NC State History Category
In the early 1980s, D.H. Hill officials informed Chancellor Bruce Poulton of their beliefs that the library needed an addition to accommodate the growing number of students who were crowding the study spaces and room for stacks, according to a 1986 issue of the Technician.
And it was on this day in 1986 that NC State announced that the next phase in the construction of a new tower would begin. The first phase, in which underground utilities were moved, was finished earlier that year, in February.
Photo courtesy of the Technician.
“Phase two is the construction of the building itself…the foundation, walls and roofs,” University John G. Fields told the Technician.
NC State received $9.3 million from the N.C. General Assembly for the construction, which was estimated to be completed in 20 months.
Fields also told the Technician the existing tower and the planned tower would connect and would “look like one.”
Construction was completed and the tower, now known as South Tower, opened in 1990.
The College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences (PAMS) was very much in the computer age in mid-1988, housing NC State’s computer science department.
But that all changed on this day 26 years ago, when the department moved from PAMS to the College of Engineering.
The change did not affect incoming freshmen that year, nor did it bring any immediate change to the computer science curriculum and degree requirements. It did, however, shift the responsibility of signing off on diplomas from the PAMS’ dean to the College of Engineering’s dean.
According to the Technician, the move was an outgrowth of a movement in the computer science department. “During the departmental vote last spring, the CSC faculty ranked their preference for reorganization among several alternatives,” the paper reported. “As their first choice, 17 voted to move to the College of Engineering as an autonomous unit, while eight voted to transfer to the College of Engineering and merge with computer engineering…. Four voted to remain in PAMS.”
The faculty members felt they already were working more closely with their colleagues in the College of Engineering and that their new home might hold more resources, according to the Technician.
NC State’s computer science department still calls the College of Engineering home, and PAMS became a part of the newly formed College of Sciences in July 2013.
North Residence Hall doesn’t take reservations, and there’s no nightclub to entertain Raleigh’s politicians on the premises.
That wasn’t always true, though. North used to be a hotel, first called the Lemon Tree Inn and then the John Yancey Motor Hotel. There was a restaurant and even a night club known as Merry Monk that, according to an NC State facilities website, served as “a favorite establishment among legislators and other politicians during the 1970s.”
And it was on this day in 1979 that the university completed its deal to buy the hotel and convert it into a residence hall.
North Residence Hall
The deal came in at $3 million and held the promise of offering 362 students newly converted hotel rooms for their housing, according to the Technician.
Regular dorm rooms were priced at $245 per student per semester in 1979, but a room in North cost a student $450 per semester. Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Banks Talley defended the price due to the building’s built-in amenities.
“Each room, [Talley] said, has wall-to-wall carpeting, air conditioning and a private bath,” the Technician reported. “Also, residents of the North Building will not be subject to the annual lottery and can retain their rooms as long as they are students.”
It’s safe to say that almost every Wolfpacker is familiar with campus publications like the Technician or the Agromeck. But for years one of the most prominent publications on campus went unnoticed.
That was until this day in 1983, when the Technician reported that The Wataugan had been rediscovered.
The magazine served as a men’s publication and was founded in the late 1920s. According to the Technician, the magazine was based on The American Mercury, founded by H.L. Mencken and George Jean Nathan and was a humorous response to the tough economic times of the ’20s.
“Parodies began with mock Esquires and mock Times and spread into tabloid lampoons of the National Inquirers of the day,” the Technician reported. “The Technician took regular, mean drubbings.”
The magazine apparently disappeared in the late 50′s. But even 30 years after that, when it was found again, the magazine was lauded for its humor.
“Under the guise of laughter, it is said, truth will out. The Wataugan barrels into the real crisis of campus life, the actual concerns of the people here,” the Technician claimed. “Much of the magazine continues to evoke the same responses despite distance of time and tastes. What could The Wataugan be if it did not have to keep its imagination reigned up? Even more priceless.”
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.
It had been four years since Jim Valvano had led NC State to the ’83 national championship in basketball, but his name and coaching prowess still resonated, stretching even as far north as New York City.
Valvano had spent the summer months during 1987 flirting with the NBA, specifically with the New York Knicks. He was one of five candidates, along with University of Kansas Head Coach Larry Brown and Providence College Head Coach Rick Pitino, that the Knicks were reportedly considering making their head coach, according to the Technician.
But it was on this day 27 years ago that Valvano closed the door on the New York courtship and pledged to stay with the Wolfpack.
Illustration courtesy of NCSU Libraries.
“At this time, I would like to state that I am definitely remaining at NC State University,” Valvano announced. “My family and I are extremely happy at NC State, and I look forward to the challenges ahead. I have the utmost respect for the New York Knicks and their management. I will always remain a Knicks fan, and I wish them the best of luck.”
The New York native admitted he had met with the Knicks but had never been formally offered a job.
“I love NC State. I’m excited about the future — of what we can become,” he said.
The Knicks eventually hired Pitino, now the head coach of ACC foe Louisville.
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.
When Willis Casey was hired by NC State to coach its swim team, it began a period of dominance for Wolfpack athletics in which Casey won 16 Southern Conference and ACC titles. He gave up coaching duties and became athletics director in 1969, a post he held for 17 years.
But it was on this day 28 years ago that Casey eschewed any farewell speeches or tearful goodbyes for just a “regular” day that would mark the end of his tenure at NC State and the beginning of his retirement.
“[Casey] just said a few good-byes to his department colleagues and added just a touch of uncharacteristic flamboyancy for a local television station by kissing golf coach Richard Sykes on the cheek,” the Technician reported, adding that Casey’s legacy at NC State was “unsurpassed in Wolfpack Athletic Department history.”
Apart from the swimming dynasty he built as a coach, Casey is credited with turning around an athletics program in the red as athletics director. According to the Technician, he took over a program that was more than $100,000 in debt, in part because of Carter-Finley Stadium’s construction. He also bolstered women’s sports at NC State, hiring Kay Yow as women’s basketball coach. And he also hired Lou Holtz and Jim Valvano, who succeeded Casey as AD.
“The picture most people have of me is I’m a mean son-of-a-gun,” Casey told the Technician his last day on the job. “But I’m really just a teddy bear underneath it all.”
Students certainly had their fair share of options as to which club they might want to join during the early 1980s on campus. There was the Biological and Agricultural Engineering Technology Club. Students could explore conservation in the wildly popular Leopold Wildlife Club. Or they could stay on top of their studies with the Water Ski Club.
But for one club, 1984 marked a major breakthrough as NC State’s campus was introduced on this day for the first time to the Steady State Breakers, the only professional breakdancing crew in Raleigh, the Technician reported.
Steady State consisted of four students who were visionaries, seeing that breakdancing would have just as much staying power as the salsa and or the waltz. Scott Wilce, Richard Lewis, Curtis Hamilton and Elaine Furtis had been practicing daily for several months and worked on other campuses to spread their gospel of gyration.
“The Breakers won a Breakdance contest at Groucho’s during finals week last semester and gave a Breakdancing demonstration at Groucho’s a few weeks ago,” the Technician reported. “In addition, they are currently working a Breakdance clinic at Duke University.”
The club members’ styles varied, with each excelling in one of the multiple facets of the art form. “Other moves include the Hanglide, which is spinning the body using the hand as a pivot and the legs for balance; the Backspin; the Headspin; the Windmill, which is spinning alternately on one shoulder then the other; and the Suicide, which is a no-hands forward flip where you land flat on your back.”
Tommy Burleson was a first-team All-ACC performer after his sophomore year in 1972, but that summer, the 7-foot-4 center took his talents national as he was picked to be on the 12-man Olympic team by head coach Henry Iba.
The pick on this day 34 years ago came after two weeks of Olympic trials at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. Burleson was one of three rising juniors that year to be named to the team, according to the Technician.
Norm Sloan, Burleson’s coach at NC State, visited the trials and said the experience gave the center a chance to see for himself just how good he was. “Tom didn’t appreciate how good he was on a national level until these trials,” Sloan said. “This was a good experience for him.”
“I really wanted to make it and I couldn’t sleep the night before the naming of the team on Sunday afternoon,” Burleson said in the Technician. “It is the greatest honor ever bestowed upon me. It meant so much to me and I tried to do everything it took to make it. Not only on the court, but all the little things required. Coach Iba told us it was as tough mentally as it was physically playing in the Olympics and that was why we had such a rigorous training program.”
The ’72 Olympics in Munich that September became forever linked to the massacre by terrorists of eleven athletes from Israel.
The games were also marred by a controversial finish to the men’s basketball final, in which the U.S. team lost to the Soviet team in a game it had initially won. Burleson and his teammates never collected their silver medals.
Burleson recounted the experience for a feature story in NC State magazine in summer 2012.