NC State History Category
Club sports has long been a part of the fabric of student life at NC State, but most of them took place on some court or field. They rarely got too extreme.
That changed on this day in 1985, when it was announced in the Technician that the latest club a student could join was the sky diving club.
The genesis for the club, according to the paper, was a training course at the Franklin County Parachute Center.
One of the club’s founders, then-sophomore Basil Hassan, took a class there with 20 other people and fell in love with the sport. He came back to campus and advertised the club to spread the word to other students, according to the Technician.
“The club is for the fun of sky diving,” Hassan told the Technician. “We’re patterning our club after the one at Duke, which has gotten into competition with such schools as Clemson and South Carolina, all for the fun of it.”
We, at the Alumni Association, couldn’t find any pics of the student group in any volumes of the Agromeck from the mid-to-late 1980s, so we can’t say with certainty that the club ever got off the ground.
It had been NC State’s football team that, for many years, had donned the colors of red and white on the gridiron.
But it was on this day in 1938 that another integral part of autumn’s Saturday scene earned its stripes, so to speak, as the marching band received new uniforms for its members.
“The newly acquired uniforms follow the color scheme of those worn by members of the State football team,” The Technician reported. “The coats are of a dark red color, trimmed with white, and the trousers are a neutral gray with a red military stripe down the side.”
The State College Redcoat Band, directed by C.D. Kutchinski, unveiled the new uniforms eight days later in Charlotte, where the Wolfpack defeated Davidson College, 19-7.
The Redcoats. Photo from the 1939 Agromeck.
The uniforms, which gave a new identity and flare to a band already known for its sound, were made a reality when the Raleigh Junior Chamber of Commerce raised the money needed for the 45 that were purchased and the 20 more that would eventually be ordered to round out needed total.
“The State Band is noted throughout the State for the colorful performances it has put on during the halves of the home football games,” wrote The Technician. “Spectators will have their first glimpse of both the new uniforms and the rejuvenated band at the opening game in Charlotte.”
Lobo III may have been the most infamous mascots NC State has ever had. He also may have been one of the Wolfpack’s most popular mascots.
That’s because Lobo III, as it turned out, was not a wolf.
Lobo was believed to be a 4-month-old timber wolf when NC State’s student government purchased him from an animal dealer to commemorate the opening of what is now Carter-Finley Stadium in the 1960s.
Lobo was a hit at football games, in part because he often howled. But then a zoology professor unmasked Lobo, revealing that he was not a timber wolf. Instead, he was a coyote. That was fine with students, though, who simply started referring to NC State’s football team as the “Kool Kyoties.”
But all good things eventually come to an end and, on this day in 1970, the Technician reported that the reign of Lobo III as NC State’s mascot was over. The paper reported that Lobo III was retiring.
“Lobo, the wolf everybody knew was a coyote, was adopted by the Wolfpack several years ago as their official mascot,” the paper reported. “However, the cheerleaders have decided that Lobo is getting too old for the kind of rabble-rousing that goes on at football games and pep rallies, and they are making arrangements for a nice retirement home for the Wolfpack veteran.”
Head cheerleader Tom Dimmock told the paper that Lobo was being kept on a farm with a large wooded area where he could run free. But he also noted that Lobo sometimes had difficulty behaving as the NC State mascot.
“As a coyote, Lobo was not meant to be tame,” Dimmock said. “He was just too hard to handle at games. The squad was afraid to take him out of the cage for fear he would get away and hurt someone.”
When it was later announced that Lobo was going to be put to sleep, a state representative led a campaign to save the coyote. As a result, Lobo III was donated to the N.C. Zoo, which was under construction at the time. But before the zoo was finished, Lobo died of heartworms.
Back on campus, NC State adopted a full-fledged, two-thirds wolf as its new mascot.
Though it’s not in the ACC, East Carolina has long been considered one of NC State’s chief gridiron rivals. There’s even a victory barrel for the winner of the contest to take home whenever they play.
But on this day 36 years ago, while the the Wolfpack notched a 29-13 win over the Pirates, NC State kicker Nathan Ritter took home a school record.
Yes, it was an important win over East Carolina, the first for the Wolfpack in three years. But it was, as the Technician reported, Ritter’s foot that was the star.
“Showing his stuff more prominently than anyone else was Nathan Ritter, an unheralded High Point sophomore who set a school record by kicking five field goals and accounting for 17 points,” the Technician reported. “The 5-8, 150 pounder demonstrated excellent range and accuracy while booting three-pointers of 48, 29, 46, 34 and 44 yards.
“Before Ritter’s performance, no one in Wolfpack history had kicked more than three field goals or had scored more than 12 points kicking during a game. His only miss was a mere 41 yards, which he pulled left of the upright in the second quarter.”
Ritter’s mark still stands in the Wolfpack record books today.
Life at a student newspaper isn’t that much different than one at a daily metro paper. You’re trying to break news. It’s even better if you can scoop another outlet.
Rarely, though, can you beat another paper to a mailbox in which it physically belongs.
But that’s exactly what happened on this day in 1975, when 20,000 copies of the Technician found their way inside of campus boxes at UNC-Chapel Hill, replacing The Daily Tar Heel on campus for one day.
How the Wolfpack’s newspaper made it over to enemy territory is a story that has more to do with UNC than with NC State. Mike O’Neal, UNC’s student government treasurer that year, had withheld funds for the DTH, citing more than 100 accounting procedure violations. The advertising staff then was not able to generate enough revenue for publication.
So Kevin Fisher, editor of the Technician, authorized the distribution of the papers at UNC, a move that was not popular by some in Raleigh. Some at NC State were not happy that half of the 20,000 had to be paid for out the Technician’s budget.
“In my eyes it didn’t benefit the students here at State,” Ray Braun, a former chairman of NC State’s Publications Authority in 1975, said in a Technician article days after the Publications Authority formally did not endorse Fisher’s actions. “A number of State students, including myself, didn’t get a paper after paying for another 10,000.”
“To be perfectly frank, even if the Pub Board had happened to walk into my office at 6:30 Sunday night and had voted against distributing the paper in Chapel Hill, I would have done it anyway,” Fisher told the Technician, citing the need to get students at Carolina at least some news quickly. “There was no doublt [sic] in my mind that the principle involved meritted [sic] action.”
But UNC’s student government treasurer was no fan of Fisher’s reverence for immediacy.
“O’Neal responded that he felt the editors of the State student newspaper were ‘irresponsible in sending 20,000 copies of the State Newspaper to Carolina,” the Technician reported. “He charged that circulating the Technician on campus was a violation of the solicitation policy because ‘no permit was secured.’”
O’Neal released the funds two days later.
There’s an endless list of rock ‘n’ roll and country music legends who roared through Reynolds Coliseum over the years and left the crowds wowed by their performances.
The Rolling Stones in ’65. Elton John in ’80. Van Halen in ’82. And who can forget Conway Twitty closing his show with “Three Times a Lady” and “It’s Only Make Believe” in 1984?
That succession of music memories ended temporarily on this day in 1984, however, when university officials announced Reynolds Coliseum would no longer host rock concerts.
“Reynolds Coliseum will not be booking any future rock concerts,” read the first line in the Technician‘s lead story that day.
That statement, as reported in the same article, was the only statement released by Richard Farrell, business manager of Reynolds Coliseum at the time. It seemed to be a response to a request from Jim Edwards, chairman of the Union Activities Board‘s entertainment committee. He had written a letter to Athletics Director Willis Casey earlier that August asking for approval to invite such acts as ZZ Top, Bruce Springsteen and Prince to play inside Reynolds.
Instead of receiving a response from Casey, Edwards got the one-sentence statement from Farrell, according to the Technician.
“I personally feel the administration has made this decision because most of the crowd (at rock concerts) are non students, and because they don’t like the type of crowd that rock ‘n’ roll concerts draw,” Edwards told the paper. “For Friends of the College events, I feel that student attendance is lower than at rock ‘n’ roll concerts such as Van Halen. …To me they’re segregating the types of music.”
The policy by NC State administrators turned out to be only a temporary injunction on fun at the coliseum, as acts like the Charlie Daniels Band, Alabama and Aerosmith went on to rock out Reynolds in the late 1980s.
UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC-Greensboro and East Carolina University had already decided by the summer of 1973 that they would make prescription services available to students who wanted birth control.
Yet NC State still had made no call as to whether it would provide those services.
That all changed on this day 41 years ago, when the university announced Clark Infirmary would offer prescriptions that would enable students to get birth control pills. The service, however, did not directly dispense the pills to students.
The move was partially made in response to a growing sense among Wake County, N.C., health department officials that there were too many students using the county’s clinic, according to an article in the Technician.
It was the Technician’s lead story on this day in 1973, when prescriptions for birth control pills first came to NC State’s campus.
“This is part of the overall health care of the student community and has been inappropriately publicized,” said Dr. Nina Page, a physician at NC State’s infirmary. “The infirmary is not by any means condoning or promoting premarital sex by offering the service.”
There was an $8 fee attached to the physical examination and prescription for the females who wanted them. And they also received educational information detailing multiple forms of contraception when they received the prescription.
The Technician also pointed out that all medical records at the infirmary would remain confidential. “Why should we notify the parents when we do not notify them in any other health situation?” Page asked. “This should be a very private, personal thing.”
For years it had become an annual August custom for students to stand in the lines on Reynolds Coliseum’s floor and sweat it out — literally and figuratively.
They waited for hours to see if they could drop the course with the professor who was a harsh grader and get into a class that might offer them a more comfortable academic setting or might allow them to sleep in on weekdays.
But all of that ended on this day in 1988 as NC State held the last-ever registration/change day in Reynolds.
“The day is a finale for a university-old tradition,” the Technician reported, “and the signs and posters mean a new easier process of registration is on the way.”
This scene in Reynolds Coliseum became a thing of the past in 1988, when NC State held its last-ever change day.
The signs and posters were advertising TRACS, or Telephonic Registration Access in Computerized Scheduling. It was described as a “high tech” and efficient system that enabled students to get into that one business class they needed before graduation by simply picking up the phone and dialing a number.
NC State was the first university in the state to go telephonic, according to the Technician. “We’re on the cutting edge in technology,” an NC State official told the paper. “Only 30 to 35 schools in the nation have this system.”
The system allowed for the use of 12 telephone lines for a 22 day period that started Oct. 30, 1988. Each student was assigned a certain window in which he or she could call.
WKNC has enjoyed a noisy part of NC State’s history on campus over the years, becoming a mainstay in Southern college radio.
But for one brief summer, the station’s signal couldn’t be heard and listeners were treated only to dead air.
“Due to an electrically overloaded antenna, WKNC … has not been to able to broadcast since the early part of June,” the Technician reported.
But it was on this day in 1977 that Sam Taylor, WKNC’s station manager at the time, announced plans to replace the overworked antenna for a new $3,500 one that had increased input power. “It will be able to run at 1,000 watts as compared to the 250 watts the station ran last year,” the article stated.
And as WKNC’s new signal headed across the sky and over the airwaves, it carried with it not only the usual classical, jazz, progressive and top-40 music, but also new programming, which included a one-hour daily show that was centered around the happenings around Raleigh and the state.
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.