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NC State News

Tradition and Transformation

NC State Student Body President Chandler Thompson holds a transparent image of students from NC State's inaugural class.

The North Carolina General Assembly takes hundreds of votes each year. But a single decision made 125 years ago changed the course of education, agriculture, science and technology, economic development and outreach in the state.

On March 7, 1887, the Legislature created North Carolina Agriculture and Mechanic Arts in Raleigh. NC A&M opened two years later with 72 students and six faculty members working and studying in a single building.

Today, NC State educates 34,000 students, employs more than 7,500 faculty and staff on a campus covering 2,100 acres in Raleigh, and provides extension services to citizens in all 100 North Carolina counties.

In the intervening decades, NC State has been a consistent catalyst for North Carolina, helping to drive its transformation from agricultural state, to manufacturing hub, to technological hotbed.

All the while, NC State has held tightly to its land-grant mission of providing outstanding teaching, research and outreach for the benefit of the people of North Carolina, the nation and the world. Throughout its 125-year history, the NC State community has continually demonstrated an unwavering commitment to education, discovery and service that makes a difference.

NC State is a national leader in translating research from the lab to the market, contributing to the creation of more than 80 startup companies that have created thousands of new jobs in North Carolina and beyond.

NC State is an economic engine. The university’s more than 170,000 living alumni contribute billions to the state’s economy each year.

And NC State remains a good value for the state of North Carolina. The university ranks near the top of several national “best value university” lists for its combination of academic quality and affordability.

“Set on a richly textured background of deep-rooted tradition, this 125th anniversary year celebrates not only our rich heritage, but also our ability to build off a dynamic past in order to remain a presence of transformation in an increasingly complex world,” NC State Chancellor Randy Woodson said. “Today we come together as members of the Wolfpack family to cherish our past and take pride in our contribution towards the next 125 years in the story of NC State.”

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