Today in NC State History: Sanford booed over name change

December 10, 2012
By Bill Krueger

blog_series6NC State has been known by many names through its 125 years. It was first known as the North Carolina College of Agriculture & Mechanic Arts, a name that stuck until 1917. It then became known as the North Carolina State College of Agriculture & Engineering, or more commonly, “State College.”

But then came a name that few liked and many hated — North Carolina State of the University of North Carolina at Raleigh. The name was changed in 1963 as part of an effort to reinforce the notion that NC State was part of the expanding UNC system.

The anger over the possible name change spilled out on this day in 1962, following a basketball game against Wake Forest at Reynolds Coliseum. Gov. Terry Sanford, who was in attendance, was booed by Wolfpack fans after the game, according to an account in Historical State, an online archive maintained by NCSU Libraries.

The 1963 Agromeck noted that student government “took a very strong stand” against the name change, but that the “issue was lost.” “Nevertheless, the leaders in student government did their best to fulfill the wishes of the student body,” read the yearbook.

After the outcry from alumni and students continued unabated, the name was finally changed in 1965 to North Carolina State University.

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3 Responses to “Today in NC State History: Sanford booed over name change”

  1. Tom Baucom says:

    I am wondering about these dates. I graduated from State on May 29, 1965. My diploma clearly says North Carolina State of the University of North Carolina at Raleigh. My class ring said the same thing. As I recall, the class of 1964 was still called NC State College and the next class (1966) was with the current name. I was told my 1965 class was the only year with the long disliked name. The dates in the article appear to show differing dates for the name changes.

  2. Bill Krueger says:

    Mr. Baucom:

    According to the book, “North Carolina State University: A Narrative History,” by Alice Elizabeth Reagan, the university’s name was changed to North Carolina State of the University of North Carolina at Raleigh in June 1963 and then changed to North Carolina State University in July 1965.

    Bill Krueger

  3. G Matt Wood Jr says:

    My Dad George Wood lead the name change fight in legislature. He later served as trustee chair and George Wood dorm is named for him.

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