Today in NC State History: Campus set to get physical

March 1, 2014
By Chris Saunders

historyIconIt was the 1960s and the newly organized School of Physical Sciences and Applied Math was growing so much so that it needed more space for its Department of Physics.

And on this day in 1962 NC State administrators announced that the physics department would get a new home.

“The modern structure, slated for completion in the middle of 1963, will enclose approximately 64,000 square feet of laboratory and office space, and it will be completely air conditioned,” read the administration’s statement in The Technician that year. The building’s plans promised a six-story facility to be built behind Harrelson Hall and be utilized for general lab space for undergraduate and graduate physics students. Lectures were still going to be held in Harrelson. And the new building was set to also host  the Department of Experimental Statistics.

The proposed physics building in 1962. Photo courtesy of NCSU Libraries.

The proposed physics building in 1962. Photo courtesy of NCSU Libraries.

The building was constructed and eventually became what is now known as Cox Hall. It was named for Gertrude Mary Cox, a statistics expert and the first woman to be a full professor and department head at NC State. She was hired to begin the Department of Experimental Statistics here.

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