First African American in Marching Band
Walter Holmes joined the marching band and the concert band during his first semester at State College in 1956. Holmess presence in the band complicated segregation laws in stadiums and dining halls throughout the south. In 1957, Holmes dined with the band in the Clemson College dining hall. South Carolina residents circulated a petition asking Governor Timmerman "to see that such racial mixing doesnt occur again, especially when N.C. State visits the University of South Carolina here Nov. 23." Holmess presence in the band also angered NC State alumni. State alumnus A. W. Boswell wrote a letter to H. W. Taylor, director of alumni affairs, opposing the bands integration. Chancellor Bostian replied to Boswells letter stating the band director was legally obligated to audition "Negroes." He continued stating, "Two Negroes appeared for tryouts. One was rejected because of only fair performance on his instrument. The individual approved for being in the band is an excellent musician and there was no way the Director of the band could eliminate him."
Jim Hunt becomes Student Body President
The 1957 president-elect for Student Government failed to meet academic requirements to return to campus and take office, thus vice-president elect, Jim Hunt, became Student Body President for the year. Hunt would serve as president again the following year. He later became governor of North Carolina.