Augustus Witherspoon was a pioneer at NC State. He was the second African-American to earn a Ph.D. from NC State (he also earned a master’s at NC State) and the first African-American professor (of botany) to work at the university. He would later go on to become associate dean of the graduate school and the associate provost for African-American affairs.
So it was fitting that on this day in 1995, the Student Center Annex was renamed the Witherspoon Student Center in honor of Witherspoon.
“He was like a father figure to many students,” Tracey Avery, president of the student center, said in a story in the Technician. “He served as an inspiration for the future generation.”
The Witherspoon Student Center was built in 1990, and initially provided offices for student government and campus publications. It now houses the NC State African American Cultural Center.