Your Year at NC State
Amazing things happen every day at NC State. Many of them, you'll discover for yourself. But for those of you who love a plan, here's a solid place to start. Prepare to seize the day, Wolfpack.
Welcome to NC State: home of the Wolfpack, Raleigh’s cornerstone of higher education and research, land of bricks and oaks. We’re thrilled to have you here. While you’re settling into campus, we want to introduce you to some of our favorite traditions and events. Mark your calendars now — you won’t want to miss a moment.
Fall at NC State is our favorite time of year. Our Wolfpack returns to campus! We get to meet all of our new students! Our homecoming celebration (Red and White Week) makes us feel all the warm fuzzy feelings. We can wear our cozy flannel and sweaters again, eventually. It’s perfect.
Wolfpack Welcome Week (WWW)
We welcome our new and returning students to campus each fall with a week of events dedicated to helping you learn about your new home, cultivate your community and explore opportunities and resources available to you on campus. With over 100 events and activities taking place during WWW, there’s something for everyone. Take a look around — you might just find your Wolfpack.
- New Student Convocation*
Kick off the school year with your new classmates, Chancellor Randy Woodson, your student body president and Mr. and Ms. Wuf — your new besties. They’ll get you fired up for a successful first semester. You’ll also learn our school songs (we’re here to shake up your Spotify Wrapped) and take your official class photo.
No one does recreation and wellness better than Wellness and Recreation. Check out everything WellRec has to offer when you attend RecFest, a fun-packed event with club sports demonstrations, games, food, giveaways and entertainment.
- Moonlight Howl and Run
Do you love moonlight, howling, running and ending every run with a party? Then do we have an event for you. Our 1.3-mile fun walk/run is one of the best ways to get to know campus. Glow sticks are involved! Wear bright colors, tutus, whatever you want. Bring your new friends, howl at the moon and dance the night away.
- Student Involvement Fair*
There’s no better place to find your campus communities than the Student Involvement Fair. Learn about dozens of student organizations, campus services and academic programs, all in one place. You’re guaranteed to meet amazing people who are eager to share their passions with you.
- Respect the Pack*
Celebrate NC State’s diversity and solidify your commitment to inclusion at Respect the Pack. The event includes messages from the chancellor and student body president, panel discussions and adding your handprint to a mural at the Free Expression Tunnel. We’re all stronger together.
- Campus Community Centers Open House*
Our campus community centers offer opportunities to find your sense of belonging. Drop in to the Women’s Center, LGBTQ Pride Center and Multicultural Student Affairs in Talley Student Union, and visit the African American Cultural Center in Witherspoon Student Center for their WWW open houses.
- Performing Arts Auditions
At NC State, the arts are for everyone. The music ensembles and dance companies in the Department of Performing Arts and Technology hold auditions during the first two weeks of classes that are open to all NC State students. You can also audition for the first play in University Theatre‘s season.
On the last Saturday of WWW, we take over Hillsborough Street for an all-day block party, street festival, concert and fireworks show! It’s our biggest party of the year, celebrating you — our Wolfpack — and the start of a great school year.
Ah, September. A month of settling in, clinging to every delicious moment of False Fall weather and cheering on Pack football with friends. We recognize Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month and Latinx Heritage Month in September, with events open to all members of our campus community.
Suicide Prevention and Awareness Month
NC State hosts a series of events to increase awareness and foster community surrounding suicide prevention. Focus on your well-being and be sure to check in with your friends and classmates. Looking for resources? Visit our Wolfpack Wellness site to learn how you can lighten your Pack.
Latinx Heritage Month
From Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, NC State joins in the national celebration of Latinx Heritage Month. All of campus is invited to take part in a series of events that starts with a kickoff in Talley featuring music, giveaways and maybe even an impossible-to-resist piñata.
- First Home Football Game
Cheer on Pack Football at Carter-Finley Stadium. Soak up the atmosphere created by the Power Sound of the South and our (national championship winning) cheer and dance teams. Wear lots of red. Celebrate our victory with 65,000 of your closest friends.
The Entrepalooza festival celebrates all things entrepreneurship at NC State. Visit the showcase hosted by student and alumni-lead ventures to get inspired. Then, cast your vote at the Minute to Pitch It competition, where 10 student entrepreneurs try to convince you and the judges that their idea is worth $2,250.
- Parents and Families Weekend
It’s take-your-family-to-school day(s)! We welcome parents and families of our students to campus for a fun-filled weekend that includes family meals, campus tours, arts activities, a fun walk/run and, of course, a football game.
- Sidewalk Symposium
Research and art collide at the annual Sidewalk Symposium. Students of all majors working on research, scholarly and creative projects can participate by making colorful visual presentations using nothing but chalk. Check out their research and get inspired to tackle your own.
- Fresh Check Day
Fresh Check Day is an uplifting mental health fair that includes interactive booths and exciting giveaways. Check in with your friends, connect with campus resources and learn how you can care for your mental health and well-being.
- Fall Student Government Elections*
Vote! It’s your civic duty.
Spooky season is officially here, along with our first real glimpses of fall. October is also LGBTQ+ History Month! The LGBTQ Pride Center hosts annual events that create space for students, faculty and staff to learn about identity, the intersections of LGBT history and activism, community challenges and strategies for creating change.
PrideFest is an annual celebration of our LGBTQ+ community and all are welcome! Join the LGBTQ Pride Center for an afternoon of belonging and festivities, including the annual Pride Walk, as we recognize the contributions of LGBTQ+ members of our Wolfpack and their allies.
- Fall Break
Get some rest and recharge, Wolfpack. Prioritize your well-being by sipping a pumpkin spice latte in the middle of an actual pumpkin patch. Befriend a crow or seven and train them to bring you shiny things. Haunt an abandoned lighthouse along the coast. This is your time.
Red and White Week*
Red and White Week is our favorite week and we want to share it with you. Homecoming isn’t just for alumni — it’s for anyone who wants to celebrate everything they love about NC State! Join in the many campus events and be sure to wear your favorite color (red, of course) all week long to score free food and show your Wolfpack spirit.
- Chancellor’s Fall Address
We kick off the homecoming festivities with Chancellor Woodson’s annual fall address. You’ll hear about all the amazing things happening at NC State and enjoy some Howling Cow ice cream, on us! Catch the livestream if you can’t be there in person.
- Red and White Week Student Kickoff*
The chancellor gets things started but we don’t let him have all the fun. The student kickoff is just for you. Pick up your Red and White Week T-shirt, enjoy games and activities and tap into your school spirit — you’ll need it for the rest of the week!
- Pack Appreciation Day
Our Pack gives back. Their support closes the gap between your tuition, state funding and the true cost of an NC State education, including all the campus programs you love. Help us say “thank you” while enjoying free food, exclusive swag and fun activities.
- Leader of the Pack Recognition
Our Pack comes together during the homecoming game to celebrate students who exemplify scholarship, leadership, inclusivity and service. You’ll have a chance to vote to determine our Leader of the Pack, who we’ll recognize at halftime alongside the other finalists.
- Homecoming Football Game*
It’s the main event. See you at Carter-Finley.
It’s fall in earnest now (probably). We love a crisp November morning, crossing the Court of North Carolina and admiring the changing leaves. During the month of November, we celebrate Native American Heritage Month to acknowledge Indigenous tribes and nations. We connect with and honor the unique cultures of the Native members of our Wolfpack, through events on and off campus.
- NC State vs. UNC Football Game*
It’s our biggest rivalry game of the season.
“Harambee” is a Kiswahili term meaning “all pull together.” At the African American Cultural Center’s Harambee block party, our campus community unites with music, food, games and good conversation. Connect with friends, and make some new ones.
The fall semester is drawing to a close. In December, we focus on final exams. We celebrate our fall graduates. We take a much-needed break to spend time with family and friends. And we pause to reflect on how much we’ve learned, the relationships we’ve built and the people we’ve become.
- Visit “The Tree”
We have the best tree in all of Raleigh, N.C., right here on campus (it was voted the 2022 Tree of the Year, so we’re not the only ones who think so). Visit our beloved ginkgo, nestled between Park Shops and Page Hall, while it’s at its golden yellow peak.
- Fall Commencement*
We honor our fall graduates during December commencement. It’s hard to see you go, but we know it’s never goodbye for members of our Wolfpack.
- Winter Break
Students, faculty and staff take a well-earned break at the end of December. Campus goes into a brief hibernation to conserve energy and get ready for the spring semester. See you soon, Wolfpack.
Spring at NC State is our favorite time of year. All the campus flowers bloom! We get to meet more new students! Your hard work culminates in so many amazing events and experiences, from concerts to fashion shows to research symposiums. We can wear our Think and Do T-shirts again. It’s perfect.
Hello, January! We welcome you with open arms — a fresh year full of new adventures, experiences and connections. Here goes.
- Winter Welcome Week
Just like in the fall, we welcome new and returning students to campus each spring with a week of events to help you find your way and connect to your NC State community. There’s no better time to join a student organization, try out a new wellness resource or visit a campus community center.
Ideation, rapid prototyping and teamwork are skills you’ll hone during Make-A-Thon. You’ll compete in teams to create the best solution to a sustainability challenge. Then you pitch your idea to judges from local companies. And, yes, there are prizes.
- Martin Luther King Jr. Campus Commemoration*
We honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a series of events organized by the African American Cultural Center and campus partners. The commemoration includes a day of rest and service, a keynote address and more.
February is Black History Month, a time when communities across the nation come together to celebrate the achievements of Black Americans and recognize their central role of in U.S. history. Join the African American Cultural Center for events throughout the month.
- Krispy Kreme Challenge*
We’re staying warm by training daily for our favorite all-time carb-laden contest, the Krispy Kreme Challenge. The student-run race draws thousands of participants each year to run two and a half miles from the Belltower to Raleigh’s iconic Krispy Kreme, eat 12 doughnuts and then run all the way back.
- Ram Roast: Men’s Basketball vs. UNC
Join your Wolfpack in protecting the Free Expression Tunnel from invading UNC-Chapel Hill students, and prevent any hint of Carolina Blue from disgracing its hallowed walls ahead of the big game. The Ram Roast is also a pep rally to get you fired up. No rams are harmed in the making of this roast.
- Play4Kay Women’s Basketball Game*
We celebrate the legacy of former women’s basketball coach Kay Yow, who passed away from cancer in 2009, at the annual Play4Kay game, which raises money for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. Cancer survivors are honored on court during halftime. Be sure to wear pink to cheer on the Pack, just this once.
There are several important cultural and heritage events of note in March that we recognize here at NC State — Women’s History Month, Asian Pacific Islander South Asian American (APISAA) Heritage Month and, of course, North Carolina’s unofficial state holiday: March Madness.
Women’s History Month*
The Women’s Center leads NC State’s celebration of Women’s History Month, and hosts a series of events celebrating and supporting women.
APISAA Heritage Month*
Coordinated by Multicultural Student Affairs, NC State celebrates APISAA Heritage Month early to give everyone in our community time to come together during the school year. Attend events to learn about the breadth of cultures the month honors and connect with Asian American communities and organizations on campus.
The NCAA Division I men’s and women’s basketball tournaments get underway in March and the madness sets in hard and fast. Go Pack!
- Founders’ Day
It’s our birthday on March 7. You’ll probably find us celebrating with a scoop of Howling Cow ice cream.
- Day of Giving
Day of Giving celebrates all the things that make your NC State experience unique and special. Post on social media about programs that are shaping your life and watch as your posts unlock money to shape the lives of future students. You can give back to your Pack without giving a dime. It feels really good (we promise).
- Spring Break and Alternative Service Break
Take some well-earned time to recharge before finals. If service and exploration sound restorative to you, consider joining Student Leadership and Engagement for an alternative service break. You’ll spend the week traveling, being immersed in a new culture and giving back to your host community.
Students come together to raise awareness of the need for affordable housing in our community by building and living in shacks in the heart of campus. The event also helps raise funds for Habitat for Humanity, to build a home for a family here in Wake County.
- Ag Awareness Week*
Ag Awareness Week highlights agriculture’s continued importance to NC State students, faculty and staff, and to North Carolina communities. The week is packed with different agriculture-related festivities, including trivia, lectures and meet-and-greets with plenty of barnyard friends.
- Spring Student Government Elections*
It’s time to elect a new student body president and vice president. Don’t miss your chance to shape the future of NC State.
April is packed with opportunities to soak up the incredible work of fellow members of your Wolfpack. Many programs across campus host showcase events to wrap up the semester — like music and dance concerts, fashion and wearable art shows, research symposia and the student art sale.
Art2Wear and FTD Emerging Designers Showcase
Spring Undergraduate Research and Creativity Symposium
The spring symposium is an opportunity for students engaged in research and creative inquiry projects to share their work and build skills in communication, visual presentation and professional networking.
Student Art Sale
Arts NC State hosts the annual student art sale, where students have the chance to display and sell their original artwork. Student art will also be considered for the Visual Artist Award, which includes prize money and a prime display location in Talley Student Union for the following school year.
April is also Earth Month. We celebrate our planet all year through our institutional commitment to sustainability. Find out how you can get involved in sustainability efforts on campus and beyond by taking part in Earth Month events.
- NC State Powwow
The annual Powwow is a time for gathering, being with family and celebrating Indigenous culture. Experience the rich traditions of Native communities through dance, drum groups and Native-owned vendors.
- VenturePack Challenge
The VenturePack Challenge, formerly known as eGames, is our largest student entrepreneurship competition. Bring your nonprofit, for-profit or side hustle — at any stage of development —to compete for cash prizes that will help you take it to the next level.
- Fellowship of the Ring*
Your class ring shows the world that you’re Red and White for life. Take part in our ring ceremony, known as the Fellowship of the Ring, where your ring spends a night in the Memorial Belltower’s shrine room, soaking up extra Wolfpack spirit that you’ll carry with you.
- Wolfstock Festival
To celebrate the last day of classes, check out Wolfstock, an all-day festival and concert put on by the University Activities Board. The day is packed with activities, food, crafts and prizes, plus a showcase of student talent. The night wraps up with a concert on Stafford Commons that you won’t want to miss.
- De-Stress Fest
During exam week, Wellness and Recreation hosts De-Stress Fest, a week full of relaxing and fun activities, giveaways and resources to help you get through your finals with more ease. Check out the University Libraries for lots of additional De-Stress Fest events.
And just like that, another year at NC State is over. A year of candid discussions, discoveries and disc golf at Lake Raleigh. A year of study breaks, breakthroughs and breakfasts (with or without hotly contested glasses of milk) at Fountain. We hope you soaked up every second.
- Lavender Graduation
Lavender Graduation honors the experiences of graduating lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, asexual and aromantic students, and acknowledges their leadership and service to the LGBTQ+ community.
- Multicultural Graduation
Multicultural Graduation celebrates the diversity in the graduating class and centers the journey and NC State experience of students from diverse backgrounds. Alumni share their experiences with graduating students, to help them connect with their heritage and roots.
- Spring Commencement*
This is it, Wolfpack — the moment you’ve worked for all these years. You’re graduating and heading out into the world to make it a better place for all of us. We’re so proud of you. Know that you always have a home at NC State and your Pack has your back, wherever you go.