Hunt waving to crowd
The News & Observer
State Archives of North Carolina State Archives of NC State Archives of North Carolina
Jim Hunt, circa 1950. Thoroughly grounded in the life of North Carolina, Jim Hunt and his wife. Carolyn, still raise beef cattle on the same family farm in Rock Ridge on which he was brought up.

Leadership arises from necessity. As workers changed the muddy rut in front of his rural Wilson County home into a paved road, Jim Hunt saw the future. That thirteen-year-old boy first witnessed the legacy of visionary leadership, seeing the connection between “good-roads” legislation and his community’s new ability to get their crops to market.

His parents raised him to value education and fairness, and the Future Farmers of America developed him as a leader, teaching him that collaboration gets things done. Later, exposed to the wider world by learned and committed professors at NC State and other schools, and absorbing wisdom and tactics from a long line of progressive leaders like Terry Sanford, Hunt became the state’s youngest lieutenant governor at thirty-five, its governor at thirty-nine, and the only governor to serve four terms.

This exhibit celebrates that legacy of leadership and the profound impact it had on developing North Carolina into a model of education, technology, and growth in the New South. His is a legacy—as Governor Hunt has said himself many times—not about fighting over pieces of the pie. It’s about how to make the pie larger and how to ensure we all have a place at the table.

The NCSU Libraries is the gateway to knowledge for the NC State community and partners. The Hunt Library embodies our vision of providing NC State University with a sustainable competitive advantage in its mission to improve the quality of life for citizens of North Carolina, the nation, and the world.