Witherspoon Student Center; (formerly the Student Center Annex) following its completion, this building housed the African American Cultural Center, which included meeting space, a library, and a multipurpose room. In 1992, following months of student and faculty protests, NCSU administrators granted the African American Cultural Center an operating budget.
Administrators renamed the Student Center Annex in honor of Dr. Augustus Witherspoon, it was the first building on campus named for an African American. Dr. Witherspoon earned his Ph.D. in Botany from NCSU in 1971, making him the second African American student to receive a Ph.D. from NC State. He joined the faculty as Instructor of Botany and eventually held the following posts at NCSU: Full Professor, Assistant Dean, Acting Dean and Associate Dean of the Graduate School, Associate Provost and Coordinator of African-American Affairs.
A crowd of approximately 500 students and faculty members rallied in Witherspoon in support of affirmative action. Students opposed UNC system President Molly Broad’s proposal to eliminate race based programs within the UNC system.
African American students participated in a sit-in at a Student Senate meeting to express concern for the lack of funding for African American organizations. Out of $40,000 of appropriations, African American organizations received a mere $735. The Student Senate agreed to send the bill back to committee for re-evaluation.
On August 25, 2005 NC State’s student chapter of the NAACP held its first meeting in four years. Gina Dean, the NAACP youth and college state director, provided students a brief overview of the NAACP’s history. An NC State NAACP chapter initiated in 1991, however participation in the organization declined until the chapter became inactive. Michael Boykin (later named chapter president) and the Omega Psi Phi fraternity aided in the rechartering of the NC State NAACP chapter in 1994. The NAACP chapter met for 7 years; in 2001, the chapter again became inactive.