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NC State to Celebrate 125 Years

For a celebration worthy of NC State’s 125th birthday, we need more than just one party. In fact, we’re going to take a whole year to celebrate and invite all our closest friends, starting with faculty, staff, students and alumni.

The 125th theme, Tradition and Transformation, sets the stage to take a proud look at our past and imagine the many discoveries ahead.

It all starts next month. To kick things off, there’s the traditional Founders’ Day Dinner on March 5, followed by the transformation of the university’s website starting March 7, NC State’s official birthday. You’ll see the new 125th logo popping up online as well as overhead on campus banners.

But that’s just the beginning. You’re invited to add to the celebration across campus over the year, either by giving an existing event a new twist or creating a brand-new one.

Here’s an example from the Center for Student Leadership, Ethics and Public Service. They’ve increased the goal for the annual blood drive from 1,000 pints to 1,250 to commemorate the birthday celebration.

“What I like about the 125th is that it’s an opportunity for us to celebrate our connection and passion for NC State,” said Nevin Kessler, vice chancellor for university advancement and co-chair of the 125th planning committee. “We can set our goals a little higher, reach a little further than we have in the past, and have some fun doing it.”

Howling Cow ice cream
No NC State celebration would be complete without Howling Cow ice cream.

Signature Events

In case you’re more of a traditionalist, yes, we’re still planning to have some cake and Howling Cow ice cream—in a new flavor, no less.

In fact, the planning committee has put together a series of signature events, starting with a campus kickoff April 2.

Planning committee co-chair Dan Solomon, dean of the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, says after brainstorming with arts leaders across campus, there’s no limit to the creative possibilities.

“It’s been fun and enlightening to work with such a huge cross-section of campus,” he says. “I’m especially looking forward to the arts activities.”

Here’s a sampling of what’s in store:

  • Special visual and performing arts events
  • Dedication of the NC State Athletics Hall of Fame
  • Library exhibit on NC State history
  • An enhanced “Wolfstock” during Wolfpack Welcome Week
  • A bigger and better homecoming
  • Dedication of the Hunt Library
  • New Howling Cow ice cream flavor

Watch the Bulletin for details of 125th events throughout the year.

Getting Involved

Bring the spirit and look of Tradition and Transformation to a college or departmental event this year. Take advantage of the 125th toolkit with the official logo and expert advice on branding your event. Resources will be available online starting March 7.

“With the special heritage of this university, we want to make our celebration  a memorable experience,” Kessler said. “We hope faculty, staff and students take this opportunity to celebrate.”

One idea: Create a special birthday message on video, using the Tradition and Transformation theme. You could win a parking place, two football season tickets on the 50-yard-line or a $500 Visa check card. The winning video will be played at the April 2 NC State birthday party. March 16 is the submission deadline. Here’s how to enter.

During the year, we’ll be highlighting transformational faculty, staff and students through campus communication channels, including the Bulletin.

Do you know someone we should celebrate? Have an idea or question about the 125th? Send an email to us at or post a comment in the Bulletin.