NC State History Category
Bill Friday served as senior class president in 1941, using his position to push for a new policy that would allow students to cut classes without penalty and to urge the N.C. General Assembly to increase funding for the university. He would go on, of course, to serve as the longtime president of the University of North Carolina system and then as host of North Carolina People with William Friday on UNC-TV.
But when he was interviewed for the Student Leadership Initiative, an effort by NCSU Libraries to document the efforts of student leaders at NC State through the years and record their memories of their time on campus, Friday talked more about challenging times during his years on campus.
William Friday, center, as senior class president
The project features three interview segments with Friday. In one, Friday talks about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, saying “it changed everything” at NC State. “Boy, it [NC State] got right into the war effort up to its neck,” Friday said.
Friday also talked about his days working in cotton mills for 18.5 cents an hour. He said that when Franklin Delano Roosevelt became president, his pay in the mills jumped to 37.5 cents an hour. “And I’ve been a Democrat ever since,” he said with a laugh.
Friday recalled “those glorious days at NC State,” but noted that he came here as a transfer student after initially enrolling at Wake Forest with a $50 scholarship. But given that his father was in the textiles business, Friday decided it was best to transfer to NC State.
The faculty and administration at the College of Textiles were not eager to be pioneers on Centennial Campus. They voted unanimously in 1987 against the college moving from Nelson Hall and David Clark Labs on the main campus to the new campus that was still more imagined than real.
Nonetheless, it was on this day in 1988 that the ground was officially broken for a new home for the College of Textiles on Centennial Campus. The 300,000-foot square foot facility, which was actually to be four interconnected buildings, was expected to cost $30 million to build and equip. Over 175 people turned out for the groundbreaking.
“If this $30 million investment says anything, it says the textiles industry is a number one priority at North Carolina State University,” then-Chancellor Bruce Poulton said at the groundbreaking, according to an account in the Technician. “This building is really symbolic of our constant commitment to have the best College of Textiles in the free world.”
The new College of Textiles complex was dedicated in 1991.
Wonder what it was like to be a student at NC State during the Great Depression? Or what it was like on campus when Pearl Harbor was attacked? Curious about what it was like to be an African-American student at NC State in the late 1960s, or how it felt to be the first woman to serve as the student body president?
Thanks to the folks at NCSU Libraries, you can find the answer to these and other questions about student life at NC State through the years. Through a project known as the Student Leadership Initiative, NCSU Libraries has assembled oral histories, photographs and other documents associated with student leaders at NC State. The project’s website featured video interviews with everyone from former senior class president William Friday to former student body president James B. Hunt Jr.
Over the course of this summer, we will periodically feature some of the project’s work here at redandwhiteforlife.com. So stay tuned.
Any mention of the name Apollo usually engenders some connection to a number of culturally significant markers.
Upon hearing it, people might think of the Greek god of the music, poetry, prophecy and intellect. Or people might think of the outer boundaries of scientific discovery that were rendered limitless when Apollo 11 landed on the moon in 1969, putting men there for the first time. Some might think of the numerous historically significant performances under the lights at Harlem’s Apollo Theater that gave voice to African-American artists throughout the 20th century.
And for others, Apollo’s a towering boxer that it took two movies for Rocky to defeat.
And NC State is not without its own association to the name, as on this day in 1958 it was announced that there would be a new club forming on campus to “promote knowledge and intellectual curiosity.” It was named the Apollo Club.
Don Malpass (left), the associate secretary of the YMCA, and Oscar Wooldridge, coordinator of religious affairs and general secretary of the YMCA, hold a program from one of the Apollo Club's lectures.
The Technician in 1958 framed the club as “a new adventure into the modern world of thought [that] is about to occur on the campus of State College.” The YMCA sponsored the club, which held four meetings each semester where members would eat dinner and then listen to a lecture by “a nationally or internationally famous authority on some subject of humanistic importance.”
The first lecture, scheduled for October 1958, addressed technological concerns. The club kicked off its beginnings on campus that year with 75 members who became more sophisticated for a relatively cheap price.
“The club is open to anyone who has a real interest in ethical problems of today,” The Technician reported. “A member must be able to pay for his meal which will be one dollar.”
Ted Brown being congratulated his senior year on "Ted Brown Day."
Former NC State running back Ted Brown was expecting a simple return home when he arrived back in Minnesota in early May, fresh off a trip to Florida. But when Brown went through his mail, he came across a package that caught his attention.
The package was from the National Football Foundation, and Brown was puzzled because he doesn’t know anyone working there. Then he saw a football in the package, which didn’t strike him as odd since people frequently send him memorabilia to sign. But what was printed on the football welcomed him to a special place for an athlete.
“Ted Brown, North Carolina State University, Member of the 2013 College Football Hall of Fame Class.”
The College Football Hall of Fame honor, Brown says, caught him off guard because it’s been a while since he ran over Wolfpack foes from 1975-78. In those four seasons, Brown became the ACC’s all-time leading rusher with 4,602 yards and 51 touchdowns.
“I was surprised but pleased to finally be recognized for the hard work I put in through college,” he says. “I had thought my numbers were good enough. …I felt a little overjoyed. Better late than never.”
Brown’s promise as a runner was realized in his first game as a freshman, running for 121 yards and two touchdowns in the contest against Indiana University. That game helped Brown believe he could do something special. But, he adds, he never set his sights on being one of the greatest running backs in college football history.
“My goal was to play and do the best I could for my teammates,” he says. “The camaraderie we had was so tight. That is so important in sports. If you get any individual honors, it’s probably because you were surrounded by great people.”
And win honors he did. Brown was named first-team All-ACC all four years at NC State, and he was a consensus All-American in 1978. He had a decorated career in his eight seasons for the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings. And last fall, he was part of the inaugural class inducted into the NC State Athletic Hall of Fame, an honor he says will always stand out for him.
“Having been in the first class,” Brown says, “it speaks volumes since the school has been there so long. …That feels like family. It felt like my family was recognizing me. [The College Football Hall of Fame] is a great honor, but it wouldn’t have been possible without my having been at NC State.”
Hervasio Guimaraes de Carvalho made news when he decided to leave Brazil to study at NC State. He made even bigger news a couple of years later when he earned his PhD from the university.
The Technician took note of de Carvalho registering for graduate studies in nuclear engineering in 1952. The student newspaper described de Carvalho as “the key man in Brazil’s peacetime development of atomic engineering.” The paper said that de Carvalho planned to return to Brazil after earning his PhD to operate a pilot atomic reactor.
De Carvalho was quite accomplished before arriving at NC State. He had already earned two doctorates and worked as a professor at the University of Recife and the University of Brazil. He had been elected a Fellow in the Brazilian Academy of Sciences and, immediately before coming to NC State, had served as assistant counsel to the scientific director for the newly created National Research Council of Brazil.
Although de Carvalho earned his PhD in nuclear engineering from NC State, he spent much of his time working as a research associate in the Institute for Nuclear Studies at the University of Chicago. In his thesis, (”Total Cross Sections of 208-Mev and 315-Mev Protons for Light Elements”) de Carvalho expressed his appreciation for professors at the University of Chicago before thanking NC State professors Clifford Beck, Raymond Murray and A.C. Menius for their assistance.
But on this day in 1954, de Carvalho became the first student in the world — yes, the world — to complete the requirements for a doctorate in nuclear engineering, according to an account in The News & Observer. He was also the first person to ever earn a PhD from NC State’s physics department. A photo showed him standing atop NC State’s nuclear reactor with Beck, head of the Physics Department.
The newspaper account said that de Carvalho flew to Chicago after completing his work so that he could join his family, but that he planned to return to NC State in June to receive his degree.
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.
Angie Brooks, the assistant secretary of foreign affairs for Liberia, spoke at NC State in 1963 as part of the College Union Forum Committee’s Colloquium on Emerging Nations. She was advocating aid to African nations, but what she discovered was that the segregationist South of the 1960s couldn’t even muster up the simplest form of hospitality for Africans.
It was on this day 50 years ago that, after being well-received by the NC State audience at the colloquium, Brooks and her nephew were refused service by the Sir Walter Raleigh Hotel and the S&W Cafeteria in Raleigh, according to a 1963 article in The Technician.
At the S&W Cafeteria, Brooks stepped in line for service. After the manager initially told her he would not serve her, he closed down the line. The Technician reported that upon confronting Brooks, the manager asked, “Do you want a job as a chef or a cook?” When she replied that she simply wanted to eat, he reiterated he could not serve her.
The Technician chronicled the 1963 incident where Angie Brooks was denied service from two Raleigh establishments.
“In all my experience…traveling in Africa, Europe and in the United States,” Brooks told the manager, “I have never been treated in this manner.”
Before Brooks left the establishment, she gave the manager her card and invited him to Liberia, where she promised he could eat in any restaurant.
Brooks went on to be elected the first African woman president of the United Nations General Assembly. She died in 2007. The Angie Brooks International Centre was established in 2009 as a nongovernmental organization in Liberia to empower women in West Africa and around the world.
Many animals have passed through the halls of NC State’s College of Veterinary Medicine through the years, but none more famous than the storied Anheuser-Busch Clydesdales.
Those Clydesdales, routinely featured in annual Super Bowl beer commercials, came to Raleigh to help celebrate the opening of the vet school on this day in 1983. And they were the first horses ever to be kept in the school’s stables.
But, according to the Technician, the Clydesdales weren’t here just to celebrate the event at NC State. They themselves had something to commemorate.
“The new school’s opening coincides with the 50th anniversary of the the repeal of prohibition,” a 1983 Technician reports. “In that year, 1933, one member of the Busch family gave the Clydesdales to his father to celebrate the repeal of prohibition. The horses have practically become an American institution since then.”
It’s been open for three months. But today, the James B. Hunt Jr. Library was formally dedicated.
Keynote speaker Vartan Gregorian, president of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, called the library “a Laboratory of human endeavor, a window to the future.” He said the library embodies the spirit of the Morrill Act, the legislation signed 150 years ago that created land-grant universities such as NC State. Gregorian, the former president of Brown University, praised the vision of Gov. Hunt and his support of education. “I salute you. Today is your day,” he said to Hunt, who sat on the front row with his family.
Chancellor Randy Woodson said the library on Centennial Campus is nothing like the libraries of the past. To those who haven’t been through its spaces, he said, “you’re in for a surprise.’’ Woodson added, “Today’s students need to interact across disciplines in creative ways….We created space for that to happen.’’
The library uses an automated bookBot retrieval system that allows storage of over a million volumes while freeing up more space for study areas. The group study rooms are each equipped with large-screen display monitors, and walls made of whiteboard are ready for students to write down equations and notes. A Teaching and Visualization Lab and Creativity Studio offers opportunities for simulation that can enhance teaching. And patrons can use technology such as 3-D printing. At the conclusion of the dedication, Woodson presented Gregorian with a 3-D printed version of the Hunt Library.
Andy Walsh addresses the audience at the dedication of the James B. Hunt Jr. Library.
Andy Walsh, student body president, spoke of the buzz among students about the building— saying it was a constant presence on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. He noted that more than 1,700 images of the library are online through the #myhuntlibrary campaign to collect photos of the library.
You can read more about the library in the upcoming issue of NC State magazine, a benefit of membership in the Alumni Association.