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Leading the Pack

NC State students honored two of their own during halftime of the Wolfpack’s 38-3 win over Wake Forest Saturday, naming juniors Chandler Thompson (High Point, NC) and Sam Dennis (Jamestown, NC) as this year’s Leader of the Pack award recipients.

For years, the university has forgone electing a traditional homecoming king and queen, instead recognizing student leaders who have made outstanding leadership, scholarship and community service contributions to the university.

“It is a great honor to be selected as Leader of the Pack, and I think this shows that I am really making a difference in students lives with the various traditions projects I am passionate about,” said Thompson, an economics major who chairs Student Government‘s Commission on Traditions and – like Dennis – serves as an Alumni Association student ambassador.

“It’s great to know that other students recognize my love and passion for NC State and how I strive as a leader to make NC State the best school possible.”

Prior to Dennis’ and Thompson’s selection as this year’s winners, six finalists – also including Chris Adkins, Will Cauley, Sonja Jones and Natasha Vos – were chosen based on cumulative scoring based on grade-point-average, personal interviews, extracurricular activities, written essays and student-body vote totals.

“This is a great NC State tradition,” said Mike Giancola, director of the Center for Student Leadership, Ethics & Public Service (CSLEPS) at NC State. “As a community, NC State values giving back to the community and providing leadership to the state, nation and the world, so it makes sense for us to recognize our students who excel in these areas.”

As Leaders of the Pack, Thompson and Dennis each received a $1,000 scholarship, sponsored by the NC State Alumni Association and Student Government with support from the Center for Student Leadership, Ethics and Public Service, NC State Bookstores, and NC State Athletics, as well as a free class ring from the NC State Alumni Association.

In addition, the finalist with the highest GPA – Cauley – received a $250 bookstore scholarship.

Dennis, a biological sciences major, said one of his main goals is to ensure that every student leaves NC State armed with a strong connection to the university.

“NC State is an amazing place, and some students do not always see that,” he said. “Through the activities in which I’ve served and the events I’ve take part of, I believe that I have enhanced student life at NC State.

“I want people to remember me and think, ‘Man, he really made sure people were enjoying their time here at NC State,'” Dennis said. “If one person thinks that, then I have done my job.”

Along with several other students, Thompson and Dennis have been instrumental in efforts to successfully rejuvenate The Brick, a historical handbook about NC State traditions and “can’t-miss” events that was given to all NC State freshmen and first-year students.

“We have very talented students at NC State, and all of the finalists represent the finest of our student body, Giancola said. “Chandler and Sam are great representatives, and very deserving of this honor.”