Luther Beaver was approached with an idea he couldn’t resist in 1992, one that reunited him with a past love. There had been a clamoring around Hickory, N.C., to get baseball back in the city for the first time in 30 years. There was a team in Gastonia, N.C., for sale. Beaver’s brother, Don, had helped put together a group to buy the team.
And today, Beaver will be inducted into the South Atlantic League Hall of Fame for his 20-plus years helping to lead the team. He and his brother are the first set of siblings into the hall.
“It’s something I never expected,” Beaver says. “I always thought this was just for active baseball players. It’s special to me to be a part of this.”
The Troutman, N.C., native first fell in love with baseball in the 1930s and ’40s, when baseball was booming in North Carolina’s Piedmont. Textile mills sponsored rosters for teams. “I went to a lot of games in Mooresville. That team was supported by the cotton mill,” says Beaver, now 80. “That’s where I got to see Hoyt Wilhelm pitch. If they got a good player, they’d give him a good job in the offseason. So a lot of players ended up in textiles through baseball.
Beaver ended up in textiles, too.
Early on, when he was 13 years old, he played on a semi-pro team with his three uncles who had just returned home from World War II for a while and played high school ball for four years before trying out for American Legion and having to admit his talent could only take him so far.
“I played the infield, basically second base,” says Beaver, who grew up in Troutman, N.C.. “I was a .200 hitter. I tried to play smart baseball. But playing smart doesn’t substitute for raw talent.”
So life took Beaver away from the game he loved. He graduated from NC State in 1956 with a degree in textiles. He bought his first car, a black 1954 Ford with overdrive, landed his first job working second shift in the weave room making terrycloth at Cannon Mills in Kannapolis. In July of that year, he reported for active duty in the U.S. Army. He lived around the world, from New Jersey to Taiwan.
And he settled back in Hickory in the mid-1970s and leased a nursing home. “Baseball didn’t enter the picture,” he says of that time from that time until the 1990s.
But, he says, it was easy to come back to when he signed up for partially owning the Crawdads. He didn’t miss many games over the years at L.P. Frans Stadium, home of the Crawdads. He’s loved his time talking to scouts, who he says have an amazing eye for talent the untrained eye simply can’t see. And he’s had his fair share of favorite players, like Carlos Lee and Magglio Ordonez, who spent two years in Hickory in the early ’90s. “First year he was here was the first time he had played under the lights,” Beaver says of Ordonez, who went on to be a three-time All Star for the Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers. “I didn’t know if he was going to catch it or not. But the second year, he was a different player.”
When Beaver thinks back to how easy it was to fall back in love with the national past time, he comes up with a quick explanation.
“It’s baseball. If you ever played, it gets into your system and it’s hard to shake.”
After being bombarded with questions from fresh graduates finding their way in the job market through the years, Susan Katz, internship coordinator in the Department of English at NC State, decided to write about her experience and knowledge in a comprehensive guide.
“About two years ago, I realized a lot of people were contacting me for help. I found myself saying the same things,” says Katz, who is also an associate professor of English and frequently helps students interested in internships writing for NC State magazine and redandwhiteforlife.com.
“There is a big difference between people who are just out of college trying to find a job and those who are experienced and are trying to do the same,” says Katz.
The book charts out five steps and provides 50 tips:
• Introspection: Katz says the first step to landing a good job is to identify personal skills and strengths. “Just because it is your major, does not mean you will do well in it and it should be your career,” she says.
• Foresight: The book encourages students to envision themselves in a prospective job, taking into account the place , the organization and the benefits before applying for the job. “Young people often do not do that,” says Katz.
• Research: Katz goes into detail about how students should research jobs they are interested in. The book provides online resources that can help students, while also listing online resources that Katz considers unreliable.
• Networking: Katz says this is the most important step in a job search. “Unfortunately these days it is who you know rather than what you know,” she says. Students should explore all contacts, including personal ones. “The trick is to talk to everybody,” Katz says. “You never know who will help you get a job.” The book also provides tips on how to crack the web of online networking.
• Application process: “This is all about resumes, cover letters, using LinkedIn and other detailed information about the application process,” says Katz.
Katz also maintains a blog addressing questions and concerns about job search faced by college students.
For Steve Garrett ’85, teaching classes such as drafting, electronics and applied physics at Topsail High School in Hampstead, N.C., has been a part of his everyday routine for the past 26 years. However, when asked about his true passion, Garrett will tell you his love comes in the form of an electric vehicle.
Having the program available to high school students is an expensive endeavor that requires the help of community partners. For every car that is converted into an electric vehicle, an average of $12,000 is needed.
Garrett’s students work to collect all of the funds needed through fundraising, raffles and sponsorships from local businesses. A total of five vehicles have been purchased or donated to the program. This year, students received a 1991 Toyota MR2 and a 2001 Ford Ranger Edge to use in competition.
On a typical morning, students have a briefing with Garrett to establish goals. Then, the work begins. Teams within the group work independently to achieve the goals of converting the vehicle and spend much of their time maintaining or repairing current conversions. Once students begin working on the vehicle, the goal is to remove the internal combustion engine and replace it with electric power.
“During the year, the goal is to provide students with the opportunity to work as a team and become successful in competitions,” Garrett said in an interview conducted by email. “I want to teach them to convert gas-powered vehicles to electric power while learning teamwork and engineering practices that are needed to complete a conversion.”
While in Roanoke Rapids for the Electric Vehicle Challenge, Garrett’s students compete in seven different categories, including Oratorical, Troubleshooting, Vehicle Design, Range, Community Involvement and Electric Vehicle Jeopardy.
On October 22, the Topsail High School team was recognized as the most organized and most motivated group and came home with 10 trophies in a variety of categories. Topsail High School has received 162 trophies since they began competing in 1999.
“The competition is an amazing, comprehensive competition,” Garrett says. “My students always strive to win, but at the same time, help other schools. When necessary if other schools do not have enough team members to fill an event, we will offer students to fill them in so they can compete.”
Seeing his students succeed has been the most rewarding part of his experience in the electric vehicle program. Upon completing the program, Garrett has seen many of his students continue on to universities, enroll in community colleges and continue their work on electric vehicles in the industry. Twenty-five have gone on to become a part of the Wolfpack family and two have received Park scholarships.
“Without a solid foundation, you have nothing to build upon,” Garrett says.
Despite high winds and chilling temperatures, students braved the rainy weather and came out to the Brickyard to get free food during today’s “Wear Red, Get Fed” event.
‘Wear Red, Get Fed’ has been a part of the Homecoming week lineup for several years and is hosted by the Alumni Association. Beginning at 11 am, students lined up outside of Harrelson Hall for free barbeque sandwiches from Backyard Bistro for any student wearing at least a handful of red.
“I love ‘Wear Red, Get Fed’ because it boosts school spirit on campus and provides students with a great snack that we normally can’t get while we are on campus,” said Kate Mattox, a sophomore from Charlotte, N.C. “’Wear Red, Get Fed’ is a neat tradition because it is an easy way to show our Wolfpack pride.”
Despite the less than ideal weather conditions produced by Hurricane Sandy, students have shown an interest in coming out and showing their school spirit in rain or shine.
“The bad weather isn’t going to prevent me from waiting in line,” Mattox said. “I can’t wait for the rest of the week.”
The former chancellor’s house will be filled to the brim with local artists and musicians this Sunday as more than 2,000 people are expected to gather to see the future home of NC State’s Gregg Museum of Art and Design.
Art Outside the Box is a free event that is open to the public from 12-4 pm and was designed for audiences of all ages. Guests will be able to tour the chancellor’s house, view renderings of the future museum and enjoy demonstrations of art forms such as pottery, painting, jewelry making, origami, calligraphy and digital art. Light refreshments will be provided and a variety of musicians will perform.
The chancellor’s housewas constructed in 1928 and has been a sort of hidden landmark in the Raleigh area. The Gregg Museum of Art and Design staff came up with the idea for Art Outside the Box as a way to introduce the public to the new location.
Art Outside the Box will be held at the historic chancellor's house on Sunday from noon to 4pm.
“I got together with some friends from different areas of my life that were interested in NC State and art and we started kicking around a few ideas,” says Anna Ball Hodge, a local artist at Roundabout Art Collective and member of the Art Outside the Box team. “The renderings of the new addition include a box-like structure, so we decided to call the event ‘Art Outside the Box.’
“We wanted to make the event a different art experience than the usual and wanted to include artists who would engage or tempt the public to try different art,” Hodge says.
The Gregg Museum of Art and Design currently is located on the second floor of Talley Student Center and will be there until April. However, various pieces of art have already been moved and are on display at the chancellor’s house. In the coming years, the full museum will be housed at the historic residence as soon as the funds are raised.
Last November, the NC State University Board of Trustees approved the proposal to renovate the chancellor’s house and create an adjoining gallery and educational wing. The total project is a $7.5 million endeavor and nearly $3 million has already been given to NC State and the Gregg Museum of Art and Design through non-state funds. However, approximately $4.5 million still needs to be raised in order to make the 16,700-square foot addition to the chancellor’s residence a reality.
“We wanted to have a party to introduce its new location to the public,” Hodge says. “They wanted it to be free to the public and be a ‘friend raiser.’”
Pearl Fryar, a self-taught topiary artist, is internationally known and will give a demonstration at Art Outside the Box.
The special guest artist at the event is Pearl Fryar, a self-taught topiary artist from South Carolina who has used his own techniques to create a living sculpture garden. Fryar will be demonstrating his art form at 2:30 pm.
“Frayer is the coolest,” Hodge says. “He has such a positive, hopeful, encouraging spirit that goes beyond his creations.”
As guests make their way through the house, Hodge hopes people get a greater idea of what the Gregg Museum is all about.
“The Gregg Museum collection has 26,000 pieces of art and continues to grow,” Hodge says. “We want people to leave the event with a sense of excitement about the Gregg Museum.”
Alumni in Seattle and Portland will be among wolves this Saturday, both figuratively and literally. They will gather to volunteer at Wolf Haven International for National Wolfpack Service Day, an annual event that allows alumni networks to engage in service projects in their communities.
Wolf Haven International is a nonprofit organization located in Tenino, Wash. Its mission is to aid in and promote wolf conservation, and it has served as a sanctuary to protect wolves and their habitats since 1982.
Wolf Haven International rescues displaced, captive-born wolves and is currently the home to 51 wolves, including gray wolves, wolfdogs, coyotes, red wolves and Mexican gray wolves.
Ryan Hester ’02, leader and one of the founders of the Pacific Northwest alumni network, moved to Seattle after graduation and quickly became homesick, with the absence of Wolfpack fans in the area. After finding out there are more than 900 NC State alumni in the Seattle area, he helped form the alumni network in November 2011.
For the last year, members of the Pacific Northwest alumni network have had several social mixers, networking events and game-viewing parties. But Saturday will mark their first service project. More than 20 people are expected to attend as the alumni will work from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. pulling weeds, painting and cleaning up the grounds at the sanctuary.
Hester learned about Wolf Haven International while attending an auction on its campus with his wife. Soon after, he began thinking about volunteering at the wolf sanctuary with the alumni network.
In February, a Wolf Haven wolf was featured as the "Photo of the Day" in National Geographic
“I felt that a service day on Wolf Haven’s campus would be a great way to show our Wolfpack pride in the Pacific Northwest,” Hester says. “Volunteering at a wolf sanctuary is so uniquely NC State.”
The Pacific Northwest alumni network’s National Wolfpack Service Day project was selected as the “Most Unique” service day event out of all the national alumni chapters at NC State. As a way to award the network, a local Starbucks will donate hot coffee and the Alumni Association will provide lunch for all volunteers.
Ellen Richardson ’01,’10, the director of outreach with the NC State Alumni Association, will help with the service project and eat lunch with the alumni afterward. A special group photo opportunity is also planned.
Cody, one of the two coyotes living at Wolf Haven International
During his time as an undergraduate, Hester participated in Service Raleigh events and personally organized programs that benefited local organizations and inner-city community programs while he was a resident advisor. Today, Hester believes National Wolfpack Service Day is a benefit for all NC State alumni.
“National Wolfpack Service Day is a valuable opportunity to support our local community while showing our support and love for NC State no matter how far from Raleigh we live,” Hester says.
Jason Gipe is the Alumni Association's new associate executive director for membership.
Jason Gipe ’00, ’05 MR was only five years old when he watched Lorenzo Charles slam home the 1983 national championship for NC State. But he knew then that he wanted to be a student at NC State.
And now, as the Alumni Association’s new associate executive director for membership, Gipe wants to help other NC State students and alumni enjoy being Red & White for Life.
We talked with Jason about his work at the Alumni Association and some of his experiences at NC State:
Favorite NC State memory: Basketball games at Reynolds Coliseum. My freshman year I lived in Owen Dorm, Room 152. It would be the dead of winter and you would have to put on shorts to walk over to Reynolds because you knew once you got in there you would absolutely burn up if you wore pants and a sweatshirt.
You should know that: I have a golden retriever named Finley, after Carter-Finley Stadium. I orginally wanted to get two and name the boy Carter and the girl Finley, but my wife would only let me get one.
His role at the Alumni Association: My team is in charge of customer service and reaching out to all of our members … trying to communicate what membership benefits are available to them. We are always working on new benefits. We want to make sure our members feel like they get value from their membership.
On the value of membership in the Alumni Association: According to member surveys we have done, the top benefit is the magazine. It really gives people the pulse of what’s going on on campus and tells great stories about alumni who have had success due to the education they received at NC State. There are also pretty substantial savings you can get by using our Savings Connection. Members can get half-price movie tickets, substantial discounts on televisions and other electronics, and great online deals from retailers like Target, Izod and Office Depot.
On what the Alumni Association does: I love NC State because of the experience I had when I was a student here. So I’m a bit partial to the student programs we do and the traditions we start. Part of every membership dollar goes toward our student ambassador program. They put on pep rallies. We do a Legacy Luncheon, where we invite alumni parents and their kids when they are coming in as freshman to a luncheon before the school year starts so their parents can pin them with an Alumni Association pin that says “Legacy” on it. We do the Ram Roast before every Carolina game. Most of what you see at homecoming is student-run through our student programs.
On why he’s Red & White for Life: A lot of what has happened in my life was set in that ’83 championship game. I didn’t even apply anywhere else. This was the only place I wanted to go. From the time I set foot on campus, this place has meant so much to me that I couldn’t possibly think of wanting to work anyplace else.
One of Raleigh’s hidden gems is the farmers market off Lake Wheeler Road. There’s nothing like spending a Sunday afternoon walking by the countless stands, sampling the season’s best offerings. Unfortunately, many students are limited to the confines of campus because they don’t have a car. In 2009, Eric Ballard ’09 had the idea to bring a farmers market to NC State students. Through Ballard’s efforts, along with Student Government’s Sustainability Commission, NC State hosted its first on-campus farmers market in April 2009. You can check out video from it below.
Today, the Campus Farmers Market has become a weekly event in the Brickyard. Each Wednesday, vendors set up beside D.H. Hill Library. You’ll find everything from jellies, jewelry, fruits and vegetables to cookies and salsa. Ballard’s idea was an excellent one, and the market is providing students with the opportunity to shop for locally grown produce and handmade products in their back yard. Students seem to have responded positively to this new campus addition. If you haven’t had the opportunity to check it out, stop by the Brickyard any Wednesday of the semester (weather permitting) and experience NC State’s own farmers market.
(Photos from the Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2010, Campus Farmers Market by Matt Long)
Meet Sam Dennis, Chandler Thompson, Matt Long and Caroline Linker. These juniors and seniors, who are all Alumni Association Student Ambassadors (Matt is president), will be blogging for us this fall, writing about student life at NC State. They’ll be sharing their thoughts on and experiences with everything from the renovated Hillsborough Street to Homecoming, from tailgating to the daily grind of classes and extracurricular commitments. Check back often to read what they have to say about life at NC State today!
Class Year: 2012
Major: Biological Sciences
What do you want to be when you grow up? I want to be an orthopaedic surgeon. My dream job would consist of working at a private practice here in Raleigh and being involved with Wolfpack athletics.
What’s your favorite thing about the first day of school? I love seeing the Brickyard full again. People watching is great in this area. You can pick out which students are freshman and it is fun to see older students reuniting with friends. I also enjoy walking into all of my classes for the first time. I am never as excited about getting to class as I am on the first day.
Why did you come to NC State? More than any other university NC State will allow me to reach my career goals. The science curriculum is top notch; I wanted to be a part of a special program like the Department of Biology. I also am the third son to come to NC State, so the encouragement from my brothers didn’t hurt.
What one thing should people know about NC State that they might not know already? Explore the library! There are so many resources, new technology, and software that students can use. You can check out so much stuff, for FREE! Also, always use the book stack elevators closest to Hillsborough Street; the ones nearest the Brickyard at the front are painfully slow.
Hometown: High Point
Class Year: 2012
What do you want to do when you grow up? Work in student affairs.
What’s your favorite thing about the first day of school? It’s syllabus day! Most students hate it but there’s nothing I enjoy more than planning my calendar for the whole semester.
Why did you come to NC State? I came here because of my family! My dad attended NC State and wasted no time introducing me to the campus, the academics and, of course, the sports teams. So when it came down to choosing a school, Raleigh felt like home.
What one thing should people know about NC State that they might not know already? NC State is much more than just a place for textbooks and learning; students are engaged in many areas and service is a big part of that. I take pride in the fact that events like the Krispy Kreme Challenge, Service Raleigh, Service NC State, Hoops 4 Hope, Relay for Life, Homecoming Canned Food Drive, Polar Plunge, the Chocolate Festival and so many more are the most popular events on campus. Students are committed to service and to making a difference in the community.
Class Year: 2011
What do you want to be when you grow up? A financial officer for a corporation.
What’s your favorite thing about the first day of school? I really get excited about a new semester of courses. It sounds really lame but I really enjoy meeting my new professors and scoping out how I think each of my classes is going to go that semester. I also like the idea of having a fresh start. Regardless of how good or bad you did in a previous semester, you are presented with a clean slate and can make the best of it.
Why did you come to NC State? NC State was actually not even on my radar until I began to visit colleges my senior year of high school. I knew that State was one of the top universities in North Carolina but had very limited knowledge of much more than that. Once I visited the campus, I knew that it was the place for me. It was a feeling that that I hadn’t experienced during any of my other college tours. I fell in love with the campus and was impressed by all of the opportunities that NC State offers through its lengthy list of majors and student organizations.
What one thing should people know about NC State that they might not know already? Although it’s not technically “on campus,” Global Village coffee shop on Hillsborough Street is one of my favorite places to go when I’m on campus. It is the perfect spot to meet up with friends, have an informal meeting, or to just get on your laptop . . . not to mention the coffee is amazing!
Class Year: 2012
What do you want to be when you grow up? I would love to be a public relations account executive for a record label. I love all types of music, and I think that a public relations position in the music industry would allow me the opportunity to work in the profession that I enjoy and be surrounded by one of my favorite things. What’s not to love?
What is your favorite thing about the first day of school? My favorite thing about the first day of school is the excitement surrounding new class schedules, meeting new professors, and using new school supplies! The first day of school is exciting because it allows me to start a new routine. A new academic year allows for new topics to be learned and new friends to be made. I love meeting new professors, especially in smaller classes. New professors always have different stories to tell and fresh ways to teach new concepts. And, who doesn’t love to write with new pens and the smell of new textbooks? The first day of school is the one day out of the school year that it is acceptable to be excited about using a new pack of colorful, ballpoint pens and using the first, crisp sheet of notebook paper. I am excited already!
Why did you come to NC State? I decided to come to NC State because it felt like home to me. The campus and the surrounding community were so welcoming when I visited, and I knew this was the place that I was supposed to be. I knew that by becoming a member of the Wolfpack family, I would receive the best education in the world and would be given the opportunity to develop a strong bond with my other fellow Wolfpackers — something I couldn’t find anywhere else. Coming to NC State has been the best decision of my life. I adore NC State and the people that make this such a great place to be. There’s nothing in the world that could match my appreciation and pride for this university.
What one thing should people know about NC State that they might not know already? One thing that people should know about NC State is that this university offers some of the best professors around, especially Robert Larson. Mr. Larson is a professor within the Department of Communication and teaches public relations courses. He is extremely knowledgeable in the field of public relations and strives to assure that all of his students succeed in his classes and in their future careers. He truly cares about his students, which makes going to his classes a joy. I highly recommend taking one of his courses. You won’t regret it!
Last summer, we posted as a Photo of the Day an image from 1966 of Harry Kelly, then the dean of faculty, with a copper plaque featuring the chancellor’s seal. An Iranian alumnus had given the plaque as a gift to Chancellor John T. Caldwell. Readers on our blog and Facebook page were curious about its current whereabouts. After a little legwork, we found out that it was hanging in Primrose Hall, one of the oldest buildings on campus, and we snapped this photo:
Fast foward to this weekend. Rafi Javid ’57, the alumnus who gave the plaque, ran across our Photo of the Day and sent us this comment:
I, Rafi Javid, am the one who presented the plaque to the Chancellor Caldwell in 1966, when I visited the N.C. State for the first time after my graduation in 1957. I was on a business trip to the U. S. and I thought it would be a very small token of my appreciation for what this school offered me and taught me for my future life. Mr. Caldwell was very kind and invited me to a very nice luncheon with the members of Dormitory Council and Student Advisers, where I presented the plaque.
Two to three years later, when I came back to the U.S. and visited the school, the plaque was still hanging on the wall of the Chancellor’s office. I really would like to know where it is now.
I had the seal of the N.C. State to be enlarged and took to Isfahan, (Iran) to be engraved by the most well known artist on copper and then silver plated. The artist put my name and my graduation date at the lower part of the plaque. I am so glad I did so!!
Thank you for the beautiful gift and for sharing your story, Mr. Javid.