We profiled a day in the life of Thomas H. Stafford Jr., who is retiring from his post as vice chancellor for student affairs in June, in our Spring 2012 issue of NC State magazine. We asked him to reflect on the places on campus that have become the most important to him during his tenure at NC State. Here are his six favorite spots:
1. Stafford is a walking encyclopedia of NC State history, and the place on campus that is most meaningful to him is the Memorial Bell Tower. He regularly gives tours, where he recounts the history of the landmark, something he hopes to continue in his retirement.
2. Holladay Hall not only houses his office, but it was the first building on campus. Stafford appreciates that symbolism and lines every tour group on the building’s steps to recreate a famous picture of NC State’s first freshman class, taken in the same spot in 1889.
3. The sports junkie in Stafford cherishes Reynolds Coliseum. The storied arena was the home to so many great memories, but he also appreciates it as the home to NC State women’s basketball and Kay Yow’s legacy.
4. One of the places he is most accessible is on his strolls through the Brickyard, where he chats with students.
5. Colleagues celebrate the vice chancellor’s eclectic tastes. He says his love for the arts has grown because of the plays he’s seen in University Theatre in Frank Thompson Hall. And he points out that in its previous life, Thompson Gymnasium was where “big-time college basketball started in the Southeast.”
6. While Stafford has overseen student affairs since 1983, many forget that he was a student himself when he attended graduate school at NC State in the mid-1960s. He and his wife, Judy, lived in Owen Residence Hall, which allowed married couples to live there. He might get in trouble at home if this one didn’t make the list.