Historical Sketch of NC State University

Historical Sketch of North Carolina State University


A pioneering era in American public higher education commenced with the passage of the Morrill Land-Grant Act in 1862. A radical departure from previous traditions, this legislation opened the doors of higher education to children of the working classes, added applied science and practical technology to curricula previously dominated by classical and theoretical studies, and made use of federal resources to support public higher education in the various states.

Under the terms of the Morrill Act, the federal government provided a grant to each state of 30,000 acres of public land for each of that state's senators and congressmen. The states would sell the land and invest the proceeds. The income derived from these investments would be used, according to the law, to establish and endow "at least one college where the leading object shall be, without excluding other scientific and classical studies, and including military tactics, to teach such branches of learning as are related to agriculture and the mechanic arts in such manner as the Legislatures of the States may respectively prescribe, in order to promote the liberal and practical education of the industrial classes in the several pursuits and professions in life."

For approximately two decades the University at Chapel Hill received the interest, amounting to about $7,500 annually, from North Carolina's Land-Scrip Fund created according to the provisions of the Morrill Act.

Establishment of College

In the mid-1880's two groups challenged the adequacy of the programs at the University in Chapel Hill for meeting the needs of the people of North Carolina. Walter Hines Page, youthful editor of a short-lived, militantly progressive Raleigh paper, The State Chronicle, helped to organize the Watauga Club. This association of impatient young men sought to promote the progress of their area through the establishment of an industrial school in Raleigh. In 1885 they obtained authorization but no money from the General Assembly, and in 1886 they successfully pressed the City of Raleigh for money and land to provide such a school.

About this same time a statewide farmers' movement, organized and led by Leonidas LaFayette Polk, the state's first Commissioner of Agriculture from 1877 to 1880, called for the establishment of a land-grant college separate from the University at Chapel Hill. In his journal, The Progressive Farmer, Polk argued that the State had not met its obligations under the terms of the Morrill Act and that the interest from the Land-Scrip Fund should be transferred to a new land-grant college for agriculture and the mechanic arts.

On March 7, 1887, the General Assembly, under considerable pressure and not without controversy, passed the act which authorized the establishment of the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, according to the purposes and provisions of the Morrill Act. The Board of Trustees of the new institution was apportioned under the law evenly between the two political parties, and provision was made for 120 students to be admitted free, each county entitled to a scholarship for each member it sent to the General Assembly. The cornerstone of A. and M. College, as it came to be called, was laid in August, 1888, and its doors were officially opened on October 3, 1889.

President Alexander Q. Holladay, 1889-1899

The first president of A. and M. College, Colonel Alexander Quarles Holladay, was a lawyer, a soldier, and an alumnus of the University of Virginia and of the University of Berlin where he had studied languages, moral philosophy, and the law. The first faculty of five professors offered courses in agriculture, horticulture, pure and agricultural chemistry, English and bookkeeping, and mathematics and practical mechanics. President Holladay served as professor of history. Courses in military science and physics were added later.

The original Main Building (now Holladay Hall) housed all of the college's activities during its first year: kitchen, dining-hall, shop, and gym in the basement; offices, classrooms, and library on the first floor; and dormitory facilities on the second and third floors. Additional buildings erected during the institution's first decade included: a Mechanical Building (on the present site of Peele Hall); Watauga Hall into which the kitchen and dining-hall were moved; Primrose Hall for instruction in horticulture (named for W. S. Primrose, member of the Watauga Club and first chairman of the Board of Trustees); four small dormitories First, Second, Third, and Fourth (all roughly on the present site of Brooks Hall); an infirmary (on the present site of Winslow Hall); and several farm and dairy buildings.

The first freshman class eventually numbered 72 students, though only 19 of these were in the first graduating class of 1893. By the end of President Holladay's administration, however, the resident enrollment had reached 300.

President George T. Winston, 1899-1908

George Tayloe Winston, a professor of Latin, was an alumnus of the University of North Carolina, the United States Naval Academy, and Cornell University. Prior to his election as second president of A. and M. College, he had served terms as president of the University of North Carolina and as first president of the University of Texas.

During the Winston administration the development of a new curriculum in textiles led to the construction of the Textile Building (renamed Tompkins Hall for D. A. Tompkins, a designer of industrial plants and trustee of the college). Pullen Hall (for R. Stanhope Pullen, Raleigh philanthropist who gave the original sixty-two acre site for the College; destroyed by fire in 1965) was built to provide larger library and dining facilities and an auditorium to seat eight hundred. The last major building erected during these years was Agricultural Hall (renamed Patterson Hall for S. L. Patterson, State Commissioner of Agriculture in the 1890's). New academic programs included normal courses and summer sessions for public school teachers, both men and women.

President Daniel H. Hill, 1908-1916

Son of a Confederate general, an alumnus of Davidson College, and professor of English in the original faculty of A. and M. College, Daniel Harvey Hill, became the institution's third president. During his administration the resident student enrollment grew from 446 to 723, and one of the important new programs was the Agricultural Extension Service.

New buildings added to the campus during this period were: the Nineteen-Eleven Dormitory (in honor of the class of 1911 which resolved to abolish hazing); the Engineering Building (renamed Winston Hall for the former president); the Dining Hall (renamed Leazar Hall for Augustus Leazar, the legislator who introduced the founding legislation in 1887); the Y.M.C.A. Building (renamed King Religious Center after E. S. King, for many years general secretary of the campus Y.M.C.A.; center demolished in 1975); and South Dormitory (renamed Syme Hall for G. F. Syme, a 1898 alumnus and distinguished engineer).

President Wallace C. Riddick, 1916-1923

Wallace Carl Riddick, a native of Wake County and an alumnus of the University of North Carolina and Lehigh University, had been a practicing civil engineer and a professor of mathematics and mechanics at A. and M. College for almost twenty years before his selection as the fourth president of the college. In 1917 the institution's name was changed to North Carolina State College of Agriculture and Engineering. The substitution of the word "engineering" for "mechanic arts" was intended to reflect the increasing emphasis since 1889 on the professional and theoretical aspects of technical education.

During World War I the campus was geared to intensive military instruction. The Reserve Officers' Training Corps was established on the campus, and for a brief period there existed a Student Army Training Corps. In the epidemic of Spanish influenza which struck in the fall of 1918 thirteen students and two nurses died. Under the leadership of the Alumni Association plans were initiated after the war to commemorate the 1400 State College men who had served their country and, especially, the 33 alumni who were killed in action or otherwise died in service. Construction of the Memorial Tower was begun in 1921, but its completion was delayed until 1937. The clock, carillon, and memorial plaque were subsequently added, and the tower dedicated in 1949.

Several new buildings were erected during the Riddick administration. These included the Extension Building (renamed Ricks Hall for R. H. Ricks, businessman, member of the State Legislature, and trustee of the college); the Mechanical Engineering Building (renamed Page Hall for Walter Hines Page); and both Fifth and Sixth Dorms (renamed, respectively, Gold Hall for C. W. Gold, a 1895 alumnus, president of Pilot Life, and Director of the U. S. Chamber of Commerce, and Welch Hall for C. D. Welch, an 1902 alumnus and textile executive). The first concrete bleachers were built for Riddick Field during this period.

In 1923 the college began to reorganize according to recommendations from a report conducted by U.S. Bureau of Education specialist George Zook. Three new schools were created, overseeing programs in engineering, agriculture, and science and business. Each was headed by a dean, who reported to the college president. President Riddick resigned to become the first engineering dean.

President Eugene C. Brooks, 1923-1934

Prior to becoming the fifth president of State College, Eugene Clyde Brooks, an alumnus of Trinity College (now Duke University), had served as superintendent of the Goldsboro public schools, professor of education at Trinity College, and State Superintendent of Public Instruction. As president, he continued to the administrative reorganization of the college with the creation of schools for textiles, education, and graduate studies.

The growth of the college during the first half of the Brooks administration made necessary many new buildings. These included: Polk Hall for animal husbandry, horticulture, and landscape architecture (named for Leonidas L. Polk); the original D. H. Hill Library (now Brooks Hall); the Electrical Engineering and Physics Building (renamed Daniels Hall for Josephus Daniels, charter member of the Watauga Club, early editor of the News and Observer, and Secretary of the Navy in Woodrow Wilson's War Cabinet); Peele Hall to house both the School of Science and Business and the Graduate School (named for W. J. Peele, lawyer and historian, founder of the Watauga Club and of the North Carolina Historical Commission); the Frank Thompson Gymnasium (now Theatre, named in honor of a campus leader, athlete, 1910 alumnus, and coach, who gave his life in World War I); and Seventh Dorm (renamed Bagwell Hall for E. C. Bagwell, an 1904 alumnus and general manager of the Seaboard Airline Railroad).

Resident enrollment rose from less than 1000 in 1920 to nearly 2000 in 1929 before the Depression caused a drop to approximately 1500 by 1933. The first women graduates of State College received their degrees in 1927.

Consolidation, 1931

In the midst of the Great Depression the General Assembly of 1931 attempted to promote economy and to prevent unnecessary duplication among the three leading state institutions of higher education by establishing a single consolidated administration for the University of North Carolina, North Carolina State College of Agriculture and Engineering, and North Carolina College for Women. Dr. Frank Porter Graham, president of the University of North Carolina, was elected president of the consolidated University, and Dr. Brooks with the title of Vice President, continued as chief administrative officer at State College. The Consolidated University arrangement existed until 1971, when it was replaced by the current University of North Carolina system.

Among the consequences of consolidation were the phasing out of the School of Engineering at Chapel Hill and the Graduate School and the School of Science and Business at Raleigh. In place of the latter the Basic Division was established to provide two years of basic courses in the arts and sciences as a foundation for students in the various degree-granting technical and professional schools.

Chancellor John W. Harrelson, 1934-1953

Colonel John William Harrelson, class of 1909, was the first alumnus to become the chief administrator of State College. Prior to his appointment Harrelson had been head of the Mathematics Department. Because of the college’s relation to the Consolidated University, Harrelson’s title as the college’s chief executive officer was originally "dean of administration," but it was changed to "chancellor" in 1945.

During World War II, the college contributed to the war effort by hosting military detachments and training exercises and by reorienting the work of several departments and programs to military and defense purposes. State College trained more than 23,000 military men and women.

During the war enrollment dropped to less than 1,000 students, but the postwar period was one of extraordinary growth in enrollment and physical facilities and a new emphasis on scientific and technological research. In addition, the School of Design was established, the School of Forestry became a separate school, and the School of Education was reestablished after a period of departmental status in the consolidated university.

The G.I. Bill brought thousands of ex-servicemen to campus, and enrollment first went above 5,000 in the fall of 1947. Temporary structures were built around campus to meet the sudden demand. Veterans and their family were housed in groups of trailers and pre-fab housing called Vetville, Westhaven, and Trailwood.

Within a few years the college began constructing many new buildings: Mangum Hall for agricultural engineering (named for P. H. Mangum, pioneer of scientific erosion and water control terrace system; renamed David Clark Laboratories in 1963 for David Clark, a 1895 alumnus and first president of the North Carolina Textile Association); the Chemistry Building (now Withers Hall for W. A. Withers, professor of chemistry on the original faculty of 1889); the new Textiles Building (now Nelson Hall for Thomas Nelson, first dean of the School of Textiles); Riddick Engineering Laboratories (for the former President); and Williams Hall for soils and field crops (for C. B. Williams, a 1893 alumnus and Dean of Agriculture, 1917-24).
Seven new dormitories were built during this period: Eighth (now Becton Hall for J. L. Becton, an 1908 alumnus and trustee who designed liberty ships during World War I); Ninth (now Berry Hall for L. G. Berry, an 1900 alumnus and a pioneer in reinforced concrete design); Tenth (now Clark Hall for Walter Clark, Jr., an 1903 alumnus, Charlotte lawyer, and state senator); A Dormitory (now Alexander Hall for S. B. Alexander, Jr., a 1898 alumnus, Charlotte business executive, and first State College alumnus on the executive committee of the consolidated Board of Trustees); C Dormitory (now Turlington Hall for J. E. Turlington, an 1907 alumnus and former head of the department of agricultural economics at the University of Florida); Owen Hall (for E. B. Owen, a 1898 alumnus who served the college as librarian, professor of English, registrar, and alumni secretary; First Dorm was renamed Owen Hall for a period before it was demolished for the expansion of Brooks Hall); and Tucker Hall (for I. B. Tucker, a 1899 alumnus, mayor of Whiteville, U. S. attorney, and member of the consolidated Board of Trustees).

The William Neal Reynolds Coliseum was begun in 1941. However, with the steel frame in place, construction ceased for six years because of World War II. Work was resumed in 1947, and the coliseum was completed in 1949. (Reynolds was one of five brothers who developed the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company and was a major benefactor of the institution.)

Chancellor Carey H. Bostian, 1953-1959

Carey Hoyt Bostian, an alumnus of Catawba College and the University of Pittsburgh, a professor of genetics, and former director of instruction for the School of Agriculture, was elected the seventh administrative head of State College. During his administration a multi-million dollar expansion program was completed, and the program of student activities was greatly enlarged.

The new buildings completed in this period include: the east wing of the present D. H. Hill Jr. Library (the old library became the center for the School of Design and was renamed Brooks Hall); Gardner Hall to serve the biological sciences (for O. Max Gardner, an 1903 alumnus and governor, 1929-1933); Broughton Hall to serve mechanical engineering (for J. Melville Broughton, governor, 194l-1945); Kilgore Hall to serve horticulture and forestry (for B. W. Kilgore, first dean of the School of Agriculture and founder of the Pine State Creamery); Scott Hall to serve poultry sciences (for Robert W. Scott, Alamance dairy farmer and state senator, whose six sons, including Governor Kerr Scott, and grandson, Governor Robert W. Scott, attended State College); Weaver Laboratories to serve biological and agricultural engineering (for David S. Weaver, pioneer in rural electrification and former head of the Department of Agricultural Engineering); and Grinnells Animal Health Laboratories (for C. D. Grinnells, member of the Animal Science Department for 33 years). The Burlington Engineering Laboratories, built with a gift from Burlington Industries, contained the first nuclear reactor devoted exclusively to the peacetime study of atomic activity.

The center for student activities was in the new College Union (renamed the Erdahl-Cloyd Union, now the Erdahl-Cloyd Wing of the D. H. Hill Library, for Gerald O. T. Erdahl, first director of the Union and founder of the Friends of the College concert series, and for E. L. Cloyd, dean of students from 1921 to 1957). The Alumni Memorial Building (now Winslow Hall) was the result of a major expansion and remodeling of the original infirmary.

Prior to the 1950s North Carolina state law prohibited admission of African Americans to State College. When segregation was declared unconstitutional, African Americans enrolled first as graduate students (1953) and then as undergraduates (1956).

Chancellor John T. Caldwell, 1959-1975

John Tyler Caldwell became the eighth administrative head of State College in 1959. An alumnus of Mississippi State College and of Duke, Columbia, and Princeton Universities, Chancellor Caldwell had served previously as a professor of political science and as president of the University of Arkansas. During his administration a new school was created and another school was renamed and assigned a major new role: the School of Physical Sciences and Applied Mathematics (now Physical and Mathematical Sciences) and the School of Liberal Arts (formerly the School of General Studies, the successor to the Basic Division). The name Liberal Arts was adopted when the School was authorized to offer a full range of bachelor's and master's degree programs in the humanities and social sciences.

During the early 1960s, State College sought to change its name to signify its new role as a comprehensive university. In 1962 Consolidated University administrators proposed the name “University of North Carolina at Raleigh,” outraging almost everyone associated with NC State and prompting protests. An unsatisfactory compromise resulted in “North Carolina State of the University of North Carolina at Raleigh.” After more political wrangling, the name was finalized as North Carolina State University at Raleigh in 1965.

Many new buildings were erected to provide for a multitude of expanding and new programs and for a faculty and student population which more than doubled since 1959: Harrelson Hall to serve liberal arts and mathematics (named for Chancellor Harrelson); Cox Hall to serve physics and statistics (for Gertrude Cox, first head of the Department of Statistics); Dabney Hall to serve chemistry and computer science (for C. W. Dabney, State Chemist and one of the founders in 1887); Mann Hall for civil engineering (for C. L. Mann, a 1899 alumnus and long-time head of the Department of Civil Engineering); Poe Hall for the School of Education (for Clarence H. Poe, editor of the Progressive Farmer for 57 years and chairman of the Executive Committee of the State College Board of Trustees from 1920 to 1931); Biltmore Hall to serve the School of Forestry (named in recognition of Biltmore Forestry School, the first such school in America from 1898 to 1913); Schaub Food Science Building (for Ira O. Schaub, an 1900 alumnus, long-time Director of the Agricultural Extension Service, and Dean of the School of Agriculture from 1925 to 1945); Hodges Wood Products Laboratory (for Brandon P. Hodges, State Treasurer from 1948 to 1953 and later legal adviser to the Champion Paper and Fibre Company); Southeastern Plant Environment Laboratories (Phytotron); and the Library Tower.

The huge increase in resident enrollment resulted in the construction of six new dormitories: Bragaw Hall (for H. C. Bragaw, a 1938 alumnus, developer of Orton Plantation, and decorated hero of the Italian campaign in World War II); Lee Hall (for Major General W. C. Lee, a 1920 alumnus, developer of mass parachuting and training techniques, and former commander of the 101st Airborne Infantry Division); Sullivan Hall (for W. H. Sullivan, Sr., a 1910 alumnus, founder of an engineering firm, mayor of Greensboro, and member of the Board of Trustees); Bowen Hall (for A. F. Bowen, business officer of State College from 1899 to 1942); Carroll Hall (for Mrs. Susan C. Carroll, first matron and professional nurse at State College); and Metcalf Hall (for Z. P. Metcalf, professor of entomology and associate dean of the Graduate School). In addition King Village was built to meet the growing need for married students' housing (originally named McKimmon Village but renamed after the demolition of the King Religious Center and the building of the new McKimmon Extension and Continuing Education Center).

The growing dimensions of student extracurricular activities during the Caldwell administration led to the construction of many new facilities: Carmichael Gymnasium (for William D. Carmichael, Jr., an officer of the Consolidated Administration from 1940 to 1961, including Acting President, 1949-50); Carter-Finley Stadium (for W. J. Carter, class of 1924 and H. C. Carter, class of 1932, founders of the Carter Fabrics Corporation; the Finley name was added in 1979 for A.E. Finley, Raleigh philanthropist and civic leader); Harris Hall (originally Harris Cafeteria for L. H. Harris, manager for the State College cafeteria, 1914-44); Everett Case Athletics Center (for head basketball coach from 1946 to 1965 who made collegiate basketball a major sport in North Carolina); the Price Music Center (for Percy W. Price, beginning in 1917 the first director of music at State); and the University Student Center.

In the fall of 1975, Jackson A. Rigney, former head of the Department of Experimental Statistics and subsequently Dean for International Programs, served as Acting Chancellor.

Chancellor Joab L. Thomas, 1976-1981

In the spring of 1976, Joab Langston Thomas became the ninth chancellor of North Carolina State University. Chancellor Thomas, who earned all of his degrees from Harvard University, served as a professor of botany and an administrator of student affairs at the University of Alabama before coming to NC State University.

During the Thomas administration enrollment passed 20,000, a School of Veterinary Medicine was established, the name of the School of Liberal Arts was changed to School of Humanities and Social Sciences, and North Carolina State University was recognized as one of two major research universities within the University of North Carolina system.

The Jane S. McKimmon Extension and Continuing Education Center (for one of the first three women to receive a degree from State College in 1927; she organized and directed the Home Demonstration Program in North Carolina from 1911 to 1946) opened in 1976 to serve as a facility for conferences, short courses, workshops, and seminars. Two classroom buildings were added: Bostian Hall (for former Chancellor Cary H. Bostian) to house the Biological Sciences Program and Caldwell Hall (for former Chancellor John T. Caldwell) to link Winston Hall and Tompkins Hall and provide additional space for the School of Humanities and Social Sciences; and Kamphoefner Hall (for Dean Henry L. Kamphoefner, first dean of the School of Design from 1948 to 1973). Former privately owned buildings north of Hillsborough Street were incorporated into the campus as the Hillsborough Building (previously the State Capital Life Insurance Building) and North Residence Hall (previously the John Yancey Motel).

During the academic year 1981-82, Provost and Vice Chancellor Nash N. Winstead also served as Acting Chancellor.

Chancellor Bruce R. Poulton, 1982-1989

The tenth administrative head of North Carolina State University, Bruce Robert Poulton, earned his degrees in animal science at Rutgers University and served on the faculty of Rutgers and the University of Maine before entering academic administration. Prior to becoming chancellor at NC State University, Poulton was chancellor of the newly consolidated University System of New Hampshire.

A major expansion of the University's research budget, the establishment of a substantial endowment to provide enlarged resources for research equipment and endowed professorships, and a doubling of the acreage of the Raleigh campus all occurred during the first five years of the Poulton administration. More than 800 acres of undeveloped state land adjacent to the campus were transferred to the University. Known as the Centennial Campus, this property has become the site of a carefully planned "academic city" that has greatly expanded the University's capacity for research and service. The School of Textiles was the first unit to be located on the new campus. During the Poulton administration, the designation of the degree-granting units, with the exception of the School of Design, was changed from "school" to "college."

Enrollment exceeded 24,000 in the 1986 fall semester, including 9,300 female students, 2,300 black students, and 1,800 other minority students. The College of Veterinary Medicine, Woods Residence Hall (for George M. Wood, a 1950 alumnus, agribusiness man from Camden County, member of the State House and Senate, and candidate for governor in 1976), the Administrative Services Building, and a new Fountain Dining Hall (for Dr. Alvin M. Fountain, a 1925 alumnus, editor of The Technician, co-author of the Alma Mater, long-time teacher of technical writing for engineering students, and unofficial historian of the University) were opened. Jordan Hall (for the Jordan family, including Robert B. Jordan, III, a 1954 alumnus who served as the State's lieutenant governor and as Democratic candidate for governor in 1988; Jack Jordan, a 1963 alumnus who chaired NC State University's Board of Trustees and Genie Jordan Ussery, a 1975 alumna who was captain of NC State University's first varsity women's basketball team) was built to house the Department of Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences. The name Pullen Hall (for philanthropist R. Stanhope Pullen, one of the institution's founders) was resurrected (the original Pullen Hall was burned by a student arsonist in 1965) as the name of a new Student Affairs service building.

During the academic year 1989-90, Dean of Engineering Larry K. Montieth served as interim chancellor.

Chancellor Larry K. Montieth, 1990-1998

In 1990 Larry King Montieth, a graduate of the university and former dean of the College of Engineering, became chancellor and the eleventh chief executive. Among his early initiatives were the creation of the Division of Undergraduate Studies and the First-Year Experience Program. In 1992 the College of Management was established, and in 1995 the First Year College was initiated.

A Division of University Advancement (formerly Institutional Advancement) was organized to include alumni relations, public affairs, development, and advancement services. A board of Visitors was created, comprised of nationally prominent scholars and business leaders, to advise the chancellor and Board of Trustees.

The College of Textiles moved to the Centennial Campus and into a new complex in 1991; it was joined by ABB (Asea Brown Boveri), NC State University's first corporate partner, in an adjacent building designated as ABB Transmission and Technology Center. The Engineering Graduate Research Center (renamed the Larry K. Montieth Engineering Research Center) was completed in 1996. On the original campus the second Bookstack Tower on the D. H. Hill was completed and important new additions were the Witherspoon Student Center (for Dr. Augustus M. Witherspoon, 1971 doctoral alumnus, professor of botany, associate dean of the Graduate School, and associate provost and coordinator of African-American affairs) and the Visual Arts Center (now the Gregg Museum).

In 1995, the Zeta Chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa Society was established.

Chancellor Marye Anne Fox, 1998-2004

In 1998, Marye Anne Fox was selected to become chancellor and the twelfth chief executive. With degrees from Notre Dame College, Cleveland State University, and Dartmouth College, Fox was previously a professor of chemistry, department chair, and vice president of research at the University of Texas-Austin.

Under Fox's guidance, NC State became a national pacesetter in biotechnology, nanotechnology, genomics, bioinformatics, and nonwoven textiles, among other areas. Under her leadership there was an expansion of fund-raising activities, which fostered a substantial increase in the number of endowed chairs, professorships, scholarships, and fellowships. She encouraged development of new several multidisciplinary programs. In 2003 she established the Department of Biomedical Engineering, and its graduate degree program was the first inter-institutional one in the UNC system. Also during her tenure, university-held patents significantly increased, the School of Design became a college, and the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) program was established.

The number of buildings on Centennial Campus doubled, and government and corporate partnerships tripled. Fox’s leadership was instrumental in passage of the University and Community College Bond Referendum. NC State’s share, $450 million, allowed for construction of the Undergraduate Science Teaching Laboratories (later named for Fox), the College of Engineering complex, the CVM Research Building, and renovation of numerous other buildings. Also while Fox was chancellor, the RBC Center was completed and the first game played there in 1999.

Former Textiles Dean Robert A. Barnhardt served as Interim Chancellor from July to December 2004.

Chancellor James L. Oblinger, 2005-2009

James Oblinger became the university’s thirteenth chief executive in 2005. He earned degrees in bacteriology and food technology from DePauw University and Iowa State University. After a teaching and administrative career at the University of Florida and University of Missouri-Columbia, he became Associate Dean and Director of Academic Programs in NC State’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) in 1986. He later served as CALS dean and then provost before becoming chancellor. During his tenure as chief executive the School of Public and International Affairs was created, and SAS Hall was dedicated, and enrollment passed 30,000 students.

Former UNC-Charlotte Chancellor James H. Woodard served as NC State’s Interim Chancellor, 2009-2010.

Chancellor Randy Woodson, 2010-

William R. "Randy" Woodson is NC State’s fourteenth chief executive. He holds degrees in horticulture from the University of Arkansas and Cornell University. He came to NC State from Purdue University, where he had been professor, department chair, dean, and provost.

During the chancellor's time at NC State, the university has received the largest private gift in its history. The chancellor created a Faculty Excellence Fund to inspire inventive faculty research rewarding creativity and entrepreneurship. He has led the development and implementation of a strategic plan to enhance NC State's position as a preeminent technological research university. This is leading to the formation of a new College of Sciences.

Agricultural Research Service and Cooperative Extension Service

From the start of the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, the school’s research mandate was confirmed as the work of the North Carolina Agricultural Experiment Station was transferred to the college, to be jointly run with the state Department of Agriculture. To that end, a test farm was established at the western fringe of campus, and the college shared its research facilities with the work of the Station. Problems arose quickly, however, as the state Department of Agriculture resented having to work with the new college, and work at the Station was constantly plagued with jealousies and institutional rivalries. Not until 1926 and the decade following would the majority of these inter-institutional problems be resolved. In the meantime, however, the Station often produced a high caliber of work which was of invaluable assistance to farmers and industry across the state. In 1979, the Agricultural Experiment Station was renamed the Agricultural Research Service.

Extension and outreach work at State College received two major boosts during the first two decades of the twentieth century. In 1909 the college signed the first memorandum of understanding with the United State Department of Agriculture for cooperative demonstration work in the country. This agreement provided for the beginnings of the 4-H program. Then in 1914, with the passage of the Smith-Lever Act, the college was allowed to establish the Agricultural Extension Service to advance existing programs of demonstration work. In 1991, the North Carolina Agricultural Extension Service changed its name to the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service.

About this Historical Sketch

Information in this sketch was originally compiled from the 1970s to the 1990s by Murray Scott Downs, Professor of History, Dean for the Division of Undergraduate Studies, and Associate Provost for Undergraduate Programs. It appeared in the NC State University Faculty Handbook through the 1995 edition. By 2005, the Faculty Handbook had been subsumed into NC State University's "Policies Regulations, and Rules" (PRRs) and no longer contained this historical information. In 2012 the Special Collections Research Center of the NC State University Libraries compiled supplemental information that was added to this historical sketch.