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A Legacy of Transformation

May is a month filled with celebration, tradition and the beautiful North Carolina weather. With the warm air come the many colors of spring and a sudden abundance of Wolfpack red, as our graduating class proudly dons its commencement attire. With diplomas in hand and tassels on the right, our newest graduates share a connection with NC State’s inaugural graduating class of 19. Despite over a century of distance, these students are linked by the fulfillment of a superior education, the thrill of embarking on their next journey and a life-long love for the Wolfpack.

Graduation is a celebration of not only this year’s class, but also the legacy of excellence that preceded those who now march across the stage and into their own bright futures. This year we celebrate the accomplishments of our 125th Anniversary Class and also the 120th Commencement exercises at NC State. From 19 students in 1893 to more than 5,000 this spring, our graduates consistently go on to transform their communities wherever their path leads. In North Carolina alone, NC State alumni annually contribute $2.9 billion to the economy, and their continued support is critical to the university’s expansion and improvement.

As campus literally comes to life this time of year, recent graduates and their families can be seen all over campus photographing the many places they will remember as part of their NC State experience. From Wolfpack Turf at Carter-Finley, to the Prowling Wolves and the Free Expression Tunnel, to the Bell Tower, the Court of North Carolina and the Brickyard, we look back on treasured memories made at each of these locations and feel connected to a storied past more powerful than any one of us. These locations and the memories they invoke enshrine the Wolfpack spirit, embracing generations of students who embody the values and ideals of institutional integrity and academic excellence.

At NC State, we discover the potential of the future by building on the success of our past. Rich in both tradition and innovation, it is our ability to integrate these two competitive concepts that sets us apart as the People’s University of North Carolina. It is with this same energy that our 125th Anniversary celebrations seek to pay tribute to our historic identity within the contemporary context of an increasingly complex and interconnected world.

I wish you all a very successful and relaxing summer, and look forward to the fall when we will continue commemorating the transformational impact of 125 years of NC State.

Randy Woodson
NC State University

The Chancellor at graduation