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Spirit and Traditions

Generation after generation, NC State students have discovered traditions here that hold a place in their hearts — and bond them to the wider Wolfpack — for life.

We’re a university with more than a century of history, and strong spirit to match. If you want to be part of something extraordinary, we’re ready to pass the torch.

Mr. Wuf in the stands with fans, circa 1980 to 1989
The NC State football team takes to the field against Clemson in 2021.

Est. 1887

NC State was established with the idea that college shouldn’t be reserved for a select few. Its founders believed the children of farmers, mechanics and other workers should have access to the benefits of higher education, too.

Back then, we were known as the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts. More than 130 years and a few name changes later, we’re still bound to our roots as a land-grant university — which means we’ve spent decades giving back to our state and opening our doors to its citizens.

Today, NC State is a leading research enterprise that educates more North Carolinians than any other university. And our pride in this Wolfpack is stronger than ever.

A pink and blue wolf illustration from an NC State 1931 football program.

Why Is NC State Called the Wolfpack?


We’re a Wolfpack through and through — bound together by a collection of events, symbols and rituals that we’ve all come to cherish. These traditions are born of NC State innovation, and they reflect our Think and Do resolve. You’re invited to be part of them.

Discover experiences you can’t find anywhere but here.

The NC State Belltower on main campus.


Anyone who’s made their home at NC State knows there’s something special about our campus. It keeps our alums coming back year after year to relive the magic.

Once you’re here — crisscrossing grassy quads along brick paths, cheering in grandstands flooded with red and white or finding your own hidden gem somewhere in between — you’ll look up and realize that you’re part of our story now, too.

See the spaces our community has come to love.

Our Hallowed Places

Ten landmarks on our campus have earned a special designation from the university because of their deeper meaning to our alums, students and friends. Take a (virtual) stroll through our Hallowed Places.

The Techsters
Experience physics in action when you whisper into our Wolf Ears on Main Campus. Though the two structures are situated many yards apart, messages can travel from one “ear” to the other, loud and clear.
Students who are seeking a bit of good luck on their next exam rub the head of the Strolling Professor statue, which is modeled after former NC State chemistry professor William R. Johnston.
Just outside the Free Expression Tunnel, a pack of bronze wolf sculptures serves as a popular meeting place for students. (Each one weighs in at approximately 1,200 pounds and stands about five feet tall.)
Rising over campus, you may see a smokestack emblazoned with our university’s former name, State College, that proudly marks our home. The landmark is nearly a century old and heated buildings across campus until the 1970s.