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Wolfpack Wrapped: Your 2023 in Review

Before we ring in the new year together, let's look back on what our Wolfpack thought and did in 2023.

A graphic reads "Wolfpack Wrapped: 2023 in Review"

We’re wrapping up another year at NC State, and there are so many reasons to be proud of all that we’ve accomplished. Just like a perfectly curated playlist of your go-to music, we’ve put together this compilation of our greatest hits to help you pause and appreciate the year that’s passed, as we prepare to embrace the prospects of a new year ahead.

So pop in your headphones, hit play on your favorite song and enjoy these highlights from your 2023.

Your Year in Photos

They say a picture is worth 1,000 words. While we — the writers — are not always inclined to agree, it’s hard to deny when we look back on the year through the eyes of our staff photographers.

These snapshots were captured and hand-selected, just for you. Take a journey through twelve months of memories, and discover some things you may have missed.

Your Top News Stories

NC State News is your year-round source for insights and announcements coming out of our campus, and you helped us rack up over one million views on our stories this year.

In 2023, you celebrated our research successes and our rise in reputation, making these our five most popular news posts:

  1. Chemical Found in Common Sweetener Damages DNA
  2. Bacterium Associated With Disease Found in N.C. Chiggers
  3. Researchers Propose a Fourth Light on Traffic Signals — For Self-Driving Cars
  4. Graduate Programs Keep Climbing in Rankings
  5. NC State Continues To Rise in U.S. News Rankings

Your Most-Liked Posts on Social Media

We tell your stories across our social media channels all year long, and you send in your big moments for us to share far and wide. (Keep them coming in 2024!)

These were your favorite images from NC State’s Instagram account this year:

NC State alumna and NASA astronaut Christina Koch in her space suit.
We cheered on alumna Christina Koch when NASA announced she would go to the Moon as part of the Artemis II mission.
Tuffy III lies on the court in Reynolds Coliseum.
We wished the cutest pup in our Pack, NC State’s live mascot Tuffy III, a happy birthday.
Incoming student Addison Wall stands with Mr. Wuf during a taping of the "Today" Show.
In honor of College Decision Day, high school senior Addison Wall was one of three students to announce their college plans on the “Today” show.
Students in red robes wave at the camera as they prepare for commencement.
We rolled out the red carpet to celebrate our May 2023 graduates.
Students in red robes gather to enter PNC Arena before spring commencement.
You packed PNC Arena to turn your tassels, and we were so proud.
Incoming students form the number "2027" for their aerial class photo.
We welcomed our newest batch of incoming students in the fall, and they posed for their class photo on Stafford Commons.

Our Wolfpack’s next chapter is only a few weeks away, so follow along with us to ensure you won’t miss a thing.

Your Listening Habits

It’s no secret that you’ve got great taste, Wolfpack. Whether you were crafting the ideal game day playlist or tuning in to one of our podcasts, we hope we earned a place in your Spotify Wrapped this year.

And we know you enjoyed listening to — and watching — Chancellor Randy Woodson sit down with members of our community for thoughtful conversations on Red Chair Chats, his interview series. This year’s lineup of guests was out of this world:

(P.S. For those of you whose top artist for 2023 was Taylor Swift — you belong with us. Let’s cross our paws for Taylor’s version of our fight song in 2024.)

Your Year of Growing Our Wolfpack

In 2023, we graduated more members of the Wolfpack than ever before as we awarded 10,102 total degrees to 9,578 graduates. At the same time, we welcomed an even greater number of new students — 14,484 — as we continued to educate more North Carolinians than any other university.

14,484 Incoming Students

For the fourth year running, NC State welcomed its largest-ever incoming class.

9,578 Outgoing Graduates

These new grads are ready to bring their NC State education to the larger world.

10,102 Degrees Awarded

Many Wolfpack graduates earned more than one degree in 2023.

From some of the newest members of our Wolfpack to a few of the freshly minted graduates eager to apply our Think and Do mindset toward bold new endeavors, meet the students we profiled in 2023:

Your Support of Institutional Excellence

It’s been a year of growth and grit for our university, and those trends were reflected in the records we set, the victories we achieved and the milestones we surpassed.

  • Since 2017, NC State has leaped more than 30 spots in U.S. News & World Report’s vaunted rankings of U.S. universities, and we continued our ascent in 2023, earning our best-ever rankings in this index — No. 60 in the nation and No. 28 among public universities.
  • The Wolfpack’s fifth annual Day of Giving raised more than $34 million through 16,774 gifts — the most gifts we’ve ever received on a Day of Giving.
  • Our women’s cross country team won its third straight national championship, while eight other NC State Athletics teams finished in the top 25 of their sport’s final rankings.
  • Through partnerships old and new, we generated the largest royalty collection in the history of NC State’s licensing program — $2,577,563 in gross royalties for the 2022-23 fiscal year, an increase of 30% for this vital funding source that empowers our entire Wolfpack.

Your Focus on Wolfpack Wellness

In 2023, the Wolfpack prioritized well-being. With a dozen drop-in spaces, there were plenty of opportunities to reset and recharge. From crafting and horticulture therapy to nature walks and grief and loss support, there was a space for everyone. And to make finding help and community as easy as possible, we put together a filterable list of wellness resources across campus. 

The Wolfpack’s efforts didn’t stop there. Pack Essentials and the Feed the Pack Food Pantry continued their tireless work to meet students’ basic needs.

  • During the 2022-23 academic year, there was an 11% increase over the previous year in the amount of Pack Meal Share meals provided for students to eat in the dining halls.
  • We debuted a new Pack Essentials Hub in April. Located in North Hall, the hub houses the Feed the Pack Food Pantry and offers a centralized location for essential needs, expanded resources and community building.
  • We won the Pantry Bowl (again!). The Wolfpack collected 1,634 gifts and a monetary total of $125,162.15 — beating UNC-Chapel Hill two years running in the contest to combat food insecurity.

In 2023, the Wolfpack saw:

1,200+ Pack Essentials Applications

Pack Essentials supports students in need of food, housing, financial and educational security.

3,500+ Meal Share Meals

Through the Pack Meal Share program, students can donate guest dining hall swipes to fellow students in need. 

Approximately $180,000 Awarded

The Student Emergency Fund exists to help students recover from unexpected financial crises. 

12,389 Feed the Pack Pantry Visits

The Feed the Pack Pantry distributed over 192,000 pounds of food and health and hygiene items in 2023.

Quiz: Your Pack Persona

Our experts spent 2023 developing a rigorous, scientific and only slightly ice-cream-flavor-based method for determining your NC State archetype — a persona built from your favorite things about our beloved university, plus a little sprinkle of whimsy. (Okay, it’s mostly the whimsy.)

Take the quiz below to find out your Pack persona, and get connected with a bonus NC State story you might have missed this year.


Which Howling Cow flavor is your go-to?

Scoops of lemon-, strawberry- and mint-flavored Howling Cow ice cream.

Choose your most-loved Hallowed Place.

A group of more than 5,000 incoming first-years gathered in Reynolds for New Student Convocation.

If you had to swim in an NC State body of water, which would you choose?

Flowers bloom in the springtime at Mary Yarbrough Court.

Which season is your favorite at NC State?

Students strolling along Wolf Plaza
Red fireworks light up the sky above the Belltower as a dazzling end to Packapalooza 2022.
Dr. Steph Jeffries (left) teaches tree identification during a dendrology class outside Jordan Hall on a fall day, with leaves littering the ground nearby.
The Memorial Belltower on a snowy day.
A student sits and reads on a bench outside, surrounded by blooming azaleas.
NC State's women's basketball team celebrates in the locker room.

Pick an NC State icon.

NC State Chancellor Randy Woodson throws up a "wolf" sign as he speaks from a podium.
NASA astronaut Christina Koch is helped out of the Soyuz MS-13 spacecraft.
Ms. Wuf poses with wolf hands at convocation.
A black and white cow with red ear tags looks directly at the camera

Choose the aura that you vibe with the most.

Which Think and Do pun do you think NC State should trademark immediately?

Mr. and Ms. Wuf display the NC State x 321 branded coffee.
A pair of red adidas shoes featuring the NC State Tuffy head logo.
Four bags of 'Pack Snack potato chips, featuring the NC State branding.
Two pints of Howling Cow ice cream and three half-pints of Howling Cow milk are arranged together on a gingham and red backdrop.
Members of the marching band march into Reynolds Coliseum wearing branded Power Sound of the South T-shirts.

What's Your Pack Persona? | 2023 Wolfpack Wrapped
Guardian of the Caring Community

Guardian of the Caring Community: You are a champion of wellness in all forms, uplifting others while first caring for yourself — for a Guardian’s strength lies in their own well-being.

You are the Guardian of the Caring Community. You're a champion of wellness in all its forms, a staunch defender of your boundaries and a master of restorative practices. You seek out and uplift those in need of connection, bringing people together to form communities of care on campus and beyond. You care for yourself first, for a guardian’s strength comes from preserving their own well-being.

In case you missed it, here's a 2023 story about the embedded counselors who work within each of our colleges, helping support our students where they are.
Watcher of The Tree

Watcher of The Tree: You await our most sacred ginkgo's annual fall transformation with bated breath, led in all you do by a desire to defend and sustain our planet.

You are the Watcher of The Tree. Behold, the wonder of The Tree, its golden leaves aflame for a fleeting moment each fall. You await this hallowed moment with bated breath each year, posting frequent updates on its progress to your followers. This passion for our most sacred ginkgo extends beyond its cozy courtyard, through your desire to defend our planet and sustain it for generations to come.

In case you missed it, here's a 2023 story about ways you can get involved in protecting the Earth here at NC State.
Leader of the Pack

Leader of the Pack: As a benevolent leader, you step up, show up and speak up for the things you believe in — and the Pack is stronger with you in it.

You are the Leader of the Pack. You stand on the top floor of D.H. Hill, gazing out across the yard of bricks — everything the light touches is your kingdom. You consistently step up, show up and speak up for the things and the people you believe in. You inspire greatness in others. You are a leader of the Pack, and the Pack is stronger with you in it.

In case you missed it, here's a 2023 story about three women in student leadership positions who are shaping our campus community — and the world — for the better.
The Groundbreaker

The Groundbreaker: Bold new discoveries come easily to you as you toil and tinker in your laboratory to turn dreams into solutions.

You are The Groundbreaker. Bold new discoveries come easily to you, as you toil and tinker in your laboratory. You call upon the mystical powers of Think and Do and put those words into practice as you turn dreams into solutions. Your ideas will change the world.

In case you missed it, here's a 2023 story about the hands-on opportunities for undergraduate research offered at NC State, and students who aren't waiting for graduate school to pursue their big ideas.
The School Spirit

The School Spirit: As the spirit of the Wolfpack, your passion for NC State makes you red and white for life — and afterlife. Go Pack … forever?

You are The School Spirit. Most spirits move through the physical world casting a chill upon mortals. But you are the spirit of the Wolfpack; you pour fervor and passion for NC State into the hearts of everyone you meet. You linger in the hallways of Talley and echo through the rafters of Reynolds Coliseum. You are red and white for life — and afterlife. Go Pack … forever?

In case you missed it, here's a 2023 story about alumni who got engaged at our iconic Memorial Belltower, the campus space that's imbued with the most NC State spirit.

Share your Results:

(Want to share your results on social media? You can download your Pack Persona card below.)

We’re grateful for the triumphs and transformations our university saw this year — but most of all, we’re grateful for you, Wolfpack. Thank you for making our 2023 extraordinary, and cheers to the new adventures awaiting us in 2024.