Our Extraordinary Year

NC State was founded to solve problems and serve the community.

North Carolinians already know that. It’s part of why, in 2016, they passed the Connect NC Bond, which secures $160 million for engineering and agriculture projects on NC State’s campus. It’s why they share our research successes — battling Zika, cracking CRISPR, decoding genetics — on Facebook and Twitter. It’s why they root for the red and white on the field and the court, at the speedway or in a swimming pool in Rio. It’s why they’re joining our $1.6 billion campaign to Think and Do the Extraordinary.

In 2016, NC State’s impact was recognized nationally, too. We were hailed as one of the best universities in the country at realizing research. The journal Nature ranked us third in North America on its list of rising stars. And our faculty earned major awards: the Warren Alpert Foundation Prize, the Canada Gairdner International Award and the Wolf Prize in agriculture.

Meanwhile, more than 9,000 new NC State graduates left campus ready to remake their state, this country, our world for the better.

Because the face of NC State changes so rapidly — goodbye, Harrelson; welcome back, Old Barn — it’s important to find moments to reflect on the successes of our students, faculty, staff and alumni.

In 2016, they were extraordinary. Here are just a few highlights of all that they thought and did.

A stylized, off-kilter shot of the wolf wall in NC State's Talley Student Union.

Think and Do the Extraordinary

In 2016, we launched the most ambitious fundraising campaign in our university's history — with a goal of $1.6 billion.

The NC State Memorial Bell Tower and the North Carolina state flag.

A Stronger NC State

North Carolinians voted to pass the Connect NC Bond, securing $160 million for major projects at NC State.

A model walks the runway at the 2016 Art2Wear fashion show at NC State.

Passion Projects

We went backstage for the 15th annual Art2Wear fashion show, the premier educational project of its kind in the Southeast.

A Fighting Chance

Wildfires raged in North Carolina this year. Our researchers kept working to help firefighters nationwide withstand the flames.

Genome Genius

NC State professor Rodolphe Barrangou claimed a 2016 Canada Gairdner award for his pioneering CRISPR research.

Randy Ramsey with Mr. and Ms. Wuf and NC State basketball legend David Thompson.

Game-Changing Impact

Generous gifts from Randy and Tiffany Ramsey bolstered the men's basketball and equine sports medicine programs.

A brave toy droid rolls alone in front of the wolves at NC State's Wolf Plaza.

May the Fourth Be With You

On a campus quite, quite close by, researchers continued rolling out research that often resembles science fiction.

Pack Rising

We met a few of the stars of spring commencement as the Wolfpack gained nearly 5,600 fresh graduates.

NC State genetics researcher Trudy Mackay in her lab.

The Fly Whisperer

Pioneering geneticist Trudy Mackay's work with fruit flies is influencing scientists around the world and driving discovery.

Fostering Care

Michele and Ross Annable gave $5 million to support the next generation of veterinarians in serving their communities.

Raleigh Brewing's Scott Craddock.

Home Brew

Craft beer is surging in North Carolina, and NC State has backed it with hard science, hands-on training and hops production.

NC State senior and NASCAR driver Harrison Rhodes and his NC State Number 97 Camaro.

Pack on the Track

The bonds between NC State and NASCAR run deep: Our alumni are integral to the motorsports industry.

Closing the Gap

An achievement gap has long existed between rural and urban schools in North Carolina. We're working to close it.

Olympic Dreams

Five NC State students made the trip to Rio to compete in the 2016 Summer Olympics — and Ryan Held became a household name.

The partial demolition of Harrelson Hall.

Here's to Harrelson

In 2016, the NC State campus said goodbye to its own space oddity: Harrelson Hall was roundly demolished.

Farmer out standing in his soybean field.

Our Shining Future

NC State's remarkable Plant Sciences Initiative flourished thanks to a $45 million grant from the Golden LEAF Foundation.

An aerial shot of the crowd at NC State's 2016 Packapalooza event on Hillsborough Street.

Packapalooza '16

In its fifth year, our annual back-to-school block party drew 75,000 people to Hillsborough Street in Raleigh.

Pack Builds a Block

Our campus charter of Habitat for Humanity broke ground on the largest college-affiliated building project in the country.

A mosquito perched on a pepper, courtesy of Muhammad Mahdi Karim, via Wikimedia Commons.

Biting Back

Zika became a global concern in 2016. NC State battled the disease on multiple fronts — and even began work on a vaccine.

Opportunities to Grow

NC State's Agricultural Institute introduces talented veterans to a growing industry that needs their skills: agriculture.

Durham architect Phil Freelon '75 at the Durham County Human Services Building, which he designed.

Monumental Design

NC State design graduate Phil Freelon has become a nationally recognized architect of buildings that unite communities.

The School for Startups

Chip and Lyn Andrews donated $1 million to establish the NC State Acceleration Fund and support student startup companies.

Honored for Heroism

For her selfless kidney donation to a colleague, NC State's Lindsay Recchie earned a 2016 Governor's Award for Excellence.

A researcher applies an insulin patch to a freckled forearm.

Outfitting the Future

Wearable tech is about more than smartwatches or counting steps. Across NC State, we've used it to tackle pressing problems.

Investing in Leaders

A $5 million gift from Andy and Jane Albright boosted entrepreneurship and leadership support for NC State students.

Celebrating Scholarship

During fall commencement, more than 3,500 students turned their tassels — and rolled up their sleeves to Think and Do.