Everyone gathered was there because they were a son or a daughter, a mother or a father, a sister or a brother, or even a grandmother or a grandfather. There were more than 700 of them, and the one thing they all had in common was a love and appreciation for what NC State has meant to them and their families.
The occasion was the 16th annual Legacy Luncheon hosted outside Witherspoon Student Center by the Alumni Association. The luncheon is an opportunity to welcome incoming freshmen who have parents or grandparents or, in a few cases, great grandparents who are alumni of NC State.
Today is move-in day on campus, and the Legacy Luncheon offered multi-generational Wolfpack families a chance to celebrate and reflect on what NC State has meant to them.
“At the Alumni Association, we believe in connections, and nothing speaks louder than a family who makes NC State a family tradition from one generation to the next,” Benny Suggs, executive director of the Alumni Association, told the crowd seated under several large tents.
Chancellor Randy Woodson welcomed the crowd to “a world-class university with a world-class legacy.” Woodson told the students that they were part of the most competitive freshman class ever at NC State, with 4,300 high school seniors selected from 21,000 applicants. “Everybody that’s here, we know you can be successful,” Woodson told the crowd.
Woodson led the crowd in a game to identify the student with the most family members who had graduated from NC State. Two incoming freshmen said they had 10 members in their family who had already earned an NC State degree.
Student Body President Andy Walsh encouraged the students to be active on campus, giving them a list of his own Top 10 things to do while at NC State. They included, to the delight of the students, running in the Krispy Kreme Challenge and, to the delight of the parents, doing what is necessary to graduate.
Mr. Wuf was on had and eager to pose for pictures. Red was the shirt color of choice. And the NC State Marching Band sent a chill through the crowd — and a tear down more than a few cheeks — when they appeared suddenly to perform toward the end of the luncheon.
But the highlight, at least for most of the parents, was the chance to give their child a “legacy pin” to mark their addition to the larger Wolfpack family.
“Your NC State family wants you to grow and succeed during your days here and to leave with fond memories, good friends and an education that allows you to prosper beyond your expectation,” Suggs said.