Student Life Category
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.”
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.
Students certainly had their fair share of options as to which club they might want to join during the early 1980s on campus. There was the Biological and Agricultural Engineering Technology Club. Students could explore conservation in the wildly popular Leopold Wildlife Club. Or they could stay on top of their studies with the Water Ski Club.
But for one club, 1984 marked a major breakthrough as NC State’s campus was introduced on this day for the first time to the Steady State Breakers, the only professional breakdancing crew in Raleigh, the Technician reported.
Steady State consisted of four students who were visionaries, seeing that breakdancing would have just as much staying power as the salsa and or the waltz. Scott Wilce, Richard Lewis, Curtis Hamilton and Elaine Furtis had been practicing daily for several months and worked on other campuses to spread their gospel of gyration.
“The Breakers won a Breakdance contest at Groucho’s during finals week last semester and gave a Breakdancing demonstration at Groucho’s a few weeks ago,” the Technician reported. “In addition, they are currently working a Breakdance clinic at Duke University.”
The club members’ styles varied, with each excelling in one of the multiple facets of the art form. “Other moves include the Hanglide, which is spinning the body using the hand as a pivot and the legs for balance; the Backspin; the Headspin; the Windmill, which is spinning alternately on one shoulder then the other; and the Suicide, which is a no-hands forward flip where you land flat on your back.”
Summer’s a dead season for many sports fans. The NBA season will have wrapped up shortly. Major League Baseball’s 162-game schedule seems more tedious to some than pure sports spectacle. And golf is really no more than an on-again-off-again holdover on Sundays until the NFL returns in the fall.
But for alumnus Sears Bugg, summer’s the time of year where he turns up the training that has netted him the honor of being one of North Carolina’s best badminton players.
Bugg won a gold medal at the 2013 North Carolina Senior Games last September and is currently the state’s top male player in the age bracket of 55-59. And although he’ll miss the chance to defend his title at this year’s games in September due to a registration mix-up, he’s already training for his return to competition in 2015.
“I try to play twice a week,” he says. “Badminton’s fast and keeps you in shape. We play a power game. My brother and I love to slam. It won’t hurt the other person. If you hit it hard, it’ll stay on the court.”
Sears Bugg, after a silver medal win at the N.C. Senior games in 2009.
A graduate with an agriculture economics degree in 1976, Bugg split time between classrooms and fierce hardcourts of Wolfpack club sports. He was the president of the NC State badminton club his senior year and led his dorm to a badminton championship.He took his talents to Duke, where he earned an M.B.A in 1981 and he reached the apex of Blue Devil badminton stardom until he was supplanted by a surprise player. “I was the number-one player on the team,” he says. “Out of the blue, we had a tournament to see who was the best player on campus. And this soccer player ran me all over the court. I’ve never seen him before or since.”
And he adds that his brother, Smitty, who graduated from NC State in 1977, also took to the sport on campus, even helping to teach it to physical education classes for enjoyment with an ulterior motive. “This was the mid-1970s,” Bugg says. “There was not really many women on campus. My brother wanted to meet someone, so he started teaching badminton. He met his future wife there.”
Badminton was just one sport loved by Bugg, who operated his family’s trucking business for 25 years before retiring and becoming a fee-only financial planner. There was golf, swimming and tennis. The Warrenton, N.C., native says it was his mother who first instilled that love of competition in her sons when they were kids. “My mother was athletic. So she was good about teaching us to play different sports,” Bugg says. “She believed in lifetime sports. And NC State was real good about teaching those same sports in physical education classes in those days.”
Bugg turns 60 next year and will have to enter a new age bracket when he returns to the Senior Games. But he feels he can once again be number-one.
That is if his playing partner stays healthy and Bugg can stay focused on badminton. “Have you heard of pickle ball?” he asks excitedly. “It’s a fast growing racquet sport. You take a badminton court and lower the net to about tennis level. And they use a wiffle ball and oversized ping-pong paddles. If my partner’s legs give out, I’ll be making the switch to pickle ball.”
Up until the mid-1950s, the dean of students was a position mostly concerned with doling out discipline and delving into student attendance.
But there emerged a clear need for the position to foster other areas of student life, such as attracting performers to campus, that went beyond strictly academic life. So on this day in 1954, NC State’s director of student housing, James J. Stewart, was given a promotion and was named the college’s first dean of student affairs.
James J. Stewart. Photo courtesy of Special Collections, NCSU Libraries.
Stewart made an immediate impact, according to Alice Elizabeth Reagan’s North Carolina State University: A Narrative History. She cites that he upgraded the college’s musical department as one of his first acts. And he helped breathe new life into the ROTC program by placing it under a new leader and getting new uniforms. “[U]nder Stewart’s direction, all aspects of college’s non-academic programs became better coordinated and planned,” Reagan writes.
In 1966, Stewart gained a great deal of respect among the students by siding with them in their fight to secure better food service and choices. He served as dean of student affairs until 1969. Today, Stewart Theatre bears his name.
One of the more scandalous would-be visitors in NC State’s history was Playboy model June Wilkinson. The pin-up girl was set to appear on campus in 1962, but the appearance was axed on this day 52 years ago.
The reason why was never totally revealed. According to The Technician, Wilkinson’s appearance was canceled due to one of two reasons. Either school administrators feared she would create too much “havoc” with the anticipated number of young men that would come to see her, or there simply was not room given that Gov. Terry Sanford was scheduled to appear on the same day.
Some even implied it might have been a matter of one not measuring up to the other. “June Wilkinson, allegedly 42-21-39 (?), lost the chance to appear on the State College campus Saturday to Governor Sanford (measurements unknown),” read the lead in The Technician‘s article about Wilkinson’s failed appearance.
However, Wilkinson kept her promise to appear and showed up at the Western Lanes bowling alley for autographs the following Saturday.
Phillip Scott seemingly had a winning platform back in March of 1972 when he was running for student body president and appealed more to those who were the life of the party than to any political one.
He proposed a system wherein food stamps could be converted to beer stamps that could be redeemed at the student union, and he promised that the parking gates on campus would be replaced with cattle guards to keep the coeds in and enable the men on campus to “run free.” And the Technician reported that he vowed to “clean up the thermal air pollution from the English department.”
Scott had seen a similar strategy two years earlier when Eric Plow used humor in a bid that nearly got him elected president. But at least Plow was a real person.
On this day 42 years ago, the Technician ran a story that Philip Scott and his entire campaign was a fake, which trumped even a story about sweeping changes to dorm policies on campus (that story is the one the accompanying picture refers to).
The article reported that an investigation into Scott’s campaign had yielded the discovery that the address he had provided when he filed to run did not exist. He provided no phone number. And he didn’t appear to be listed in any student records in the registrar’s office.
Scott was disqualified for not being real, a requirement under student law. But the mystery continued as there was at least some temporary realness to myth.
“It is known however, that someone going by the name of Philip A. Scott has been seen around campus for at least the last two weeks,” the article read. “He did file as a candidate, was present at an all-candidates meeting … and submitted a campaign statement to the Technician this weekend.”
The student body and university administration had been engaged in a two year pickle of a situation in the early 1970s concerning student food choice on campus.
Sandwiched in that debate was a “general dissatisfaction” among students with only having one option of packaged hoagies, according to the Technician.
NC State’s big cheese, Chancellor John T. Caldwell, told students that he was open to suggestions from student leaders about sandwich suppliers other than ARA (Slater) Services, the lone sandwich supplier on campus.
Two committees made recommendations to him, and on this day in 1972, NC State’s administration announced student stores could change sandwich providers.
“The guidelines said, in part, that the Supply Store can implement changes based on negotiations with area sandwich suppliers,” the Technician reported. “The choice of supplier would be based on the company or companies which can supply the campus with the highest quality sandwiches at the lowest possible price. The guidelines would allow all sandwich suppliers to negotiate for a contract on an equal basis.”
Photo courtesy of the Technician.