Proud Pack

April 2, 2012

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It was a party 125 years in the making.

More than 4,500 NC State students, faculty, staff and supporters came to Reynolds Coliseum on April 2 for a raucous celebration of the university’s 125th birthday.

“One hundred and twenty-five years ago, four guys came together and said, ‘We’re going to create an amazing university that serves the people of North Carolina and people of America by doing world-class research and world-class education in things that people need,’” Chancellor Randy Woodson said. “And that’s 125 years of Wolfpack tradition.”

Woodson’s comments came a few minutes after he joined local band Old Man Whickutt to perform a Wolfpack-inspired rewrite of the Hank Williams standard, “I Saw The Light.” Playing acoustic guitar, Woodson also played NC State’s fight song with Old Man Whickutt and led the crowd in singing “Happy Birthday” to the university.

Earlier in the party, NC State head football coach Tom O’Brien joined emcee Korn Bascombe, outgoing Student Body President Chandler Thompson and Student Body President-elect Andy Walsh to announce the winner of the university’s 125th birthday video contest. In the winning video, Brandy Parker performed a song called “Wolfpack Rules,” singing and dancing to it with students at Centennial Campus Middle School performing it.

Parker, a graduate research assistant at the William & Ida Friday Institute for Educational Innovation, won a $500 Visa gift card for her video. She and Lodge McCammon, the song’s composer and a specialist in curriculum and contemporary media at the Friday Institute, donated the gift card to Centennial Campus Middle School.

Members of the NC State men’s basketball team, fresh off their trip to the Sweet Sixteen, also appeared at the party.

Monday’s event continued the celebration of NC State’s 125 anniversary. Urged on by local leaders, the North Carolina General Assembly passed legislation creating the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts on March 7, 1887. The college opened its doors in 1889, subsequently changing its name to NC State and building a tradition of transformation in North Carolina, the nation and the world.

“This is a time to reflect on everything that this university means, all the great people that work here, amazing staff, outstanding faculty and world-class students — you’re good,” Woodson said. “But it’s also a time for us to think forward, think about what this university can be when we’re looking back 125 years from now.”

Photo Gallery

Students wait in line to enter Reynolds Coliseum for the 125th birthday party.125.PARTY.3153 Students pose for photos outside Reynolds Coliseum at the conclusion of the 125th Birthday Celebration. Gifts were given to the students as they entered Reynolds for the Birthday Bash. A student puts on his best football face. Students have a good time even before they enter Reynolds Coliseum for the birthday party. Students grab up freebies as they enter Reynolds Coliseum for the 125th birthday party.125.PARTY.3179 Students receive complimentary NC State gear on their way into the birthday bash. Crowd fills up Reynolds Coliseum for the 125th birthday party.125.PARTY.3380 Pile of rubber 125 bracelets await the onslaught of party-goers.125.PARTY.3139 A woman has her picture made at one of the cutouts at the Birthday Celebration. DJ Tim Gunter spins the hits as the crowd fills Reynolds. Student Body President Chandler Thompson (right) and a friend pose in the photo booth. Deejay Tim Gunter gets the 125th Birthday Celebration under way. Emcee Kornelius Bascombe fires up the crowd at Reynolds. Students jam to the beats at the 125 Birthday Party at Reynolds. Students pose for a picture during the 125 Birthday Bash. Students swarm the ice cream station at the conclusion of the 125th Birthday Party. Wolf cupcakes at the 125th birthday party. The 125th NC State University Birthday Party included cupcakes decorated as wolves. Students dance to the grooves at the 125 Birthday Celebration at Reynolds. Students dance their way through the 125th birthday celebration. NC State cheerleaders pump up the crowd. Wolfpack students show their pride during the 125 Birthday celebration. Contestants try to dance their way to prizes. An enthusiastic crowd participates in the birthday festivities. Tom Stafford struts his stuff on stage during the 125 Birthday celebration. The crowd loves the dance competition. Dougie dance-off competitor throws in a little wolf hand action as she struts her stuff on stage at the 125th birthday bash in Reynolds.125.PARTY.3580 Dr. Tom Stafford points out that he should probably stick with his day job of student affairs and give up on his dream of being a famous hip-hop dancer. Students dance on the floor of Reynolds Coliseum during the 125th birthday party.125.PARTY.3433 Old Man Whickutt performs at the 125th Birthday party celebration at Reynolds Coliseum.125.PARTY.3730 Chancellor Randy Woodson jams with Old Man Whickutt at the 125th Birthday party celebration at Reynolds. Chancellor Randy Woodson, Old Man Whickutt, Mr. & Ms. Wuf and coach Tom O'Brien all wish Happy Birthday to NC State. Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes presented the Harrelson Lecture in Stewart Theater following the 125th celebration. Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes presented the Harrelson Lecture in Stewart Theater following the 125th celebration. Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes presented the Harrelson Lecture in Stewart Theater following the 125th celebration.