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Leading by Example

An athletics fundraiser, professor emeritus and agribusiness leader have received the prestigious Watauga Medal for distinguished service to NC State.

Kenneth M. “Charlie” Bryant, Dr. Hou-min Chang and H. Frank Grainger received NC State’s highest nonacademic honor at the Founders’ Day Dinner, held Monday, March 8.

Charlie Bryant’s career spans more than 50 years as an athlete, coach and university administrator. As an assistant basketball coach at NC State from 1964 to 1970, Bryant helped lead the Wolfpack to two ACC titles. He was executive secretary of the Student Aid Association from 1976 to 1997, adding duties as executive director for athletic development in 1991.

He conceived the “Wolfpack Pride” fundraising campaign, the largest athletic development effort of its kind in the 1990s, to fund the RBC Center and enlarge Carter-Finley Stadium. As executive director of the Wolfpack Club, he helped raise scholarship money for more than 300 students each of his 22 years. He served on the board of directors for the Student Aid Association from 1997 to 2005.

Bryant, who lives in Cary, was honored with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine and NC State’s Shavlik Award of Merit. His induction into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 2006 marked the first time an athletic fundraiser had been selected.

Hou-min Chang, professor emeritus of wood and paper science, was recognized for continuing achievements in research and international program development. A faculty member for more than 30 years, he rose from postdoctoral fellow to become the Reuben Robertson Distinguished Professor of Pulp and Paper Science. He was instrumental in establishing the forest biotechnology program and Forest Biotechnology Industrial Research Consortium.

Chang was honored with the NC State Alumni Association’s Outstanding Research Award and recognized as a Distinguished Professor of Graduate Teaching. He has established endowments for undergraduate students in paper science and started a graduate research fellowship. His former students hold executive positions in large corporations and leadership positions with the U.S. Forest Service and Department of Agriculture.

Since retirement in 2005, the Raleigh resident has co-authored 20 papers and four invention disclosures in biomaterials and biofuels, co-chaired three international conferences and led the creation of an integrated master’s degree program between NC State and Nanjing Forestry University. He has been a principal or co-principal investigator on grants totaling more than $7.5 million since beginning the part-time phase of his retirement in 2001.

H. Frank Grainger of Cary has completed three terms on the University of North Carolina Board of Governors. The agricultural business leader is a founding member of the advisory board for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Alumni and Friends Society at NC State. He has served on the Wolfpack Club board of directors and the College of Education advisory board. He co-founded NC State Economic Development Coalition 2000 and served as a board member for the Research Triangle Foundation.

Grainger is a member of the North Carolina Agricultural Foundation and the North Carolina Tobacco Foundation. He has chaired the J.C. Raulston Arboretum Gala and served on the arboretum’s board of directors.

NC State’s Alumni Association honored Grainger with an honorary alumnus degree in 1998 and an Award of Merit in 2008. In 2004, he received the North Carolina Agricultural Foundation’s Distinguished Service Award. Last year he was inducted into Gamma Sigma Delta honor society of agriculture.

For more information about the Watauga Medal, previous winners and the program’s history, visit