NC State mascot makes a splash at holiday flotilla

December 11, 2012
By Bill Krueger

When a parade of brightly decorated boats passed by the waterfront in New Bern, N.C., as part of the town’s annual Coastal Christmas Flotilla this year, there were plenty of traditional holiday symbols: a snowman, a gingerbread house, reindeer and, of course, Santa Claus.

One boat, however, stood out: Nancy Childs ’87 and her family trimmed their sailboat with hundreds of LED lights to create a striking image of NC State’s mascot.


Photo courtesy Zach Frailey and The Uprooted Photographer

Childs, who graduated from the College of Design and is a graphic artist at Craven County Community College, says she and her family have participated in the flotilla before. But they never received as much reaction as they did at this year’s event on Dec. 1.

“It was great,” she says. “The kids were yelling ‘wolf’ and people on the shore would yell ‘pack.’” (Childs did allow, however, that the names of a couple of rival schools were shouted out as well.)

Childs says the Wolfpack-themed boat done was in part to honor her father, Robert James Miller ’56 of Raleigh.

Miller gave the sailboat, a 23-footer named “Sprite,” to his daughter after he could no longer use it, but the family is planning to sell it. Childs said her dad was pleased that the boat had placed first in its class, calling it “delightful.”

Miller received his undergraduate degree from the College of Natural Resources, later received master’s and doctorate degrees from Yale University, and became vice president of Radford College (now university) in Radford, Va.

Childs and her husband, Edward, joined by children Sarah Kate, John and Emily, spent about 28 hours mapping out the wolf’s head — complete with a red nose and “NCSU” spelled out on its sailor cap — using more than 2,000 LED lights meticulously attached to plastic mesh that was then hoisted onto the mast.

To see a gallery of other boats in the flotilla, go to:

— Sylvia Adcock ’81


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