Night sky silhouettes the Hunt Library, 2013
© Jeff Goldberg/Esto
The James B. Hunt Jr. Library at sunset. The library opened to the students, faculty, and community of NC State University on January 2, 2013.
“We are leaving a legacy—let us do it well.”
—Jim Hunt, from “Action Plan for North Carolina,” NC Commission on Education for Economic Growth, 1984

A Vision Made Real

Jim Hunt’s legacy of leadership has honed North Carolina’s potential into an inclusive, future-focused reality. NC State’s Centennial Campus is a primary example.

Today, Centennial Campus brings together many NC State colleges and departments—such as the nation’s largest textiles program and one of the country’s ten largest colleges of engineering—with corporate tenants like Agile Sciences, government partners like the National Weather Service, and startup companies in the Technology Incubator, as well as the Centennial Campus Magnet Middle School.

The James B. Hunt Jr. Library

The James B. Hunt Jr. Library, housing the Institute for Emerging Issues, opened in January 2013 and is the intellectual and social center of Centennial Campus. The building defines the research library of the future, putting cutting-edge technology, research computing, and visualization tools into the hands of students and faculty and enabling and encouraging collaborative multidisciplinary research and projects.

The NCSU Libraries has long been a bold technology incubator, enabling students and faculty to immerse themselves in the technologies driving our economy. The Hunt Library builds on that tradition. The iconic building is filled with technology-enabled furniture, high-definition video walls, 3D computing and visualization spaces, and video-conferencing and telepresence features. Inspiring a spirit of discovery, the Hunt Library will help produce the next generations of technology-savvy citizens, employees, researchers, and scholars.

The Institute for Emerging Issues

The Institute for Emerging Issues, a public policy organization, grew out of the Emerging Issues Forum in 2002 as a think-and-do tank based at NC State, tackling issues that affect North Carolina’s growth and prosperity. Founded by Hunt, the IEI convenes leaders in business, higher education, and government to address issues of education, the economy, health, and the environment before challenges become problems and opportunities pass North Carolina by.

Institute for Emerging Issues
NC State University
The Emerging Issues Commons in the main lobby of the James B. Hunt Jr. Library, 2013.

James B. Hunt Jr. Institute for Educational Leader­ship

Hunt Institute for Educational Leadership and PolicyJames B. Hunt Jr. Institute for Educational Leadership and Policy at UNC–Chapel Hill was founded in 2001 to bring state governors and legislators together in dialogue to transform education. Initiatives include the cultivation of education-focused elected officials, the improvement of science education to build workforces of the future, and the development of high-quality national standards for public education. The Hunt Institute renamed its signature annual retreat the “Governor Jim Holshouser Legislators Retreat” in 2013, honoring the man that Hunt served under as lieutenant governor in the 1970s and acknowledging their mutual commitment to education through the decades. The National Association of State Boards of Education also honored Hunt’s career contributions by naming him Education Policy Leader of the Year in 2013.

Governor Hunt’s personal collection
“Education is our future. It’s everything.”
—Jim Hunt, Inaugural Address, 1997

During his last term in office, when North Carolina was widely considered one of the top-ranked states in the nation in education, Hunt called on the legislature to make it first in America in the next decade. Centennial Campus and the Hunt Library demonstrate North Carolina’s continuing commitment to education.

Jim Hunt’s devotion to and leadership of educational causes carries on today. His goal for North Carolina to achieve stature as a national leader in excellence has not diminished, nor has his indefatigable dedication. As Rob Christensen wrote in the News & Observer, “Hunt’s career is a testament to the power of persistence, persuasion, and an ability to make others see the virtue of his vision for the state.”