NC State History Category
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.
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.