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Library Marks 4-H Centennial

You probably know NC State and 4-H share historic ties even if you don’t know what those four Hs actually stand for. Prepare to be enlightened.

An exhibit in the D.H. Hill Library examines the 100-year-old links between the university and 4-H and shows how today’s 4-H continues the traditions of service through head, heart, hands and health.

Smart phone users visiting the exhibit can access a mobile version of the exhibit to learn more. QR codes throughout the exhibit will take mobile users to a special website. Another Web version of the exhibit is also available.

Thearon McKinney and Mitzi Downing of the 4-H Youth Development and Family and Consumer Sciences Department worked with designers Lincoln Hancock and Tania Allen to create the exhibit, which runs through July 24, the close of the state 4-H Congress. 4-H’ers will have the opportunity to tour the exhibit and enjoy Howling Cow ice cream—maybe the 4-H Campfire Delight flavor—from the library’s creamery shop.

The exhibit illustrates what 4-H has meant to the state and its youth.

The exhibit focuses on the four Hs and what they mean to the organization today. The exhibit includes project books, pins, even uniforms worn by 4-H’ers of bygone days and a green pin-striped dress and women’s suit. Each piece—such as the signature hat worn by L.R. Harrill or the green jacket worn by a man from Caldwell County—came with a story.

Among exhibit contributors were Dr. Jim Clark, author of Clover All Over: North Carolina’s First 4-H Century; Lisa Carter, head of the library’s special collections; Mark Dearmon, head of University Communication Services; and Brad Dixon, assistant director of development at the 4-H Development Fund.

How Well Do You Know 4-H?

1. What future governor served as a state officer in 4-H and was student body president?

2. Two NC State buildings bear the names of founding leaders of 4-H in North Carolina. Who were the leaders and their respective buildings?

3. 4-H’ers in North Carolina can participate in which of these learning programs:

a. Robotics

b. Embryology

c. Interior design (Eco-Works Challenge)

d. All of the above

4. This 4-H and NC State alumnus from Speed, N.C., went on to become head of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff.

5. What do the four Hs stand for?

6. What 4-H alumnus from Avery County was the star center of the NC State basketball team that won the 1974 NCAA men’s championship?


1. Gov. Jim Hunt

2. I.O. Schaub began the Boys’ Corn Clubs, a precursor to 4-H, and later went on to become dean of the College of Agriculture. Schaub Hall houses the Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences. Jane S. McKimmon founded the Girls’ Tomato Clubs, and later served as the first leader of North Carolina’s home demonstration programs. The McKimmon Center for Continuing Education is named for her.

3. d. North Carolina 4-H’ers can participate in learning programs in robotics, embryology and interior design, just to name a few.

4. Gen. Hugh Shelton

5. Head, Heart, Hands and Health

6. Tommy Burleson