NC State students will return to campus this week, settling into their spring classes and checking their syllabi for the dates of when they’ll have to turn in their first papers or take their first tests of 2015.
But on this day in 1929, students at the college were welcomed with a rude awakening on their first day back when they faced — gulp! — exams.
According to The Technician, North Carolina State College students had to complete exams from their first-semester coursework after campus had been evacuated the previous December due to a flu outbreak.
“North Carolina State College was forced to close its doors at 1 o’clock December 12, by an unexpected spread of an epidemic of influenza among its students, giving them an additional week to the fortnight scheduled for winter holidays and dispersing them to their homes in an attempt to forestall a further spread of the disease,” the article read.
The flu epidemic stretched across the U.S. and led to universities closing “through the eastern section of the country and beyond the Mississippi.”
However, NC State led the way with its decisiveness. “The college infirmary was crowded to capacity when the executive committee of the board of trustees took action on the advice of A.C. Campbell, physician at the institution,” The Technician reported. “It was one of the first of the southern colleges to close, being followed by others in North Carolina, and then Virginia and Georgia.”