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Chancellor’s Message

NC State magazine, Winter 2021

The end of our Think and Do the Extraordinary Campaign is a historic, exciting milestone for NC State. We have joined an elite group of public universities in the United States that have successfully completed $2 billion fundraising campaigns.

The Campaign’s numbers are impressive; its impact on this university is truly extraordinary.

Our donors have supported every college, program and unit in record-setting fashion. Private support has helped us not only build facilities but also grow our endowment, which will sustain our future and our ability to ride out uncertainties of financial change. Your generosity continues to make an outstanding education more accessible, provide our students with high-impact experiences that shape their careers and lives, and ensure our faculty members have the resources they need to empower the next generation of leaders and conduct research to meet our world’s challenges.

Beyond all the numbers, so many lives have been changed.

We have always appreciated the strong support for public education in our state. But to really move NC State forward, we knew we needed more support from our community of alumni and donors who believe in the remarkable potential of this university. We recognized that our Campaign goal of $1.6 billion would be a stretch — by far the most ambitious fundraising effort ever attempted at NC State.

Even from the beginning, though, we could feel the determination and momentum building. The transformational journey that we undertook together began inspiring elevated thinking about every corner of our university. It has been incredible to see donors connect their interests and passions with areas where they could make a positive difference. This Campaign has helped people find their true place in the Wolfpack and their purpose in the world. It has brought people home to NC State too. We have been privileged to hear and share so many of those amazing stories.

In my chancellor’s message five years ago, I wrote that NC State would be different at the end of this effort. I believe that prediction has come true. We have seen a culture shift — a growing feeling that we’re all in this together. Along with the many funds established, that engagement and that culture of philanthropy will benefit our university for years to come

Today, we face a limitless horizon as a bolder, more confident Pack. With NC State setting off on a new strategic plan — Wolfpack 2030: Powering the Extraordinary — our supporters’ commitment, investment and vote of confidence remain vital.

Our success cannot be separated from philanthropy as we grow our research enterprise, develop our interdisciplinary clusters and become a recognized leader in cutting-edge fields ranging from quantum computing to smart-grid technology and from supply chain to digital humanities.

It is no coincidence that our application, retention and graduation rates continue to rise, and more of our faculty and students are garnering top national accolades. As we recommit to efforts of diversity, equity and inclusion, we are just beginning to tap into how philanthropy can significantly help us meet our goals.

Incredible things are happening at NC State. At the same time this Campaign has transformed us, it has reminded us of the university we have always been and must continue to be — only better.

We serve the people of our state. We provide a place where talented students from rural or economically challenged areas, from groups that remain underrepresented on campuses like ours and from families that have been unable to experience higher education can thrive. We embrace our legacy as an authentic, real-world university of the people, doing work that matters.

I want to thank our Think and Do the Extraordinary Campaign co-chairs for their leadership, advocacy and service: Vickie and Jimmy Clark; Sarah and Lawrence Davenport; Ann and JimGoodnight; and Carol and Lonnie Poole. I want to thank every person who contributed to the Campaign in any way. We are truly grateful for your support.

Take pride in this milestone. Reaching it has positioned us to propel NC State forward to even greater heights.

We have closed an extraordinary chapter. But this is really only the beginning of the story for NC State. So look forward, with a feeling of optimism and a sense of urgency. Stay with us on this journey.

And go Pack.

Randy Woodson