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History of North Carolina State University, Part I

On March 7, 1887, the North Carolina General Assembly passed the act that authorized the establishment of the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts.

The Watauga Club of Raleigh and the statewide farmers’ movement had convinced the legislature of the need to transfer the funds received by the state under the provisions of the federal Morrill Land-Grant Act of 1862 from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill to a new land-grant college in Raleigh.

The cornerstone of A & M College was laid in August 1888, and its doors were officially opened on October 3, 1889.


Alexander Q. Holladay

1889-1899

Alexander Q. Holladay, the college’s first president, and a faculty of five offered courses in agriculture, horticulture, pure and agricultural chemistry, English, bookkeeping, history, mathematics, physics, practical mechanics and military science.

The first freshman class numbered about 50 students. By the end of the institution’s first decade, the resident enrollment had reached 300.


George T. Winston

1899-1908

During the administration of George T. Winston, a new curriculum in textiles was developed and courses were offered in the summer for public school teachers, both men and women.


Daniel H. Hill, Jr.

1908-1916

The Agricultural Extension Service was established during the administration of Daniel H. Hill (1908-1916), and enrollment grew to more than 700.


Wallace C. Riddick

1916-1923

In 1917, during the administration of Wallace C. Riddick (1916-1923), the institution’s name was changed to North Carolina State College of Agriculture and Engineering. The introduction of the word “engineering” was intended to reflect the increasing emphasis on the professional and theoretical, as well as the practical aspects of technical education.

In 1923 a major reorganization of the administration of the college was begun, and President Riddick resigned to become the first dean of the new School of Engineering.


Eugene Clyde Brooks

1923-1934

Eugene Clyde Brooks, the fifth president of State College, continued the reorganization with the creation of the School of Agriculture (later renamed the School of Agriculture and Forestry), the School of Science and Business, the School of Education, the School of Textiles and the Graduate School.

Resident enrollment rose to nearly 2,000 in 1929 before the Depression caused a drop to approximately 1,500 in 1933. The first women graduates of State College received their degrees in 1927.

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