Today in NC State History: A training ground for college leaders

September 28, 2014
By Bill Krueger

historyIconIt is widely known that NC State students often go on to become great engineers, entrepreneurs, teachers, scientists and military leaders.

What may not be as widely known is the university’s track record in producing college and university presidents.

But on this day in 1951, the Technician reported that NC State was “rapidly gaining a nation-wide reputation as a training ground for college and university presidents.”


William G. Van Note

The story was prompted by the news that William G. Van Note, head of NC State’s Department of Engineering Research, was set to become the new president of Clarkson College of Technology in Postdam, N.Y. The paper said Van Note would be the fifth faculty member from NC State (or State College, as it was known then) to become university presidents since 1939.

Others who made the leap were:

  • Blake R. Van Leer, former dean of engineering at NC State, who became president of Georgia Tech.
  • Robert F. Poole, former dean of the graduate school at NC State, who became president of what was then known as Clemson College.
  • Carlyle Campbell, former head of the English department at NC State, who became president of Meredith College.
  • David A. Lockmiller, former head of the Department of History and Political Science, who became president of the University of Chattanooga.

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