The building attracted attention while it was still under construction in 1958. Shaped like an “X” when seen from above, the building was described as a “new modernistic dormitory.”
But when it came time to name the newest addition to the NC State campus, university officials looked to the past and named the new dormitory Bragaw Residence Hall. It was named after Henry Churchill Bragaw, an NC State alum who had managed the Orton Plantation near Wilmington, N.C. He was credited with developing one of the largest collections of camellias in the South, according to an account in Historical State, an online archive maintained by NCSU Libraries.
Henry Churchill Bragaw
The new dormitory was dedicated on this day in 1959.
Bragaw had been a stellar student at NC State, where he studied forestry. He earned membership in Golden Chain, was chairman of a foresting competition and was vice president of the agricultural fair. He also managed and edited publications in agriculture and forestry.
But after his four-year stint at Orton Plantation following his graduation in 1938, Bragaw was inducted into the armed services and saw action in Italy during World War II. He was killed during the Battle of San Pietro. He won the Silver and Bronze Stars and two Purple Heart medals.
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It’s been a mild winter so far, but most of us remember that unexpected snowstorm that may have paralyzed campus but didn’t stop students from having fun. We ran a selection of your memories of snow and ice in the winter issue of NC State magazine, and here are some more that we thought you would enjoy:
My freshman year found me living on the second floor of the field house for Riddick Stadium. One of my roommates was from Miami, Fla., and had never seen snow. That year, 1947-48, there were two 9-inch snows in Raleigh. My Florida roommate and several other classmates spent both nights—all night—out playing in the snow. I stayed in and slept tight.
– Dean Angell ’51
My friends and I built a snowman that was six snowballs high at Wolf Village during the first snow of January 2009. It was the same day as the presidential inauguration. I remember going out early that day to walk around the snow-laden campus with my friends, coming back in to watch the inauguration and warm up, then promptly heading back out to have some more fun in the snow!
– Lara Jazmin ’10
There was a terrible ice storm in Raleigh around December 1967. When the temperature dropped that night it completely shut down traffic. It was dangerous to even walk on it. I was renting a room in a house at Ferndell Lane just behind the Gateway Restaurant on Hillsborough Street. (The house, painted blue, is still there, but the restaurant is gone.) One of my good friends who also rented a room in the house decided to challenge the ice by riding his skateboard down the sidewalk. My roommate and I tried to discourage him but he was a fearless thrill-seeker and off he went. He may have gotten half way down the hill when all of a sudden his skateboard shot out from under him in one direction and he in another. He received a severe cut but was laughing about it. We tried to stop the bleeding and encouraged him to go to the campus infirmary. He recovered quickly but I assure you it did not deter him from his activities. The next morning I tried to walk to class and the ice was so slick I fell down three times before getting there. I have not seen ice that bad since.
After a few months of very cold weather that winter, we finally had a mild day. It sparked a lot of energy among the students, and we were itching to do something outside. Someone came up with the idea of having a shaving cream fight between our dorm (Alexander) and the dorm next door. We challenged them and they enthusiastically accepted. We all lined in front of our respective dorms with shaving cream cans in hand and went at it in the courtyard. We never knew who won because everybody was having so much fun that we started spraying anybody. A photo of the event was captured in the Agromeck. We all had a great time and it was a good clean way to get rid of that burst of energy.
– Jesse Thomas ’67
In the fall of 1958, I was a freshman living in Becton Dormitory. One night in December, an infamously hard chemistry quiz was given in Nelson Hall. A windy blizzard was in progress, accumulating about a foot of snow, but no quizzes were ever canceled because of weather. After the quiz I returned to the dorm where I had to make an inked drawing for my mechanical drafting class the next morning. After trudging through the snow and biting wind, it took quite a while to warm up my fingers so that I could do the drafting assignment. I had no sooner started the drawing than my roommate, who had no drafting assignment, returned from a local tavern where he and his cousin had been celebrating after the chemistry quiz. He had a beer can in hand and, being unsteady, was sloshing it around. I quickly covered my drawing. My room was no place for this task. As I considered what to do, a friend who lived in Bagwell walked in to ask me a question about an assignment in our math class. I ended up taking refuge with this friend and his roommate. (Fortunately, many of the rooms in the quadrangle still contained third beds, which had been occupied for several weeks by sophomores who were waiting to move into the newly completed New Dorm, later named Bragaw Hall. In my friend’s room I completed my drawing and had a peaceful night. The next morning when returning to Becton, I found that the snow on the steps between the Berry basement and the ground in front of Bagwell had been sculptured by the wind in an unusual fashion, showing the ferocity of the storm.
– Tom Buchanan ’62
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Great news on the ice cream front. That delicious NC State ice cream you wait in line for at the State Fair each October? You can now trek on down to the Bragaw C-store and pick up a pint for $4.50. Flavors include chocolate chocolate chip, vanilla, cookie dough, chocolate chip mint and campfire delight (a graham-cracker flavored ice cream with chocolate chunks and marshmellows). Of course, you can always get your 3-gallon tubs and tiny cups at Schaub Hall or settle in with a book and a sundae from The Creamery in D.H. Hill Library.
We wrote about the ice cream in a 2003 story and dug up this about dairy production at NC State:
In fact, dairy production at NC State dates to the early 20th century, when the first pasteurized milk was produced in the basement of Polk Hall. Those early supplies went to soldiers in World War I. In the early 1960s, the dairy science curriculum merged with a few other majors to become food science. And in 1968 the new major found a home in Schaub Hall, which was built with a fully operational dairy pilot plant.
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