NCSU Libraries Category
The (still) new Hunt Library on Centennial Campus has something called a bookBot, a robotic book delivery system that holds about 1.5 million books inside a two-story 120-foot-long vault that can be seen through a large window on the library’s first floor.
It wasn’t that long ago that NC State didn’t have that many books in its entire library system.
It was on this day in 1981 that the Technician published a story celebrating the fact that D.H. Hill Library was about to reach 1 million books. It was the result of a push that had begun two years earlier, when NC State had only 850,000 library books.
Reaching the 1 million threshold was not just a matter of campus pride. NC State was trying to become a member of the Association of Research Libraries, and one of the requirements was a collection of at least 1 million books.
But even with 1 million books, the article noted that D.H. Hill’s collection still paled in comparison to the collections at Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
“We just got a late start,” said Isaac T. Littleton, then the director of libraries at NC State. “They had much higher budgets for so long. We didn’t start growing until the 1960s. They have had higher budgets for decades.”
The additional books did lead to less study space for students in the stacks. But then that’s part of the reason the new Hunt Library was built — to provide more library space for students.
And more room for the 4.6 million books (some of which are electronic) that NC State now has in its libraries.
Richard Holcomb is the owner and Coon Rock Farm, a sustainable farm in Hillsborough, N.C., that provides garden crops and pasture-raised meats. He is at the forefront of the sustainable agriculture and “farm-to-fork” movements.
But Holcomb has not always been a farmer. After earning a master’s degree in computer science at NC State in 1989, Holcomb helped start multi-million dollar technology companies. He was honored for his work as an entrepreneur and business leader.
Then, in 2004, Holcomb purchased Coon Rock Farm and took his career in a completely different direction.
Holcomb will talk about his career journey in the latest installment of the NCSU Libraries Amazing Alumni series. He is speaking at 3 p.m. on Tuesday in the auditorium in the west wing of D.H. Hill Library. The event is free and open to the public.
Money was tight, apparently, and university officials were concerned about keeping the books in order. Not the financial books, mind you, but the books kept in D.H. Hill Library.
It was on this day in 1967 that the Technician reported that D.H. Hill would be closing early (at 11 p.m.) on weekdays because the university had not received enough money from the General Assembly. I.T. Littleton, director of the library, said the move was necessary to maintain the book stacks “and keep the books in order.”
Littleton had hoped to get additional money to help the library meet the increasing demands of a growing number of graduate students.
“We could have continued to keep the library open if we had gotten an increase in our wages and personnel budgets from the North Carolina General Assembly,” he said. “All we got was enough money to maintain the present services.”
The story noted that the library had lost several “valuable sets of books from the Reference Room” in the last few months.
“The number of books missing has increased significantly ,” Littleton said. “We have not been able to maintain the security of the building during the late hours. The opportunity to steal books is greater when we have fewer people staffing the building.”
It didn’t take long for Eric Moore to learn that his time as an African-American student at NC State in the late 1960s would have its share of challenges.
Not long after he moved into Sullivan Hall as a freshman, Moore found a sign on his door that read, “SPONGE is out to get you.” Moore was puzzled by the sign, so he asked some older African-American students about it.
“So they smiled and said, ‘Oh, yes, SPONGE stands for the Society for the Prevention Of N-word Getting Everything — S-P-O-N-G-E,’” Moore recalled in an interview with NCSU Libraries for the Student Leadership Initiative, an effort to chronicle the experiences of student leaders during their time on campus. “So they laughed and said, ‘Yeah, you know, it’s just somebody trying to scare you. But we’ve never seen them in the years that we’ve been here.”
Moore said he was on guard after the incident, and said he would sometimes “hear words reflecting a lack of respect coming your way” as he walked across campus. He said that just meant he had to “toughen up” and go about his goal of getting a college degree.
Moore, second from left, next to Chancellor John T. Caldwell
But Moore did more than earn a degree at NC State.
Moore was serving in the Student Senate when some of the others involved in student government suggested he should run for president of the Student Senate. At the time, the position was the rough equivalent of vice president of the student body. Moore agreed to run, but was mindful of the challenges facing an African-American student in a campus-wide election.
Moore worked at WKNC, next door to the offices of the Technician, so he asked the editor of the student newspaper not to run a photo of him before the election “because that might have an impact on whether I would get elected or not.” Moore figured that even his name would keep some students from realizing who he was — “Fortunately that didn’t sound much like an African-American name, so it’s, ‘Oh, yeah, I’m voting for Eric Moore.’”
Moore was elected, becoming the first African-American student to hold the position. With the results in, Moore’s photo finally ran in the Technician, and Moore said one of his friends overheard a conversation among a group of students who were troubled to learn that they had voted for an African-American candidate. “You mean to tell me I voted for … ?” Moore said in recalling what his friend relayed to him.
Moore used his position to push for greater student involvement on campus, and supported the university’s participation in a rally as part of the nationwide Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam. He also pushed to require all students to take at least two courses in African-American studies.
Moore’s work with student government gave him a chance to get to know Chancellor John T. Caldwell. At one event, Moore was surprised to see a J.C. Penny label inside Caldwell’s suit jacket. “I’m thinking, the chancellor of NC State University is wearing J.C. Penny suits?” he said. “They look great, but it gave me a whole new perspective about what may be under the label.”
Caldwell served as a role model for Moore, and helped him get into graduate school by calling an administrator at Ohio University to recommend Moore.
“That was again something else that he would do for people he cared for, and I’ve always appreciated that,” Moore said. “There were strategic folk on campus who would look beyond race and just basically dealt with you as a person, and I’ve always enjoyed that about my relationship with State. It’s been good.”
J. Robert Cooke was following in some big footsteps when he became NC State’s student body president in 1960. Eddie Knox, who would go on to serve as mayor of Charlotte, had been student body president the year before, and Jim Hunt, who would go on to become a four-term governor of North Carolina, had held the position for the two years before that.
That could have been overwhelming for a self-proclaimed “shy country boy” from Huntersville, N.C.
But Cooke had been president of the student body in high school, where he learned a valuable skill in a vocational agriculture course. Cooke learned parliamentary procedure, giving him the tools he needed to be able to conduct an effective meeting.
“It’s something you can learn in about a day that has been useful to me throughout my life,” Cooke said years later in an interview recorded by NCSU Libraries as part of its Student Leadership Initiative, an effort to chronicle the experiences of campus leaders. “I cannot imagine not having had that tool at my disposal.”
Cooke received three engineering degrees from NC State before embarking on a long career as a professor at Cornell University. He initially ended up at NC State because it was far more affordable than Davidson College, where he was also accepted. He initially lived in Bagwell Hall, where he found that a lot of other students had chosen to study at NC State. Too many, even.
“NC State’s admission policy is still to try to give access to people around the state, and they were at that point admitting large numbers of students with the full expectation they would be gone by Christmas,” he recalled.
So Cooke had a two roommates in a room designed for two people. “It was pretty miserable,” he said. “In engineering, triangles are very stable structures. But in human relations, triangles are not good. We got along okay, but it was not one of the best things to do.”
Cooke later lived in Turlington Hall, where his roommate became a lifelong friend. He was also one of the first students to live in Bragaw Hall when it opened.
Hunt helped Cooke when he decided, first, to run for student body vice president. “That was a big boost to my ego to have him,” Cooke said. The future governor bought Cooke some campaign buttons that Cooke was able to use again the next year, when he ran for president, by simply striking through the word “vice” with a marker.
As president, Cooke pushed for a more effective faculty advising system, a more elaborate library collection and for the establishment of on-campus housing for female students, according to the Student Leadership Initiative. He also worked with the Student Senate to encourage the university to invite the federal government to use NC State has a training school for President Kennedy’s new Peace Corps.
“I just enjoyed the give-and-take and the strategy and how to get things done,” Cooke said, “so it was good entertainment.”
Alumni are invited to a special presentation at the College of Veterinary Medicine on Wednesday about dogmen, the workers who care for, breed, train and race greyhound dogs.
Gwyneth Anne Thayer, associate head of special collections at NCSU Libraries and the author of Going to the Dogs: Greyhound Racing, Animal Activism, and American Popular Culture, will discuss dogmen and their role throughout the history of the sport as well as their role as animal caretakers.
The 6 p.m. event, is in the North Theater in the Main Building (C120), is free and open to the public. The event is presented by NCSU Libraries.
For many NC State students, nothing tops a chicken sandwich from Chick-fil-A when they are looking for a bite between classes. The Chick-fil-A Express in the Atrium Food Court on the lower level of D.H. Hill Library is a popular spot for hungry students.
And that’s been true for nearly two decades, for it was on this day in 1994 that the first Chick-fil-A opened at NC State. It was the 33rd franchise that Chick-fil-A opened on a college campus that year. Chick-fil-A opened its first campus location, at Georgia Tech, in 1992. The restaurant chain is now on more than 200 college campuses.
The company’s chicken sandwiches were a hit from the first day, with a company official telling the Technician that year that the early sales had gone well. The restaurant was officially opened a few days later, on Aug. 28. Student Body President Bobby Johnson Jr. took a bite out of a chicken sandwich and, according to the account in the Technician, gave it a “big thumbs up.”
Officially, Will Quick majored in political science when he was a student at NC State in the mid-2000s.
But Quick said he often felt as if his major revolved around his work with student government. He was president of the Student Senate during the 2004-05 academic year and student body president during the 2006-07 academic year (after losing the previous year’s election to “The Pirate Captain”).
“You also ended up basically just majoring in sort of people skills and how do you deal with administrators and how do you go down to the legislature and do lobbying,” Quick said in one of a series of recorded interviews as part of the Student Leadership Initiative, an effort by NCSU Libraries to document the experiences of student leaders at NC State. “Yeah, I had a major in political science, but I ended up probably learning just as much if not more that helps me now from some of these other things that were going on in our lives.”
That approach didn’t always sit well with Quick’s mother, a college professor. “She used to lament the fact that I was spending so much time in meetings that were not class,” Quick said. “I’d call her and say, ‘Hey, Mom, I just got out of this meeting with this really cool person. It’s Jim Goodnight and he’s got this huge company and it’s so cool.’ And her first question was, ‘Well, how did he get to his company?’ I said, ‘Well, he went to State and got a PhD.,’ and she’s like, ‘Yeah, he actually went to class, didn’t he?’”
Quick was active in student government, working on issues ranging from the establishment of a prayer room for Muslim students to reestablishing the Red Terror Transit system to get students from campus to Carter-Finley Stadium for football games. As a member of the Board of Trustees, Quick cast the only vote against a proposed $230 tuition increase in 2006, arguing that tuition increases should be covered by the state. According to the Student Leadership Initiative, Quick’s “most celebrated accomplishment” was successfully lobbying for extended tailgating hours.
But Quick, who is now a lawyer in Raleigh, said in one of the interviews that the moment that stood out for him went beyond the realm of student government.
“It was probably some of the stuff with the Hurricane Katrina relief for me and how you can bring people together who are working — who have their own student organizations and they’ve got their own great ideas — but you can bring them together as a campus,” he said.
Quick said he got calls from people at UNC who were curious about how NC State managed to rally everyone together behind the relief effort. “I said, well, it’s sort of organic,” Quick recalled. “We asked people to stay in touch with us, we come up with ideas and ask people to run the ideas, and to me that was really neat, just doing something that was NC State, not student government, not IRC, not UAB, not anybody else, not IFC or any of the different groups… It’s NC State doing something.”
Getting involved in his school seemed to come naturally for Ed Stack. He helped establish the first student government at his junior high school in Rowan County, N.C., and then became the school’s first student body president. In high school, he was involved in student government, sports and, as he says, “every club that you could think of.”
So when he came to NC State, Stack didn’t hesitate to get involved — even if it was on a much larger stage than the small schools he had attended before college. As a textiles management major, Stack got involved with the Textile Student Council when he was a freshman.
“Fortunately, the textile school is a very fostering and encouraging place to be,” Stack said in one of his interviews as part of the Student Leadership Initiative, an effort by NCSU Libraries to chronicle the experiences of student leaders at NC State. “I mean, I certainly didn’t come to State with the mindset that I was going to run for student body president, although I had always been involved in student government.”
His time on the Textile Student Council, though, whetted Stack’s appetite for student government. He was elected student body president his junior year and then re-elected again his senior year, holding the office from 1990-92.
But while Stack enjoyed being involved with student government — working with other students on different programs and issues – he did not particularly enjoy the election process. “I’ve always been surprised at how much politics — pure, ugly politics — is involved in student government, or at least was at the time,” he said. “That is probably the thing that I liked least about it.”
Stack served during a tumultuous time for NC State, with state budget cuts impacting the hours that D.H. Hill Library could be open. Stack challenged the student body president at UNC to a fundraising contest to raise money for the libraries at the two universities. “Even though State and Carolina are big rivals, we can come together on such an important issue and send a strong message to the state legislature,” Stack said at the time.
The loser of the contest would have to wear the winning school’s colors at an NC State-UNC basketball game. Stack raised over $6,000, more than enough to win the challenge.
Stack, who is now associate executive director of The Wolfpack Club, says his motivation for being involved in student government — or in his fraternity or anything else at NC State — was simple. “Anything that I got involved in,” he said, “was really an effort to make NC State a smaller place.”
As someone who was active in student government during his years at NC State, Harold Pettigrew found that there were lessons to be learned in success and in failure.
Pettigrew was elected president of the student body for the 2000-01 academic year, and he found that the position required him to deal with a wider range of adults than most students.He talked about that experience in a series of interviews as part of the Student Leadership Initiative, a project by NCSU Libraries to chronicle the tenures of student leaders.
“To be able to be a member of the Board of Trustees at the time, knowing that I’m sitting around the table with some of the richest and most influential people in the state, and that as a student … you have to come and represent not only yourself but the campus community in such a way where you’re not certainly making a fool of yourself, you’re not presenting just student passionate arguments, but that you’re presenting rational perspectives, that you’re well read, that you’re informed and, quite frankly, can speak at the level and caliber that the rest of the trustees are able to,” Pettigrew said in one of the interviews.
Pettigrew said that experience prepared him for a series of jobs he had in Washington, D.C., including serving as director of small business development for the District of Columbia. Pettigrew left that position earlier this year.
During his year as president, Pettigrew helped establish a need-based scholarship known as the Wolfpack Student Initiative. It was later renamed the Tom Stafford Student Endowment.
Pettigrew ran for a second term as student body president, but was narrowly defeated. He said in one of the videos that it was a “tough pill to swallow,” but that he learned valuable lessons from that experience as well.
“It was the first time, in a major way, I’d experienced rejection, particularly when I felt I did a pretty good job representing students, bringing new programs, those sorts of things,” he said.
“So the experience certainly taught me to have very thick skin and to separate sometimes — well, quite frankly, often times — politics from policy and governance…”
Pettigrew said that Darryl Willie, who won the election to be the next student body president, proved to be the sort of student leader that the campus needed during the traumatic days following 9/11.
“On the whole, it played out the way it was supposed to,” he said. “It was tough because the margin was so thin, but looking back it was the thing that needed to happen at the time, certainly for me to have the pathway that I’ve had since leaving State.”