NC State Events Category
Jason Jefferies grew up finding a story anywhere he could. He consumed comic books daily and saw video games as storytelling devices. That led him to study English and literature. He fell in love with the works of authors such as James Joyce and T.S. Eliot, appreciating the authors as people and reading about their lives.
Jason Jefferies promotes the 2014 N.C. Literary Festival at a radio station.
So it makes complete sense that Jefferies, a former library supervisor at NC State who earned a master’s degree in English in 2008, has a job that’s all about his love of authors.
He’s the programming coordinator for the 2014 N.C. Literary Festival, which kicks off today and runs until Sunday at the James B. Hunt Jr. Library on Centennial Campus.
Jefferies, 33, says that his job consists of securing authors, developing the programs, raising money, handling the press and managing volunteers.
And he is most proud of this year’s festival location: the Hunt Library. In fact, when the festival, which rotates between Duke, UNC-Chapel Hill, North Carolina Central and NC State, was set to come to Raleigh after the 2009 event, organizers postponed it until this year when they knew that the Hunt Library would be open and ready to take center stage.
“The best part of the job is really just coming back to the campus where I received my master’s degree,” says Jefferies. “I’ve been able to work very closely with the creative writing program.”
So how did he decide to bring in literary heavyweights such as Richard Ford and Junot Diaz? You might say Jefferies figured out what was “socially” acceptable. He conducted social media polls and talked to local booksellers.
The choices he made were good ones. The response to the festival has been outstanding and underscores that there are more readers than ever out there.
“Society is more literate,” Jefferies says. “People are reading blogs. And they’re reading and writing more than they were 20 years ago. With the Kindle and other devices, folks are buying books that they normally wouldn’t have.”
Student organizations flooded the Brickyard with hundreds of homemade cupcakes of all shapes, sizes and flavors Wednesday for the Cupcake War, a two-hour event that raised money for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund and included a competition judged by professors.
“Talk about one of the best things you could do,” says Anita Flick, a biology professor serving as one of the judges. “It’s great to see all these organizations out here. And there’s cupcakes! What’s not to like?”
With two criteria for judging — taste and incorporation of the “Red, White and Wolfpack” Homecoming theme — Sigma Alpha Omega sorority and Beta Upsilon Chi fraternity hoped their Cheerwine cupcakes would help them secure their second consecutive first-place finish.
“It’s my mom’s recipe,” says Brittany Hall, Sigma Alpha Omega president and senior in biology from Raleigh. Hall and her fellow sorority members spent more than six hours baking and decorating 300 cupcakes for the event. The group also made empty Cheerwine cans into decorative displays for the cupcakes.
A short walk from last year’s winners, Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity served up three varieties of cupcakes: Red, White and Wolftracks. The red: a red velvet cupcake topped with an almond cream cheese frosting. The white: a white chocolate latte cupcake with buttercream icing and a caramel drizzle, garnished with a small straw. The Wolftracks: a chocolate cupcake with ganache inside, peanut butter frosting on top and a chocolate drizzle.
Set up in front of DH Hill Library, the Impact Leadership Village sold chocolate and vanilla cupcakes with red and white icing decorated with footballs and wolves.
Anna Sossaman, an Alumni Association student ambassador and sophomore in accounting from Raleigh, organized the event and says she was glad to be a part of a new NC State tradition. “It’s helping the Kay Yow fund and gets students involved on campus, which is great,” she says.
Contest winners will be announced at the Homecoming Pep Rally in Reynolds Coliseum at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
After the event, Christopher Lawing, a student ambassador and junior in industrial engineering from Charlotte, presented the $3,197.26 raised to the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.
In addition to volunteering at the Cupcake War, Lawing organized another event in the Brickyard: the Homecoming Canned Food Drive. When the event ended Wednesday afternoon, the drive had gathered 1,000 cans for Feed the Pack, NC State’s food pantry, and 21,782 for the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina. Last year, the drive collected more than 14,000 cans.
“The drive is so different than the other homecoming events,” Lawing says. “It’s not just about school spirit, but the spirit of giving to someone else.”
NC State’s homecoming event won national awards last year after a historic celebration of the university’s 125th anniversary. And we hope Homecoming 2013, whose theme is “Red, White & Wolfpack,” will once again give students, staff and alumni alike an enjoyable experience that makes them feel at home.
The weeklong event, which is led by students in the Alumni Association Student Ambassador Program, kicks off at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 27, with a festival of music, food and giveaways at Miller Field. The celebration is the first of many events, including the Hillsborough Street Music Festival, parade and football game.
On campus, students have the opportunity to get involved and show off their Pack pride with a spirit competition lasting all week. It consists of multiple events, including the annual “Paint the Town Red” competition and the new Instagram video challenge, where students can submit videos showing off their school spirit. There’s also the “Wear Red, Get Fed” events, where students can receive lunch for wearing a red garment, held Monday through Friday in the Brickyard. They’ll also be a special screening of ESPN 30 for 30′s Survive and Advance at the Hunt Library.
Be sure to download the Homecoming “Red and White” mobile app for the schedule of all events or check the website for more details. You can also check out the event’s Twitter page for more information.
And this year marks the first time that Homecoming has earned the highest level of Wolfpack Certified Green recognition, offered by the University Sustainability Office. The certification is awarded for events that incorporate sustainable choices involving food, waste reduction, purchasing, education, marketing, transportation, energy, water and service.
“This year the Champion Level …quickly became a top priority in our planning process,” says Emily Collier, a junior parks, recreation and tourism management major from New Jersey who is co-director of this year’s homecoming. “We were able to adjust previous practices to implement and encourage sustainable actions from ourselves and participants. Through these efforts and modifications, we hope to sustain NC State for 126 more years.”
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!
Tony Caravano wrote in his journal when he was a senior in high school one simple sentence that would predict his involvement in student government in college. “I’d like to be the student body president at North Carolina State University,” read a page from his journal.
But Caravano revealed in an interview with NCSU Libraries’ Student Leadership Initiative, a project chronicling campus leaders and their stories from their time at the university, that when he got to NC State, he thought that role might take him away from making actual change for the student body.
So he told himself he wouldn’t run for student body president. “I wanted to impact an individual’s life rather than doing this big thing,” he said.
It didn’t take him long, though, to look for a chance to serve as student body president. In fact, Caravano was elected to the position twice and served as president from 2003-2005.
He talked about what his involvement meant to him, as well as his accomplishments as president in the six interviews featured in the archive. He was the first graduate student to ever serve as student body president, and during his time, he established a traditions committee and Red Terror Transit.
But perhaps his greatest accomplishment was finding a different way to protest tuition increases. “[T]here’s an interesting role as a student body president,” he said. “You understand or come to understand the the innards of this place, the guts of how it operates and works, so I understood the need for additional revenue coming into the campus, but at the time in North Carolina the middle class was just being squeezed.”
So Caravano, who now serves on the board of directors for the Alumni Association, was instrumental in what he calls “the Personal Stories Project,” where he brought real people who would be affected by such policy changes to meetings and let them tell their stories.
“We didn’t do the protests that some of our predecessors had done and the rallies,” he said. “Those things hadn’t yielded different results, so we brought them to actual meetings to talk to the people who were going to make the decisions.”
John Rowland, an outfielder on NC State’s 1968 College World Series team, couldn’t contain himself last week when this year’s Wolfpack team beat Rice to clinch a spot in Omaha. His first thought was to get a plane ticket and join the other members of that team traveling west to take in the 2013 College World Series.
But one thing stopped him. He couldn’t leave “Mulie” behind.
“Mulie” is Steve Martin, an All American in 1968 when he led that State team in a number of offensive categories. He lives in Crouse, N.C., and receives dialysis three times a week due to his liver failing him seven years ago. Because of that, he couldn’t make it to Omaha. But Rowland says his former roommate’s is a symbol of that 1968 season.
“Steve epitomizes what our team was like,” Rowland says. “People said, ‘You can’t do it.’ ‘You don’t belong here.’ And we survived.”
So instead of flying to Omaha, Rowland and some of the other members from that team — Gary Yount, Joe Frye and Clem Huffman — made their way to Crouse on Sunday, knocked on Martin’s door as a surprise and watched NC State’s defeat of North Carolina with him. The visit reflects the strong bond that team has shared the last 45 years.
From left to right: Gary Yount, Steve Martin, Joe Frye, John Rowland and Clem Huffman.
“That’s how our team was,” Rowland says. “We were a band of brothers.”
Martin, who says he was nicknamed “Mulie” when he got to State because of his stories of using a mule to plow on a tobacco farm growing up in Stokes County, was shocked by the visit. He says he spent the afternoon reminiscing with the guys about old teammates like “Chico,” third baseman Chris Cammack, and “Brass,” pitcher Mike Caldwell.
And, he says, he got to talk over the phone to some of his former teammates who made it to Omaha to watch the game. He says he’s stayed so close to the guys because of their North Carolina roots. “We have a good bond,” he says. “I think everybody thought we were underdogs because we didn’t have any out-of-state players. But we stuck together.”
Steve Martin in 1968.
That sticking together picked back up several years ago when the team started meeting once a year for a reunion. And they reflect each year on how they went to NC State’s first CWS as a unit, not as individuals.
“It was more of a team effort,” Martin says. “We went out there and thought nobody would beat us.”
But for Rowland, no player meant more to that squad than Martin, who was the co-captain of that team with pitcher Alex Cheek. Rowland says Martin had the quickest hands he’d ever seen, which equipped him with the skill to be one of the team’s best hitters. But it’s Martin’s victory all these years later off the field that made Rowland pause before he ordered his ticket to Omaha.
“Steve’s the epitome of survival,” he says. “I would love to be out there hollering in Omaha. But this is the game of life.”
When you fish around for local lore in Omaha, Neb., you find out the city is known for more than being the host of the College World Series since 1950 and the hometown of Warren Buffett.
It turns out what’s become an American sandwich standard may have been invented there. The Reuben, usually of corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and Thousand Island dressing on rye, was invented by a grocer in Omaha, according to the locals, though there are some in New York City who might disagree. If you’re in Omaha cheering on the Wolfpack, in its first CWS since 1968, you can explore the varying interpretations of the Reuben throughout the city’s extensive restaurant culture. We caught up with Omaha-based alumni for suggestions on where to eat and what to see while in town.
David Connell ’82, a regional vice president of operations in Omaha for Union Pacific Railroad, says it’s a city known for beef and pork. “Omaha grew up around the railroad and the stockyards,” he says. “There are still a number of legacy steakhouses like Cascio’s and Johnny’s that serve up a great steak. You might catch Warren Buffett at Gorat’s on Center Street.”
And if a steak is too much, our Omaha-based alumni were unanimous in saying Dinker’s Bar makes one of the top burgers in town and serves as a regular hangout for fans during the CWS. Travis Withers ’00, a brand manager for ConAgra Foods, says to order the Husker Burger there and bring cash since they don’t take credit cards.
The CWS fever isn’t just felt at local burger joints. “Almost everyone gears up for the CWS like it’s a citywide party,” says John Payne ’95, an employee of the Omaha Public Schools. “You can hear the radio broadcast of the games in the grocery store. Many folks here pick a team to cheer, even if there is no personal connection to the college.”
Connell echoes that, making a comparison to an event everyone in North Carolina knows. “[The CWS] is the ACC basketball tournament of Nebraska,” he says, adding that TD Ameritrade Park, which replaced Rosenblatt Stadium as the site of the games in 2011, is a venue to behold. “The whole city shows up to watch the best baseball that can be found.”
When the games are over, or if it rains, there’s plenty to do in the city. Our alumni say the Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium is one of the premier zoos in the country. There’s also the Omaha Children’s Museum and the Durham Museum, which is an old train station converted into a museum. And the downtown area has a many shops included in what is called the Old Market.
Connell says that no matter what you choose, you’ll find Omaha is a great city known for its food, art and culture. “Omaha doesn’t look like the ‘cowtown’ it started as, and you can count on the welcome mat at the door.”
It’s not that Dave Boyer, an outfielder on NC State’s 1968 College World Series squad, doesn’t want to talk about the Wolfpack’s 5-4 victory over Rice Sunday night that propelled the team to Omaha.
It’s that he almost can’t. “I’m still hoarse from last night,” Boyer says, laughing. “I was happy for [the team]. I thought they had the team that could make it to the College World Series.”
Boyer is a member of the only NC State team to have ever made it to a College World Series, that is until Sunday. He and other members from that 1968 team were at Sunday’s game to ensure that the 2013 club joined them in the NC State history books. It’s a relationship that head coach Elliott Avent started to cultivate a couple of years ago and has continued this season, asking some of that team’s standouts to come back and address this team.
“Coach Avent had asked Mike Caldwell [a pitcher on the 1968 team] and I to speak to these kids early on,” says Chris Cammack, who played third base in 1968 and was the 1969 ACC Player of the Year. “And we did. We told them that we were going to adopt them as the only team we’ve ever adopted. We told them if they made Omaha [the annual home to the College World Series], we’d be there.”
And with the Wolfpack scoring three runs to tie the game up in the ninth inning on Sunday and going ahead in the 17th, it seems the team particularly heeded the advice of Caldwell, who earlier this season told the players about an old saying in baseball. “They say to play nine full innings,” he says of his message. “Anything can happen if you play hard from the beginning to the end. They never quit.”
Freddie Combs, who was an outfielder in 1968 and also played football for the Wolfpack, says that it was special to be at the game and to watch the 2013 club repeat what his did 45 years ago. He says that each player on this year’s team had a piece of tape above his locker this season reading “1968.” That tape got ripped down after Sunday’s victory.
And he says that that this squad is not all that different from the one that went to Omaha in 1968 as the only unranked team in the College World Series that year.
“They don’t hit a lot of home runs,” he says. “We didn’t hit a lot of home runs. I think we hit twelve all year. It was a similar team in that we had speed and had to manufacture runs. They’ve got speed and it shows.”
As far as prognostication, Combs says there’s no reason to believe the team Avent’s taking to Omaha this week can’t win NC State’s first national championship in baseball. “I think it’s wide open as of right now. We have as good a chance as anybody.”
Four graduating seniors will receive the Mathews Medal, the highest non-academic distinction awarded to NC State students, at a ceremony tonight at the Dorothy and Roy Park Alumni Center. The Mathews Medal is modeled after the Watauga Medal and is administered by the Alumni Association Student Ambassador Program.
The award is named after Walter Jerome Mathews, the first student to arrive on the campus of the N.C. College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts in 1889 (we chronicled Mathews’ arrival on campus in the commemorative 125th anniversary issue of NC State magazine). The Mathews Medal recognizes seniors who have made significant contributions to the university based on leadership and service.
Here are this year’s recipients:
Emily Tucker of Gaithersburg, Md. Tucker, a Park Scholar, served on the University Affairs committee as a student senator and founded the Reusable Regatta, a raft race to on Lake Raleigh to promote campus sustainability. She also chaired the Krispy Kreme Challenge and served as president of the Institute of Industrial Engineers.
Josh Privette of Wendell, N.C. Privette was transportation and campus safety chair in his time serving in the Alumni Association Student Ambassador Program. He also represented student interests in his time serving on the Physical Environment Standing committee, streamlining access to campus departments for students.
Mary Charles Hale of Morehead City, N.C. Hale, a Park Scholar, served as a Service Leadership Team committee member for the Center for Student Leadership, Ethics, and Public Service. She led a service trip to the Dominican Republic as a junior and directed NC State’s 125th anniversary homecoming celebration, the largest student-led homecoming in the country.
Andy Walsh of Pittsboro, N.C. Walsh served as student body president. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and served in the Alumni Association Student Ambassador Program, where he implemented the University’s Tradition Keepers program, known as The Brick. He also oversaw the Coaches’ Corner project aimed at celebrating NC State’s most beloved coaches.
The 2010 men’s club team poses with the national championship trophy it won that year.
There’s a lone disappointment for senior Grayson Eubanks when he thinks back to his freshman year at NC State in 2009-10. Having played basketball in rec leagues all his life and for Athens Drive High School, he figured he had the skills to make the NC State men’s club basketball team, which is different from intramural sports in that club teams make cuts.
It was a manageable first round of cuts, which annually includes more than 100 people vying for five-to-six new spots on the 14-man roster. But the second round was much more difficult, with skilled players each trying to make a name for himself. And at the end of the day, it was not meant to be for Eubanks, whose brother was on that team that went on to win the 2010 national club championship. “He gives me a tough time about it all the time,” Eubanks says.
Eubanks, who will graduate May 11th and pursue medicine at East Carolina’s Brody School of Medicine, made the team the next two years. And this past year, he served as the club’s president. He says that role has helped him cultivate leadership skills that extend beyond the out-of-bounds lines on a court.
“With a lot of 21- and 22-year-olds and with a lot of people who have played high-level basketball, everyone has a lot of ego,” Eubanks says. “We have a lot of attitudes. But you learn to deal with people so that everyone is still friends and go out to dinner together.”
And it’s also equipped Eubanks with skills he can apply in the professional world, like raising money and budgeting for the team’s needs. In the past, the team has just checked out intramural jerseys from University Recreation, which houses intramural and club sports, but toward the end of this year, Eubanks purchased jerseys online. He and his girlfriend then took them to A.C. More, where she put all the lettering on each jersey. “It pays to date someone in textiles,” he says.
The men’s club team began in 2009 and plays its games in Carmichael Gymnasium on NC State’s campus. It competes against other universities’ club teams. In addition to winning the national title in 2010, it hosted the National Intramural Recreational Sports Association 2013 National Basketball Championships on campus in April. More than 70 teams from 19 states came to compete for the championships in Raleigh.
With events like that, the club team continues to raise its profile and sometimes sees its success translate into a player or two making it to the varsity squad. Jay Lewis walked onto the varsity squad during the 2012-13 campaign after success at the club level. But that can also mean more work for Eubanks and future club presidents to fill spots. “I’m always hoping the don’t steal my players,” Eubanks says. “But they do.”
For more on club sports at NC State, check out the Spring 2013 issue of NC State magazine. We profiled the rich program at the university and featured different club sports teams, some of which are the most successful and the best-kept secrets on campus.