Tradition and Transformation

March 6, 2012

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The North Carolina General Assembly takes hundreds of votes each year. But a single decision made 125 years ago changed the course of education, agriculture, science and technology, economic development and outreach in the state.

On March 7, 1887, the Legislature created North Carolina Agriculture and Mechanic Arts in Raleigh. NC A&M opened two years later with 72 students and six faculty members working and studying in a single building.

Today, NC State educates 34,000 students, employs more than 7,500 faculty and staff on a campus covering 2,100 acres in Raleigh, and provides extension services to citizens in all 100 North Carolina counties.

In the intervening decades, NC State has been a consistent catalyst for North Carolina, helping to drive its transformation from agricultural state, to manufacturing hub, to technological hotbed.

All the while, NC State has held tightly to its land-grant mission of providing outstanding teaching, research and outreach for the benefit of the people of North Carolina, the nation and the world. Throughout its 125-year history, the NC State community has continually demonstrated an unwavering commitment to education, discovery and service that makes a difference.

NC State is a national leader in translating research from the lab to the market, contributing to the creation of more than 80 startup companies that have created thousands of new jobs in North Carolina and beyond.

NC State is an economic engine. The university’s more than 170,000 living alumni contribute billions to the state’s economy each year.

And NC State remains a good value for the state of North Carolina. The university ranks near the top of several national “best value university” lists for its combination of academic quality and affordability.

“Set on a richly textured background of deep-rooted tradition, this 125th anniversary year celebrates not only our rich heritage, but also our ability to build off a dynamic past in order to remain a presence of transformation in an increasingly complex world,” NC State Chancellor Randy Woodson said. “Today we come together as members of the Wolfpack family to cherish our past and take pride in our contribution towards the next 125 years in the story of NC State.”

Photo Gallery

The first class at North Carolina College of Agricultural and Mechanic Arts (1887) The first graduating class with President Alexander Quarles Holladay NC State's most recent graduate class, December 2011 Alexander Quarles Holladay, NC State's first chancellor (1889-1899) George Tayloe Winston, NC State's second chancellor (1899-1908) Daniel Harvey Hill Jr., NC State's third chancellor (1908-1916) Wallace Carl Riddick, NC State's fourth chancellor (1916-1923) Eugene Clyde Brooks, NC State's fifth chancellor (1923-1934) John William Harrelson, NC State's sixth chancellor (1934-1953) Carey Hoyt Bostian, NC State's seventh chancellor (1953-1959) John Tyler Caldwell, NC State's eighth chancellor (1959-1975) Joab Langston Thomas, NC State's ninth chancellor (1975-1981) Bruce Robert Poulton, NC State's 10th chancellor (1982-1989) Larry K. Monteith, NC State's 11th chancellor (1989-1998) Marye Anne Fox, NC State's 12th chancellor (1998-2004) James Oblinger, NC State's 13th chancellor (2005-2009) W. Randy Woodson, NC State's 14th chancellor (2010-present) Women's basketball coach Kay Yow Men's basketball coach Everett Case The 1974 national champion men's basketball team David Thompson, two-time national player of the year, national champion, three-time All-American (1972-1975) Men's basketball coach Jim Valvano with the 1983 national title team Lorenzo Charles' national title-winning dunk (1983) Roman Gabriel, two-time All-American quarterback (1959-1962) The Philip Rivers, 2004 ACC athlete of the year Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, Nobel Prize-winning climate scientist, class of 1972 and 1974 Irwin Holmes, one of the first four African-American undergraduates at NC State, integrated the men's tennis team, class of 1960 Justina Williams, first African-American staff member Cathy Sterling, first female student body president (1971) Kevin Dwan Howell, first African-American student body president, class of 1988 Dr. Stanley G. Stephens, professor of genetics and first NC State faculty member inducted into the National Academy of Sciences President Ronald Reagan visits campus in 1985 President George H.W. Bush visits campus in 1990 President Lyndon Johnson visits campus in 1964 President Barack Obama visits campus in September 2011 Jim Goodnight, founder of SAS Institute, class of 1965, 1968 and 1972 William C. Friday, president of the University of North Carolina System, class of 1941 Students gathered on the Brickyard to sign a thank-you poster in appreciation of donors at the first-ever Thank You Day. Students gathered on the Brickyard to sign a thank-you poster in appreciation of donors at the first-ever Thank You Day. Students gathered on the Brickyard to sign a thank-you poster in appreciation of donors at the first-ever Thank You Day. Students gathered on the Brickyard to sign a thank-you poster in appreciation of donors at the first-ever Thank You Day. Students gathered on the Brickyard to sign a thank-you poster in appreciation of donors at the first-ever Thank You Day. Students gathered on the Brickyard to sign a thank-you poster in appreciation of donors at the first-ever Thank You Day. Students gathered on the Brickyard to sign a thank-you poster in appreciation of donors at the first-ever Thank You Day. Students gathered on the Brickyard to sign a thank-you poster in appreciation of donors at the first-ever Thank You Day. Students gathered on the Brickyard to sign a thank-you poster in appreciation of donors at the first-ever Thank You Day. Students gathered on the Brickyard to sign a thank-you poster in appreciation of donors at the first-ever Thank You Day. Students gathered on the Brickyard to sign a thank-you poster in appreciation of donors at the first-ever Thank You Day. Students gathered on the Brickyard to sign a thank-you poster in appreciation of donors at the first-ever Thank You Day. Students gathered on the Brickyard to sign a thank-you poster in appreciation of donors at the first-ever Thank You Day. Students gathered on the Brickyard to sign a thank-you poster in appreciation of donors at the first-ever Thank You Day. Students gathered on the Brickyard to sign a thank-you poster in appreciation of donors at the first-ever Thank You Day. Students gathered on the Brickyard to sign a thank-you poster in appreciation of donors at the first-ever Thank You Day. Chancellor Randy Woodson greets the crowd during Employee Appreciation Day. Coworkers took the stage to sing The photo booth was a popular destination during the Employee Appreciation Day festivities. Chancellor Randy Woodson kicks off the 125th Anniversary of NC State University. Students  wearing red received free goodies during the first Wear Red Friday on the Brickyard. Students  wearing red received free goodies during the first Wear Red Friday on the Brickyard. Students line up to receive giveaways during the first Red Friday event on the Brickyard. Students line up to receive giveaways during the first Red Friday event on the Brickyard. Students enjoy spring weather and Student Government's 125th Anniversary bash on the Brickyard. Students enjoy spring weather and Student Government's 125th Anniversary bash on the Brickyard. Students enjoy spring weather and Student Government's 125th Anniversary bash on the Brickyard. Students enjoy spring weather and Student Government's 125th Anniversary bash on the Brickyard. Students enjoy spring weather and Student Government's 125th Anniversary bash on the Brickyard. Students enjoy spring weather and Student Government's 125th Anniversary bash on the Brickyard. Students enjoy spring weather and Student Government's 125th Anniversary bash on the Brickyard. Students enjoy spring weather and Student Government's 125th Anniversary bash on the Brickyard. Student Body President Chandler Thompson joined in the Student Government bash on the Brickyard. Students enjoy spring weather and Student Government's 125th Anniversary bash on the Brickyard. Students enjoy spring weather and Student Government's 125th Anniversary bash on the Brickyard. Students enjoy spring weather and Student Government's 125th Anniversary bash on the Brickyard. Students enjoy spring weather and Student Government's 125th Anniversary bash on the Brickyard. Students enjoy spring weather and Student Government's 125th Anniversary bash on the Brickyard. A Happy Birthday, NC State! Chancellor Woodson cuts the cake at employee appreciation festivities. NC State employees took home a bag commemorating the 125th anniversary of the University. Employees enjoyed time together during the Appreciation Day event. Chancellor Randy Woodson chats with students in DH Hill. CHANREPORT.students.2 Jaykus Fred Gould Men's basketball Coach Mark Gottfried BOT's Phil Freelon BOT's Phil Freelon Belltower Trudy Mackay Trudy Mackay Trudy Mackay Trudy Mackay Trudy Mackay Trudy Mackay Escuti Escuti Escuti Escuti Beichner Beichner Jay Baliga Jay Baliga Jay Baliga Jay Baliga Fred Gould Gifts were given to the students as they entered Reynolds for the Birthday Bash. Chancellor Randy Woodson, Old Man Whickutt, Mr. & Ms. Wuf and coach Tom O'Brien all wish Happy Birthday to NC State. Chancellor Randy Woodson jams with Old Man Whickutt at the 125th Birthday party celebration at Reynolds. Tom Stafford struts his stuff on stage during the 125 Birthday celebration. Students dance to the grooves at the 125 Birthday Celebration at Reynolds. Wolfpack students show their pride during the 125 Birthday celebration. A student puts on his best football face. Students jam to the beats at the 125 Birthday Party at Reynolds. Students pose for a picture during the 125 Birthday Bash. Emcee Kornelius Bascombe fires up the crowd at Reynolds. A woman has her picture made at one of the cutouts at the Birthday Celebration.