculty were warm and inviting. I could sense that NC State merited serious consideration, and its status as my backup school was in serious jeopardy.
Of course, NC State won me over. My undergraduate education was literally everything I’d hoped it would be. I was fortunate to spread my learning opportunities across campus, with my majors taking me to PAMS (BA, Chemistry) and to the College of Education (BS, Secondary Education, Comprehensive Science Concentration), and my minors taking me to the Music Department (Saxophone Performance) and the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures (Spanish). These diverse experiences prepared me very well for my next step, medical school, and eventually a residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at UNC-Chapel Hill. Yet despite continuing my education elsewhere, my NC State roots and the resultant immersion in an environment of innovation and discovery have changed my perspective of healthcare. While I didn’t earn a degree in computer science, the mobile health trend became apparent to me very early. In January 2010 I released UNC Housestaff, a simple application to help physicians across the hospital stay connected with patients and data that would improve their ability to practice medicine. This subsequently led the establishment of a small but successful app company, G-Whizz! Apps, and my continued interest in the burgeoning field of medical informatics.
Not only did my time at NC State yield a quality education, it also changed the entire trajectory of my life. From music to medicine and education to innovation, my perspectives were forever changed by my experiences there - experiences that I’ve been able to share with my wonderful wife, Kim Bloomfield ‘02, and my daughters, Miriam and Catherine (both Class of 2028).
Many years have passed since I applied to NC State as my “backup school” and I’ve often considered where I would be had I made a different decision. Would I have had the opportunity to personally care for a sick child? Would I have had the opportunity to improve care for thousands through improvements to electronic health records? Would I have reached millions through mobile technology? I don’t know, and I don’t want to find out. I chose NC State, and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
—Ricky Bloomfield, ‘04
A Direction for Life
I entered the School of Forestry in September 1953, graduated in 1957, came back to get a master’s in ’62, and a PhD in forest genetics in 1964. During that time, I met and married a “Meredith Angel.” Next month we will celebrate our 54th wedding anniversary with three daughters and three grandchildren. My education set the direction for my career in forest research and management for the next 48 years. For the past 10 years, however, I have enjoyed frequent visits to NC State’s campus to the woodshop in the Craft Center. My education at NC State was definitely life transforming, and my time in the woodshop at the Craft Center has been life preserving.
—Charles D. Webb ’57, ’62 MS, ’64 PHD
Setting a High Standard
Several memories come to mind, but I will always recall the counseling I received from professors like Dr. Tom Shore, Dr. Farmer Smith, Dr. Betty Wilcox, Dr. Gary Moore, and Dr. Joe Clary. They were so patient, kind, and available. After completing my MEd, I was employed as an adjunct to teach methods courses in the schools of Psychology and Education. It was a wonderful opportunity to work with adults and to observe natural teaching talents in so many of our fine North Carolina teachers. NC State faculty and staff were always my support base as an educator. They set a high standard and helped me to accomplish my very best.
—Nancy Langley Raynor ‘84 MED
Never Give Up
NC State helped me in so many ways. From the lifelong friends I met, to the realization that anything is possible if I put my mind to it. Jimmy V taught me about never giving up! It’s helped me a lot through the years.
—Mike Piper ‘82
Go Pack, Always
I came to NC State a somewhat shy, non-participatory student. I worked in food service below the D.H. Hill library and made awesome fish fillet sandwiches! I was given the opportunity to join a fraternity — Sigma Nu. I remember the night some brothers came to the food service area and said, “You have a pledge meeting tonight.” I had no idea what to expect, but I went. I met lifelong friends at Sigma Nu. We did floats for homecoming, one that we built on top of a car (way before “Animal House”), and we won the Homecoming contest that year. (I think it was 1977.) We held Christmas at our house for underprivileged children, participated in an all night dance-a-thon with then-mayor Isabella Cannon and had some great dancing and parties at our house after every football game! I grew into an outgoing student and extrovert. I held leadership roles within the fraternity, played a multitude of sports and after graduation a fraternity brother helped lead me into the career I have today. I am very thankful to have been at NC State. I have been a member of the Wolfpack Club for 30-plus years now and attend all home football and basketball games, cheering loudly and proudly for the Wolfpack! Now, both my children are NC State graduates, one in 2011, one in 2012. I am blessed to have loved NC State since my youth. I am blessed to have raised my children to love NC State. I am thankful to be a lifelong Sigma Nu and have had all the experiences that have brought me to where I am today. We have the best fans, the best administrators, and a strong Wolfpack Club that I truly value more with each passing year. I can sum up my feeling for NC State: GO PACK, Always!
—Braxton Wesley Smith ’79
There are few moments in NC State’s history that stand out more than the Wolfpack’s NCAA basketball championship in 1983.
We know that a lot of memories were made during the Cardiac Pack’s run to the Final Four and the national championship 30 years ago, and we hope you will share your memories with us and other Wolfpackers.
How did you celebrate when the last shot went in? Did you still have any mementos of that amazing moment? What is your favorite memory from the championship game — or one of the games leading up to that moment?
Share your stories here, and we’ll publish some of them in an upcoming issue of NC State magazine. If you prefer, you can send your memories (and any photos) to us at email@example.com.
Bill Lytch ‘62 remembers very little of his grandfather, William McNeill Lytch. He remembers a dusting of white hair accompanying the bald head of the man known in the family as “Pop.” But most of what Bill can recall is relegated to the few local myths that have survived around Laurinburg, N.C., about the tinkerer who began a business there that still operates today.
“One of the stories that circulated was that he built a muffler for a gasoline engine lawnmower. It blew perfect rings,” says Bill Lytch, who today runs the Laurinburg Machine Company. The company was started in 1909 by his grandfather, who worked there until he died in 1946 of a heart attack.
“He lived about three blocks from the shop,” says Bill Lytch. “Everyone said you could set your watch by seeing him open up at 7:15 a.m.”
“Pop’s” love affair with machines can be traced back to 1889, when he came to the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts as a member of its first freshman class. He studied engineering at A&M and completed a thesis on the design of a 24-horsepower horizontal engine.
After he graduated as one of the first 19 young men to ever receive a degree from the college, he left North Carolina behind and moved to Florida to work in the railroad business. It was there that he met his wife, Ollie, and the couple moved back to Laurinburg, where Lytch and his brother, Ed, started the machine shop.
William McNeill Lytch, second from left in the third row, with the other 18 members of the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts' first class.
The Laurinburg Machine company stands today on Fairley Street on the very spot where “Pop” and his brother built it in 1909. Back then, it was a wooden building that was torn down and replaced by a brick one in 1918. “Pop” handed it down to his son, Dike, prior to World War II. Dike brought his son, Bill, and another son in as partners in 1969, and they ran it until 2005, when Bill became sole owner. The shop has grown from being a building that was just a simple blacksmith’s shop with an anvil to include another building and an arm of the business dedicated to building truck bodies.
But Bill says he still employs the same basic methods that guided his grandfather as a young machinist in 1909. “We work on anything that no one else will touch,” he says. “We work by blueprint, by sketch or by word of mouth. We work on anything that has metal in it.
“There used to be a saying: ‘If you can’t find it, go to a machine shop. They’ll have it.’”
Bill says his time operating the shop is drawing to a close. He’s preparing for his son, Keith, to take the reins, keeping the business in the Lytch family for four generations. And that would make “Pop” very proud, especially given what was said about him in a 1946 obituary in the Laurinburg Exchange after his death.
Bill Lytch, left, and his son, Keith, right.
“Things are so arranged in this world that men must work and toil,” the obit reads. “The machine makes that work and toil lighter, and greatly more productive. Mr. Lytch was a machine man. He knew and loved machinery. His keen ear could detect the slightest irregularity, the most unlikely defect, in a machine. And whether that machine was a simple farm implement, or some complicated and sensitive mechanism, if it was ailing or limping, he could set it aright and make it sing. “
Nothing special really jumps out at first glance looking back at the 1995-96 season for NC State’s women’s basketball team. The Wolfpack went 20-10, lost to Alabama in the second round of the NCAA tourney and finished the season ranked 23rd in the nation.
But for Kay Yow, who was in her 21st season at the helm in Raleigh, that year provided a milestone. It was on this day in 1996 when Yow got her 500th career victory, as the Wolfpack defeated Georgia Tech, 68-63.
Yow had a chance to get the victory three nights earlier in Charlottesville, Va., when NC State faced Virginia. But the Wolfpack lost in what history might now judge as a fortunate defeat, since it meant that Yow could come home to Reynolds Coliseum, where NC State fans could watch the historic win.
Number 500 would prove to be just one of many Yow’s significant wins. She would go on to capture her 700th victory in 2007 with a 68-51 win over Florida State and eventually net 737 wins by the time she died of cancer in 2009. She was one of only six Division I women’s basketball coaches to win at least 700 games.
Yow was also inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame and the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
What are some of the special NC State traditions that you enjoyed the most during your time as a student?
Tailgating before the big game, or perhaps running in the the Krispy Kreme Challenge? Helping build a homecoming float or taking part in a Ram Roast? Maybe you and your friends made up your own campus traditions.
No matter what campus traditions you enjoyed, we’ve love to hear your stories.
Share them with us here, or write us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll publish some of the memories in an upcoming issue of NC State. Please include your name and the year you graduated from NC State. Go Pack!
With the Alumni Association getting ready to honor 21 NC State professors next week with the 2012 Faculty Awards, we were wondering about your memories of professors you had during your time on campus.
No matter what your major was, you probably had a professor who you’ll never forget. Maybe it was someone who always managed to crack the class up with a good joke. Maybe you had a professor who became a mentor or an inspiration, either for your career or the way you’ve lived your life.
We’d love to hear your memories of your favorite — or most memorable - NC State professors. Share your stories with us, and we’ll share some of them in the Memories section of the summer issue of NC State magazine.
Feel free to tell your story in the comments section or, if you prefer, send it to us by email at email@example.com
It’s been a mild winter so far, but most of us remember that unexpected snowstorm that may have paralyzed campus but didn’t stop students from having fun. We ran a selection of your memories of snow and ice in the winter issue of NC State magazine, and here are some more that we thought you would enjoy:
My freshman year found me living on the second floor of the field house for Riddick Stadium. One of my roommates was from Miami, Fla., and had never seen snow. That year, 1947-48, there were two 9-inch snows in Raleigh. My Florida roommate and several other classmates spent both nights—all night—out playing in the snow. I stayed in and slept tight.
– Dean Angell ’51
My friends and I built a snowman that was six snowballs high at Wolf Village during the first snow of January 2009. It was the same day as the presidential inauguration. I remember going out early that day to walk around the snow-laden campus with my friends, coming back in to watch the inauguration and warm up, then promptly heading back out to have some more fun in the snow!
– Lara Jazmin ’10
There was a terrible ice storm in Raleigh around December 1967. When the temperature dropped that night it completely shut down traffic. It was dangerous to even walk on it. I was renting a room in a house at Ferndell Lane just behind the Gateway Restaurant on Hillsborough Street. (The house, painted blue, is still there, but the restaurant is gone.) One of my good friends who also rented a room in the house decided to challenge the ice by riding his skateboard down the sidewalk. My roommate and I tried to discourage him but he was a fearless thrill-seeker and off he went. He may have gotten half way down the hill when all of a sudden his skateboard shot out from under him in one direction and he in another. He received a severe cut but was laughing about it. We tried to stop the bleeding and encouraged him to go to the campus infirmary. He recovered quickly but I assure you it did not deter him from his activities. The next morning I tried to walk to class and the ice was so slick I fell down three times before getting there. I have not seen ice that bad since.
After a few months of very cold weather that winter, we finally had a mild day. It sparked a lot of energy among the students, and we were itching to do something outside. Someone came up with the idea of having a shaving cream fight between our dorm (Alexander) and the dorm next door. We challenged them and they enthusiastically accepted. We all lined in front of our respective dorms with shaving cream cans in hand and went at it in the courtyard. We never knew who won because everybody was having so much fun that we started spraying anybody. A photo of the event was captured in the Agromeck. We all had a great time and it was a good clean way to get rid of that burst of energy.
– Jesse Thomas ’67
In the fall of 1958, I was a freshman living in Becton Dormitory. One night in December, an infamously hard chemistry quiz was given in Nelson Hall. A windy blizzard was in progress, accumulating about a foot of snow, but no quizzes were ever canceled because of weather. After the quiz I returned to the dorm where I had to make an inked drawing for my mechanical drafting class the next morning. After trudging through the snow and biting wind, it took quite a while to warm up my fingers so that I could do the drafting assignment. I had no sooner started the drawing than my roommate, who had no drafting assignment, returned from a local tavern where he and his cousin had been celebrating after the chemistry quiz. He had a beer can in hand and, being unsteady, was sloshing it around. I quickly covered my drawing. My room was no place for this task. As I considered what to do, a friend who lived in Bagwell walked in to ask me a question about an assignment in our math class. I ended up taking refuge with this friend and his roommate. (Fortunately, many of the rooms in the quadrangle still contained third beds, which had been occupied for several weeks by sophomores who were waiting to move into the newly completed New Dorm, later named Bragaw Hall. In my friend’s room I completed my drawing and had a peaceful night. The next morning when returning to Becton, I found that the snow on the steps between the Berry basement and the ground in front of Bagwell had been sculptured by the wind in an unusual fashion, showing the ferocity of the storm.
– Tom Buchanan ’62