Chancellor Randy Woodson is visiting Beaufort and Dare counties in eastern North Carolina today and Friday to talk with alumni and business leaders about ways that NC State bolsters the economy of the area and possible partnerships for the future.
The trip, arranged by the Alumni Association, will include visits to the Coastal Studies Institute in Manteo, the PCS Phosphate mining facility in Aurora and the North Carolina Estuarium in Washington.
The trip will culminate in an Alumni Oyster Roast at the home of Lalla and Forest Sidbury in Beaufort County. The local alumni network had the greatest percentage increase in members among Alumni Association networks last year.
Woodson will spend his time today exploring Dare County, starting with a luncheon meeting with local Chamber of Commerce members at Pamlico Jack’s restaurant in Nags Head. The day will end with an alumni reception at Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head.
Bob Woody, a 1967 NC State grad, is owner of the White Doe Inn in Manteo where Woodson will stay tonight. Woody spent time on Wednesday decorating the inn with NC State banners and memorabilia. “We’re pretty much dyed-in-the-wool NC State fans here at the Inn,” Woody says.
Woody says it is important for the chancellor at NC State to be familiar with what’s going on throughout the state, but said that people in Dare County are particularly proud about some of the ways NC State has helped the economy there. Some of the more familiar connections are in well-known industries such as commercial fishing, but Woody says many don’t realize that the College of Design has helped develop long-range plans for the town of Manteo.
“Tourism is a big economic driver down here, so I’m sure that the folks who are going to show him around are going to be make sure he becomes familiar with how we approach the tourism economy,” Woody says.
On Friday, Woodson will visit Beaufort County. Lentz Stowe, a 1983 NC State grad and director of the Small Business Center at Beaufort County Community College, says it means a lot to a small county to get a visit from the chancellor of the state’s largest university.
“From an economic development standpoint, that excites folks,” Stowe says. “Being from a rural setting like this, we need all the help we can get.”