Homecoming 2012 will send some alumni back to class

October 22, 2012
By Chris Saunders
Photo courtesy of NCSU Creative Services.

Photo courtesy of NCSU Creative Services.

Many students spend their college years counting down the days until their last exam, the final lecture they have to sit through and the last time they have to see their professors.

But during this year’s homecoming, which is more robust to celebrate NC State’s 125th anniversary, different colleges at NC State will offer alumni a chance to come back and experience the classroom one more time. But this time there will be no homework.

Classes without Quizzes, an event taking place Friday, Nov. 2, will allow alumni to return to their respective colleges and attend lectures highlighting current research by faculty. Alumni will also get to catch up with friends and enjoy refreshments as they hear about the work that illustrates NC State’s role as a leader in innovation and education .

“The Classes Without Quizzes concept provides a wonderful opportunity for families and alumni to reconnect with NC State by exploring the outstanding work of our students and faculty within the broader context of our 125th anniversary homecoming celebrations,” says Chancellor Randy Woodson. “These activities showcase NC State’s academic excellence and innovative research while developing the strong alumni relationships critical for broadening the audience of the NC State story.”

Some colleges, like the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, will offer a general lecture about a discipline. The college’s program, “Albert & Isaac’s Excellent Adventure,” promises to make physics applicable to anybody.

“Things will explode,” says Marla Gregg, PAMS director of alumni and donor relations. “It’s really geared for people of all ages. It makes physics and science experiments fun.”

Gregg hopes the classroom setting will allow alumni to remember their time at NC State.

“I think any excuse to get alumni to campus is awesome because it can be difficult for people to get back ,” she says. “When people come back, they get nostalgic and they get those memories. They remember just how important it is to remain close to the university.”

The College of Engineering will offer more a specialized approach. Brian Campbell, executive director of development and college relations at the NC State Engineering Foundation, says it was hard to choose one topic to encompass the college’s research. So the college zeroed in on the “great challenges” of our time: energy, security and health. Alumni can choose to attend any of those three simultaneous sessions.

In addition to generating feelings of nostalgia, Classes without Quizzes also gives NC State a chance to advertise the work happening on campus in 2012. “I feel that you have to say that ‘This is pretty cool,’ and that ‘My institution has evolved into this,'” Campbell says.

The College of Natural Resources will also hold an event where its ambassadors will discuss what it’s like to be a student in that college today. And the College of Design will host an event at the Contemporary Art Museum Raleigh where families will be asked to design a solution to a design problem. Contact the college for registration information.

And don’t worry. You won’t be tested on this material later.

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