Women

Women
Please note that some historical materials may contain harmful content and/or descriptions. Learn how we’re addressing it.

1890s

1890 Susan Colwell Carroll employed

Sue Carroll began employment at the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts. She filled the position of matron, supervising the Cadet Hospital (an early version of the student health center) and the dormitories until her death in 1901.

The Agromeck, Volume One, 1903The Agromeck, Volume One, 1903
6/5/1899 A&M College opened to women

The Board of Trustees voted to open A&M College to women.

8/2/1899 Women designated as "special students"

The Board of Trustees amended their decision from earlier in the year to admit women to A&M College. The board decided women would be classified as special students, except in textiles courses, where they could be enrolled as regular students.

1900s

1901 First woman enrolled in course

Margaret Burke became the first woman to take a course at A&M College. She enrolled in a physics course.

1901 Second woman enrolled in course

Eula Louisa Dixon took a course in dairying and became the second woman to enroll in a course at A&M College.

1902 First woman hired as faculty member

Adeline Stevens, the wife of Frank Lincoln Stevens, became the first woman faculty member as an instructor in biology during the 1902-1903 academic year.

1903 First woman hired as librarian

Caroline Sherman was the first woman hired as librarian at NC State. During Sherman’s tenure as librarian from 1903 to 1906, library holdings moved from the third floor of Main Building (later Holladay Hall) to the first floor of old Pullen Hall. With input from D. H. Hill Jr., she tried to make the library comfortable for extracurricular reading and subscribed to popular periodicals and newspapers from all North Carolina counties.

1903 Women's enrollment increased

Women's enrollment continued to increase during the 1903-1904 academic year. Evelyn Byrd Lawrence of Raleigh took a course in architecture, Ivey Roberts of Raleigh took a course in drawing, and Frances Claire Stainback took courses in chemistry and English. This was also the first year that women were listed as summer school students, and more than 200 women attended.

1908 Ellen McGuire began career at university

Ellen McGuire was an African American woman who began working at NC State in 1908. According to a 1939 Technician article, McGuire was born into slavery on a North Carolina plantation. Although McGuire maintained many responsibilities, she spent many years working in the infirmary on campus.

Technician, Vol. 20 No. 3 Section 6, September 29, 1939Technician, Vol. 20 No. 3 Section 6, September 29, 1939

1910s

11/1/1911 Jane McKimmon was first woman extension agent

Jane S. McKimmon became the first woman to serve as a state home demonstration agent through the Agricultural Extension program at A&M College.

Dr. Jane S. McKimmonDr. Jane S. McKimmon

1920s

08/26/1920 Federation of North Carolina Home Bureaus created

North Carolina Home Demonstration clubs joined to create the North Carolina Federation of Home Bureaus. It was decided and announced at the Farm Men and Farm Women's Convention in Raleigh.

1921 First woman enrolled as full-time student

Lucille Thomson of Wilmington, NC, became the first woman to fully enroll at NC State University. She studied electrical engineering from 1921 to 1923.

Lucille ThomsonLucille Thomson
2/26/1927 First woman Phi Kappa Phi member inducted

Jane S. McKimmon became the first woman inducted into NC State's chapter of Phi Kappa Phi.

6/7/1927 First degrees conferred to women

The first degrees were conferred to women at NC State. The recipients were Jane McKimmon, BS in business administration; Charlotte Nelson, BS in education; and Mary Elizabeth Yarbrough, MS in chemistry. Yarbrough was the first woman to graduate who completed all coursework while at NC State, and she was the first woman to earn a master's degree at NC State.

Mary Yarborough portrait photo, 1953Mary Yarborough portrait photo, 1953
1928 First woman earned master's degree in education

Lillian P. Wallace became the first woman to earn a master's degree in education. She later published several historical works on politics in Europe.

1928 First woman earned master's degree in rural sociology

Virginia F. Harris became the first woman to earn a master's degree in rural sociology.

9/29/1928 Women's enrollment increased

Twenty-one woman enrolled at State College for the 1928-29 academic year, which was twice as many as the previous year.

1930s

1930 Phi Epsilon established

Phi Epsilon was the first local sorority established at State College.

1930 First woman enrolled as a freshman

Ada Curtis Spencer became the first woman to enroll as a freshman and complete a four-year degree from NC State. She majored in social science.

1932 First woman received graduate degree in textiles

Lillian Tyler Jones was the first woman to earn a graduate degree from the School of Textiles. Her thesis was on "the effect of some wet and dry cleaning and stripping and spotting reagents on the relative tensile strength of some acetate and viscose yarns."

1932 First woman received degree in landscape architecture

Elizabeth Lee Lawrence became the first woman to earn a BS in landscape architecture.

1933 First woman received MS in economics

Katherine W. Sams became the first woman to earn a MS in economics.

1933 First woman graduated with MS in biology

Maud K. Schaub became the first woman to earn a MS in biology.

1934-1935 Women's student government formed

The women's student government first appeared as an organization in the university handbook and Agromeck. Christine Shepherd was the president.

1935 Women's enrollment dropped

Women were prohibited from entering freshmen and sophomore classes to boost enrollment at the Women's College in Greensboro. The restriction lasted until 1940.

1936 First woman undergraduates in textiles

The first women undergraduates in textiles were Eleanor Mae Greene and Virginia Lee Reinheimer, who received Bachelor of Science degrees in weaving and designing.

10/29/1937 First woman enrolled in mechanical engineering

Katharine Stinson, personal friend of Amelia Earhart, was the first woman to enroll in mechanical engineering.

Katharine Stinson outside of Broughton HallKatharine Stinson outside of Broughton Hall
9/30/1938 Chemistry research conducted

Woman chemist J. C. Richmond of State College was awarded a grant to study the Vitamin C content in goat's milk and the presence of nicotinic acid in cow's milk.

1940s

1940 First woman received MS in occupational information

Ethel C. Sheridan became the first woman to earn a MS in occupational information and guidance.

1940 First women received MS in agricultural chemistry

Margaret Kramer and Martha S. Richmond became the first women to receive MS degrees in agricultural chemistry.

1940 First woman received MS in animal ecology

Myrtha M. Wilson became the first woman to earn a MS degree in animal ecology.

11/1940 First woman hired as full professor and department head

Gertrude Cox was hired as professor of statistics and head of the Department of Experimental Statistics. She was the first woman at State College hired as full professor and department head at the same time.

Professor Gertrude M. Cox portraitProfessor Gertrude M. Cox portrait
1941 First branch library opened

The Architecture Library opened as the first branch library with Grace Sims Dalton as the first librarian. This was part of Library Director Harlan Brown’s goal to eliminate autonomous departmental libraries in favor of centrally-controlled branch libraries. The Architecture Library was renamed the Harrye B. Lyons Design Library in 1968.

1941 Women's enrollment declined

In 1941, twenty women were enrolled at State College alongside 2,406 men.

1941 Katherine Stinson graduated

Katharine Stinson was the first woman to graduate from NC State's School of Engineering. Stinson received a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering degree in the Aeronautical option. Stinson was taking flying lessons at the old Raleigh Airport on US-401 when Amelia Earhart flew in for a visit in the early 1930s. When Stinson told Earhart that she wanted to become a pilot, Earhart advised her to become an engineer, which was a career Stinson pursued in spite of ... More

1942 First woman graduated in architectural engineering

Margery Belle Garriss was the first woman to graduate in architectural engineering.

1942 Reba Clevenger became college librarian

Reference librarian Reba Clevenger became the acting college librarian during World War II when all male library staff members left for military service.

Reba Clevenger portraitReba Clevenger portrait
1942 Women faculty increased

Three women joined the faculty at NC State. Ruth Couch Allen and Louise K. Cell became instructors in English, and Ruth Badger Hall became an instructor in modern languages.

Mrs. Ruth B. Hall portraitMrs. Ruth B. Hall portrait
4/24/1942 Higher women enrollment sought

Urgent appeals were made to increase women enrollment numbers in engineering courses as male students left to fight in World War II.

Women in defense training studying engineering drawingWomen in defense training studying engineering drawing
10/1/1943 Engineering fellowships awarded to women

Eighteen women won a fellowship award of $1,425 from Pratt & Whitney Aircraft, which offered to employ them as engineering aides after completing a 48-week course offered by State College.

Pratt and Whitney fellowship winnersPratt and Whitney fellowship winners
1944 Textiles Library established

The Textiles Library was established, and Rachel Penn Lane was the first librarian. The library was originally located in the main library but relocated to Nelson Hall the following year in 1945. The library was renamed the Burlington Textiles Library in 1954 when Burlington Industries funded its expansion.

Textile research libraryTextile research library
1945 Women's enrollment increased

Fifty-eight women were enrolled at NC State, many taking advantage of special scholarships to provide engineering training to women so they could work in industry during World War II.

1946 First MS in experimental statistics conferred

Jeanne Freeman became the first woman and the first person to earn a MS degree in experimental statistics.

11/1/1946 Woman joined marching band

Drummer Lois Madden became one of the first women to join the NC State marching band.

Drum majors and marching band leaving the fieldDrum majors and marching band leaving the field
1948 First woman graduated in chemical engineering

Lois Madden became the first woman to graduate with a degree in chemical engineering.

1949 Women faculty increased

Twenty-two women were listed on the faculty, most at the instructor or laboratory technician level. Departments with more than one woman employee included English (six), statistics (three), textiles (three), and modern languages (two). Women were also on the faculty in architecture, agricultural economics, mathematics, physics, social studies, chemistry, engineering, research, and agronomy.

1950s

1952 First woman editor of Agromeck

Betty Ann Cline became the first woman editor of the Agromeck.

1952 Elizabeth B. Lee graduated

Elizabeth B. Lee graduated from the College of Design. She is the earliest known woman to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in architecture at NC State.

1953 First woman received BS in civil engineering

Emily Catherine Brown Blount of Fayetteville, NC, became the first woman to receive a BS in civil engineering from NC State in 1953. She received a professional degree in civil engineering in 1954. Blount went on to become the first woman licensed as a professional engineer in North Carolina in 1960, and she was inducted into the North Carolina Transportation Hall of Fame in 2007.

Civil engineering student Emily Brown with surveying equipmentCivil engineering student Emily Brown with surveying equipment
1953 Eloise Johansen awarded degree

Eloise Johansen was first woman to earn a MS degree in botany.

1954 First woman instructor in plant pathology hired

Hedwig Hirschmann, born in Fuerth, Germany, was the first woman instructor of plant pathology and the fourth woman hired as a professor at NC State. She was hired as a instructor in 1954, and advanced to full professor in 1967. Hirschmann married fellow plant pathology faculty member Anastasios Triantaphyllou in 1960 and taught at NC State until 1992. She is widely recognized for her research in nematode taxonomy.

1956 First woman received PhD

Patricia Ann Sarvella became the first woman to receive a PhD degree at State College from the Department of Genetics.

1958 First African American academic staff member hired

The first African American woman hired as an academic staff member, Justina Williams, worked in the Department of Genetics's drosophila research lab. Many African Americans worked at State prior to Williams's appointment, however, they primarily worked in custodial or food service positions.

Justina Williams conducting genetics researchJustina Williams conducting genetics research
10/1959 First sorority established

The Gamma Phi chapter of the Sigma Kappa sorority was established. This was the first active chapter of a national sorority at NC State. They held their first pledge dance at the Carolina Hotel on March 14, 1960.

N.C. State sorority pledges, Sigma Kappa (Gamma Phi Chapter)N.C. State sorority pledges, Sigma Kappa (Gamma Phi Chapter)

1960s

5/1960 First African American woman received master's degree

Hazel Virginia Clark received a master's degree in occupational information and guidance. She was the first African American woman to receive a master's degree from NC State.

1961 Coed lounge created

Women's enrollment reached 308, and the Erdahl-Cloyd Student Center created a special coed lounge for students.

1961 First woman received advanced engineering degree

Anna Clyde Fraker, a native of Greenville, TN, graduated with a BS in chemistry from Furman University in 1957. She became the first woman to receive an advanced degree in engineering at NC State when she received a master's degree in metallurgical engineering in the Department of Mineral Industries.

College of Engineering laboratory, extension services, industrial extension servicesCollege of Engineering laboratory, extension services, industrial extension services
1961 First woman elected president of College Union

Clyda Weeks was the first woman elected president of the College Union and the first woman student body leader.

Representatives for Consolidated University Day at Chapel HillRepresentatives for Consolidated University Day at Chapel Hill
05/27/1961 72nd Commencement

The commencement speaker was Dr. George Wells Beadle, a Nobel prize winner and chancellor of the University of Chicago. Remarks to the graduating class were also given by Consolidated University President William Friday and North Carolina Governor Terry Sanford. Honorary degrees were awarded to John Columbus Cowan, president of Burlington Industries; Frederick Carlton Gardner, president of EBASCO Services Inc.; forestry expert Irvine Theodore Haig; agricultural ... More

Key figures in North Carolina State 1961 commencementKey figures in North Carolina State 1961 commencement
1962 Women's only courses offered in physical education

As the number of women enrolled at NC State increased, the physical education department provided women-only classes for students.

1963 Second woman appointed as a full professor

Twenty-three years after Gertrude Cox's appointment, Eloise Cofer, Extension Professor of Food Science and Assistant Director of the Agricultural Extension Service, became the second woman appointed as a full professor at NC State. In 1980, Cofer was named "Home Economist of the Year" by the NC Home Economics Association.

Eloise CoferEloise Cofer
1963 First woman appointed Technician editor

Cora Kemp was appointed the first woman editor of the Technician.

1963 First woman instructor in textiles hired

Francess Massey became an instructor in textile technology. She was the first woman listed as faculty member at the instructor level in the School of Textiles.

1964 First woman on Honor Code Board

Mary Ann Weathers became the first woman elected to the Honor Code Board for students.

1964 Doretha Blalock hired at Libraries

Doretha Blalock was hired as a "Typist II" for the library in 1964. She was later the first African American woman employed above the clerk level in a technical position processing books and was promoted to supervisor of the Collections Management Department. She also worked on the Affirmative Action Committee which oversaw hiring of African Americans in the 1970s.

3/3/1964 "Report on the Status of Women Students" published

The university published, for the first time, a "Report on the Status of Women Students."

Freshman women students at an orientation meetingFreshman women students at an orientation meeting
9/16/1964 First dorm for women opened

Watauga Hall opened as NC State's first women-only dorm. It was the first time women were able to live on campus at NC State. All undergraduate single women were required to live there.

Watauga Hall, recently remodeled and redecorated, established as the first women's dorm at State, circa 1965Watauga Hall, recently remodeled and redecorated, established as the first women's dorm at State, circa 1965
11/2/1964 Women in science and engineering conference attended

Two women engineering students from NC State attended a conference at MIT that discussed the opportunities and difficulties facing women in science and engineering.

NC State University, College of Engineering, academics and students, woman in engineeringNC State University, College of Engineering, academics and students, woman in engineering
1965 First African American faculty instructor hired

Dorothy Williams became the first African American instructor with faculty ranking in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology.

Dorothy S. Williams, NC State University FacultyDorothy S. Williams, NC State University Faculty
1965-1969 Women joined fencing program

NC State cheerleader Diane Ramsey joined the varsity fencing program in 1965, which at the time was all male. Karen Costarisan and Cathey Jehle joined the team in 1967 and Barbara Walters, Gladys Mason and Barbara Grice joined in 1969.

Fall 1965 First women joined co-ed rifle team

Alma Williams of Covington, VA, and Pam Lias of High Point, NC, earned spots on the Wolfpack co-ed rifle team.

1966 Third woman hired as full professor

Doris King became the third woman to serve as a full professor and taught courses in history and education.

1966 First African American woman received undergraduate degree

Norma Wright Garcia became the first African American woman to receive an undergraduate degree after earning a BA in history.

1966 Carroll Hall built

Carroll Hall was named for Susan Catherine Colwell Carroll, a nurse who became the resident matron of the college infirmary.

Woman in front of Carroll Residence Hall, the new woman's dormWoman in front of Carroll Residence Hall, the new woman's dorm
1967 Women appointed full professors

The fourth and fifth women hired as full professors at NC State were appointed. Hedwig Hirschmann Triantaphyllou advanced to full professor of plant pathology and Emily Quinn Pugh became a full professor of adult education.

Dr. Emily Quinn portraitDr. Emily Quinn portrait
01/1967 First Japanese woman graduated with doctorate

Tomoko Ohta graduated in 1967 with a PhD in genetics and was the first Japanese woman to receive a doctorate at NC State. Her dissertation chair was Professor Ken-ichi Kojima. Ohta previously obtained her master's degree in genetics in 1965.

1967 Yoon Kim awarded PhD

Yoon Kim was the first woman to earn a PhD degree in botany (phycology).

07/1967 First woman received doctorate in ceramic engineering

Anna Clyde Fraker was the first woman to receive a doctorate in ceramic engineering and in the College of Engineering at NC State. Dr. Fraker began her career at NC State's Department of Engineering Research where she contributed to biomaterials engineering research. Her research focused on surgical implant materials and finding a material that was compatible with the chemistry of the human body but would not corrode. In her later work at the National Bureau ... More

1968 Ann B. Goodnight graduated

Ann B. Goodnight graduated with a bachelor's degree in political science. She later became a businesswoman, philanthropist, and member of the UNC System Board of Governors.

1968 Harrye B. Lyons Design Library named

The School of Design Library was named in honor of Harrye B. Lyons, librarian at the school for 20 years.

Student studying in Design LibraryStudent studying in Design Library
1968 Jane Green McNeary awarded degree

Jane Green McNeary was the first woman to earn an undergraduate degree in botany.

2/1969 First woman to edit Agri-Life

Sarah Sheffield became the first woman to edit Agri-Life, the student publication of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Sheffield majored in wildlife biology and received a BS in 1970 and a MS in 1977.

1970s

1970 First woman received PhD in nuclear engineering

Samiha Mourad became the first woman to receive a PhD in nuclear engineering.

5/5/1970 First woman elected student body president

Cathy Sterling was elected student body president and became the first woman to hold a major student elective post. During her presidency, Sterling led the student body in a retreat to protest the invasion of Cambodia. Her report, "Due to Circumstances Beyond Our Control," resulted in a greater student role in the spending of student fees. Sterling said of her decision to run for student body president, "A few weeks before the election, a few ... More

Cathy Sterling, first woman student body president at North Carolina State UniversityCathy Sterling, first woman student body president at North Carolina State University
8/1970 Lee Hall became NC State's first co-ed dorm
Lee Residence Hall, front viewLee Residence Hall, front view
1971 Deanne Beckwith graduated with product design degree

Deanne Beckwith is the earliest known woman to graduate with a degree in product design.

5/15/1971 Woman honored for highest grade point average

Jane Carol Pickard was the first woman honored for graduating with the highest grade point average. Every year at commencement, NC State honored the student graduating with this achievement.

1973 First African American woman received PhD

Nannette Smith Henderson was the first African American woman awarded a PhD at NC State with a degree in plant pathology.

1973 Basketball club organized for women

Kathy Bounds, Deb Webb, and Genie Jordan organized a basketball club for women.

Womens Intramural BasketballWomens Intramural Basketball
1973 Aziza Ragal El-Lozy was first woman to receive PhD in materials engineering
1973 Samia Galal Abdel Hamid Saad received PhD

Samia Galal Abdel Hamid Saad of Alexandria, Egypt, became the first woman to receive a PhD in civil engineering at NC State.

06/15/1973 Women first enrolled in military science department

The Department of Military Science began enrolling women in the program in the fall of 1973.

Air Force ROTC group commander Evelyn SpenceAir Force ROTC group commander Evelyn Spence
1973 First African American women librarians hired

Margaret Hunt and Lillie Castor were the first two African American women hired as professional librarians to work at the D. H. Hill Jr. Library.

8/29/1973 First woman received teaching award

Dr. Mary Wheeler became the first woman granted the NC State Outstanding Teacher Award.

1974 First women's basketball team established

A women's basketball team was established for the first time. The team included two African American women, Gwen Jenkins and Cynthia Steele.

1974-1975 N.C. State University women's basketball team1974-1975 N.C. State University women's basketball team
1974 First woman appointed full-time professor in politics

Debra Stewart, later dean of the Graduate School, was the first woman appointed full-time tenured professor in the Department of Politics (later political science)

1974-1988 Kay Yow coached in the Olympics

Head coach Kay Yow was an assistant coach for Team USA from 1974 to 1984, winning a gold medal at the 1984 Olympics. She became the head coach of Team USA from 1981 to 1988 and helped lead her squad to a gold medal in 1988.

Coach Kay Yow and the United States Olympic team show pride during the playing of the National Anthem before an exhibition game in RaleighCoach Kay Yow and the United States Olympic team show pride during the playing of the National Anthem before an exhibition game in Raleigh
1975 First woman received PhD in electrical engineering

Alice Cline became the first woman at NC State to receive a PhD in electrical engineering.

1975 Gertrude Cox elected to NAS

Statistics professor Gertrude Cox was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

Gertrude Cox at deskGertrude Cox at desk
1/1975 Second woman hired as department head

Barbara Parramore became the second woman hired as department head at NC State and led the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at its founding.

Barbara Parramore portraitBarbara Parramore portrait
1975 First African American sorority established

A chapter of Delta Sigma Theta was established as the first African American sorority chapter on campus.

Sisters of Delta Sigma Theta during a step showSisters of Delta Sigma Theta during a step show
1975 First woman hired in Department of Music

Dr. Phyllis Vogel was the first woman hired in the music department, and she established the department's first music theory courses called "Rudiments of Music." She taught composition, women in music, applied piano lessons and more. She conducted the chamber singers and performed in recitals.

5/1975 First woman to receive PhD in physics

Meena Ajmera became the first woman at NC State to receive a doctorate in physics.

09/05/1975 First student chosen for Miss Wolf mascot

Junior varsity cheerleader Elizabeth Jan Seymour was the first woman chosen for the mascot formerly known as Miss Wolf. During Seymour's first game as mascot, the cheerleaders debuted their hand gesture now known as “wolf hands.”

Mr. and Ms. Wuf carrying a banner against Clemson at N.C. State vs. Clemson University football gameMr. and Ms. Wuf carrying a banner against Clemson at N.C. State vs. Clemson University football game
1976 Susan Yow named All-American

Susan Yow with the women's basketball program became the first NC State woman to be named an All-American athlete.

N.C. State's #14 Susan Yow with a jump pass during women's basketball gameN.C. State's #14 Susan Yow with a jump pass during women's basketball game
1977 Third woman appointed department head

Mary E. (Betty) Wheeler became the head of the Department of History and the third woman to hold a position of department head at NC State.

1977-1980 Genia Beasley named All-American

Genia Beasley was NC State’s all-time leading scorer with 2,367 points. A 1978 Kodak All-American, Beasley became the first women’s player to score over 2,000 career points. In 2012, she was inducted into the NC State Athletics Hall of Fame.

#50 Genia Beasley, N.C. State University women's basketball#50 Genia Beasley, N.C. State University women's basketball
1977 Joan Benoit Samuelson named cross country All-American

Joan Benoit Samuelson was a two-time cross country All-American (1977-1978). She was an Olympic gold medalist in women's marathon (1984), two-time winner of Boston Marathon, and 2005 NCAA Silver Anniversary award winner. In 2019, she ran the Boston Marathon again and finished within 30 minutes of her first finish time in 1979.

Joan Benoit, Cross Country 1978Joan Benoit, Cross Country 1978
1977-1981 Trudi Lacey's basketball career at NC State

Trudi Lacey was the first African American woman to receive a four-year scholarship in women's basketball at NC State in 1978. She helped the Wolfpack win the school's first ACC women's basketball championship in 1980. She was the first player in ACC history to earn four consecutive all-tournament honors. After college, she coached a number of teams including the Charlotte Sting, the Washington Mystics, Queens College, and Johnson and Wales University.

Trudi Lacey and Ginger Rouse, N.C. State women's basketball team, 1978-1979Trudi Lacey and Ginger Rouse, N.C. State women's basketball team, 1978-1979
1978 Dr. Wilma C. Peebles-Wilkins joined faculty

Dr. Wilma C. Peebles-Wilkins joined the university's faculty as assistant professor for the social work program. Dr. Peebles-Wilkins was one of the first African American women to graduate from NC State, and she later served as associate department head and director of the social work program.

2/11/1978 First ACC women's basketball tournament

The NC State women's basketball team participated in the first-ever ACC basketball tournament as the top seed. NC State lost in the championship game to Maryland.

1977-1978 N.C. State University women's basketball portraits1977-1978 N.C. State University women's basketball portraits
1979 Cheerleader Wanda Billingslea Farrell voiced concerns

In the Technician, one of the first African American women cheerleaders, Wanda Billingslea Farrell, called out the selection process for cheerleader tryouts as racist and biased.

Cheerleaders in paradeCheerleaders in parade
1979-1988 Cathy Buckey, cheerleading head coach

Cathy Buckey was the cheerleading coach from 1979 to 1998. During her tenure, the NC State cheerleading team won their first three national championships in 1986, 1990, and 1991.

Cathy BuckeyCathy Buckey

1980s

1980 First Women's Week sponsored

Evelyn Reiman, Assistant Director of Student Development, sponsored the first NC State Women's Week. The event included a series of afternoon and evening programs for women on campus.

1980s Ladies in Red organized

This was due to the success of Grains of Time and to provide the women's chorus the same musical education as the men in Grains of Time.

1981 First woman served as Faculty Club president

Ada B. Dalla Pozza became the first woman to serve as president of the Faculty Club, later known as the University Club.

Ada Dalla Pozza portraitAda Dalla Pozza portrait
Chandra Cox hired by the School of Design

Chandra Cox is the earliest known Black woman hired at the School of Design.

1983 Women's enrollment increased

Approximately 8,000 women were enrolled in a student body of 22,632. More than one third of the undergraduates were women, which at the time was the highest percentage of women enrolled at NC State.

1983 First woman named Alumni Distinguished Professor

Katherine W. Klein, Associate Professor of Psychology, became the first woman faculty member named an "Alumni Distinguished Professor."

1985 First woman Faculty Senate chair appointed

Sondra L. Kirsch, Associate Professor of the Recreation Resources Administration, became the first woman chair of the NC State Faculty Senate.

1986 First woman appointed dean of Graduate School

Debra W. Stewart was appointed interim dean of the Graduate School. She was the first woman to serve as dean of the Graduate School. Her appointment became permanent in 1988, and she served as dean until 2000.

1986 First PhD degrees awarded by School of Veterinary Medicine

The School of Veterinary Medicine awarded its first PhD degrees to Melinda Hollingshead in August 1986 and Cathy Carlson in December 1986.

1986 First woman received Alumni Research Award

Elizabeth C. Theil became the first woman to receive the Alumni Research Award.

Elizabeth Theil, Professor of BiochemistryElizabeth Theil, Professor of Biochemistry
1986 Women's enrollment increased

In the fall of 1986, women made up 38% of the student body, which was at the time was the highest percentage of women enrolled at NC State.

03/1986 Minority Affairs Bill passed

Student Senate passed the Minority Affairs Bill, which created the Minority Affairs Committee. The committee was tasked with representing the concerns of African Americans, Native Americans, women, people with disabilities, and the gay and lesbian community on campus.

Technician, Vol. 67 No. 64, March 12, 1986Technician, Vol. 67 No. 64, March 12, 1986
1987 Alice Miller named Assistant Vice Chancellor
1987 Yarbrough Court dedicated

Yarbrough Court, the court surrounded by Holladay, Peele, Leazar, and Watauga Halls, was named after Mary E. Yarbrough. Yarbrough was the first women to earn a graduate degree from NC State and one of the first three women to graduate from the university.

Mary Elizabeth YarbroughMary Elizabeth Yarbrough
1987-1990 Deborah Dalton served as acting department head

Deborah Dalton was the first woman to serve as acting department head for the Department of Landscape Architecture.

Deborah Dalton portraitDeborah Dalton portrait
8/1987 First woman hired as Director of Libraries

Susan K. Nutter was the first woman hired as Director of Libraries. During Nutter’s tenure, the Libraries grew from less than 2,000,000 volumes to more than 5,000,000, plus 90,000 print and electronic serial subscriptions, more than 500 bibliographic databases, and numerous electronic full-text and image collections. The Libraries advanced significantly in important library rankings, and innovative new facilities opened on campus. Nutter retired on 9/30/2017.

Provost Nash Winstead and Director of Libraries Susan Nutter at dedication of Yoshino cherry trees, December 1989Provost Nash Winstead and Director of Libraries Susan Nutter at dedication of Yoshino cherry trees, December 1989
1988 Kaye Gibbons became first author-in-residence

Kaye Gibbons, former NC State student, became the Libraries' first author-in-residence. The Friends of the Library awarded the first "Author of the Year" award to Kaye Gibbons during the Libraries' 100th anniversary celebration in 1989.

1988 First woman to hold a named professorship

Elizabeth C. Theil became the first woman at NC State to hold a named professorship and was honored with the University of North Carolina's O. Max Gardner Award.

1988 First woman field conductor for marching band

Jennifer Gilmore was the first woman field conductor for the NC State Marching Band.

10/27/1988 First "Take Back the Night" march held

NC State's first annual "Take Back the Night" march and rally was held to protest violence against women.

Women students at Take Back the Night marchWomen students at Take Back the Night march
1989 Christine Grant appointed as faculty

Christine Grant, a professor in chemical engineering, became the first African American woman appointed as faculty member in the College of Engineering.

1/1989 Women's Resource Coalition established

The Women's Resource Coalition was established from the Women Students Advisory Board, which was organized in the fall of 1988.

1989 Nora Lynn Finch inducted into Women's Sports Hall of Fame

Nora Lynn Finch, Associate Athletics Director, was inducted into the Women's Sports Hall of Fame. Finch was the ACC's first women's athletics director and the inaugural chair of the NCAA Division I Women's basketball committee from 1981-1988.

Nora Lynn Finch and Kay Yow carrying United States Olympic Festival Torch through North Carolina State University campus, fall 1987Nora Lynn Finch and Kay Yow carrying United States Olympic Festival Torch through North Carolina State University campus, fall 1987
1989 Women's Studies program established

The Women's Studies program was established with Barbara Risman as the first director.

1989-1994 Dr. Angela Lumpkin served as physical education department head

Dr. Angela Lumpkin was the first woman hired as head of the Department of Physical Education.

1990s

1990 The Newsstand first published

The first campus-wide newsletter on women's issues, The Newsstand, was published.

1990 Collection Management department established

The Libraries' Collection Management department was established with African American employee Margaret Hunt as its first head.

1990 Dr. Suzanne Kennedy-Stoskopf join CVM

In 1990, Dr. Kennedy-Stoskopf joined the CVM faculty in the Department of Microbiology, Pathology, and Parasitology. Dr. Kennedy-Stoskopf was well-known for her role as the first woman veterinarian at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park and the first full-time woman faculty member specializing in zoological medicine in North America.

05/12/1990 101st Commencement

The first woman commencement speaker was poet and author Maya Angelou. UNC President C. D. Spangler also made remarks. Timothy Van Cooke gave the Address to Fellow Graduates. During the ceremony, a Cessna airplane flew over Carter-Finley Stadium with a "Fire Monteith" banner, protesting the recent appointment of Larry Monteith as chancellor. This is the last numbered commencement.

Maya Angelou, 1990 commencement speakerMaya Angelou, 1990 commencement speaker
09/1991 Women's Center opened

The Women's Center opened with Jan Rogers as its coordinator. Rogers began the Women's Leadership Education and Action Program (LEAP), which aimed to enhance the experience of women in fields such as math, science, and engineering.

College of Engineering, publicity and promotional material, classroomCollege of Engineering, publicity and promotional material, classroom
1992 Sista 2 Sistuh Network established

The Sista 2 Sistuh Network was established to support African American women at NC State.

1994 First woman received Holladay Medal

Barbara Parramore became the first woman faculty member to receive the Holladay Medal for Excellence.

3/3/1994 Anti-hate rally organized

Several student groups organized an anti-hate rally in Harris Field in response to recent rapes on campus, sexual harassment in classrooms, racist remarks from professors, and anti-gay messages in the Free Expression Tunnel.

Students attending anti-hate rallyStudents attending anti-hate rally
8/7/1995 Margaret A. Zahn became dean

Margaret A. Zahn, nationally known for her studies on violence in the U.S., became dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. She served in the position until 2001.

1996 June St. Clair Atkinson awarded doctorate

June Atkinson was awarded a Doctor of Education degree. She later became the first woman to serve as North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction.

1997 Campus street named after Katharine Stinson

A campus street was named for Katharine Stinson, the first woman to graduate from NC State's School of Engineering. Katharine Stinson Drive, formerly North Yarbrough Drive, was one of the longest streets on campus.

Fall 1997 Diversity Initiative launched

Chancellor Larry K. Monteith launched the Diversity Initiative to provide more equitable access to educational resources on campus regardless of race, gender, socioeconomic background, physical disabilities, and other related factors.

1998 Chavonda Jacobs-Young awarded PhD

Chavonda Jacobs-Young was awarded a PhD. She previously earned a bachelor's degree in 1989 and master's degree in 1992. She was the first African American woman in the United States to earn a PhD in paper science. She later became Associate Administrator for National Programs for the USDA's Agricultural Research Service.

1998 First woman hired as chancellor

Marye Anne Fox became the first woman hired as chancellor at NC State. She served in the position until 2004 when she left to become chancellor of the University of California, San Diego. (Biography of Marye Anne Fox)

Chancellor Marye Anne FoxChancellor Marye Anne Fox

2000s

2000 First woman appointed Board of Trustees chair

Peaches Simpkins was named the first woman chair of the university's Board of Trustees.

09/06/2000 Equal Opportunity Policy passed

NC State passed Policy 04.25.05, known as the Equal Opportunity, Non-Discrimination and Affirmative Action Policy. The policy supported equal opportunity and affirmative action efforts, and prohibited discrimination and harassment based upon race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, disability, veteran status, or genetic information.

2003 WISE program established

The Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) program was established. Fifty-six freshman women with majors in PAMS and the College of Engineering joined the program in its first year. As of 2009, the "living and learning village" included 256 women majoring in five colleges across campus, and a high school chapter was established at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics.

2005 Susan K. Nutter named "Librarian of the Year"

Susan K. Nutter was named the "Librarian of the Year" by Library Journal.

Susan K. Nutter portraitSusan K. Nutter portrait
2007 Kay Yow celebrated 700th Win

Women's basketball coach Kay Yow celebrated her 700th win. The Wolfpack beat Florida State, 68-51. Yow eventually racked up 737 wins (at NC State and Elon), making her the fifth highest-winning NCAA Division I basketball coach.

Kay Yow making wolf symbol with her hands at women's basketball gameKay Yow making wolf symbol with her hands at women's basketball game
2009 Lisa Johnson appointed University Architect

Lisa Johnson became the first woman appointed University Architect.

2010s

2010-2011 Kelly Hook

Student Body President

Kelly HookKelly Hook
5/2010 First woman appointed full professor in textiles

Cynthia Istook became the first woman appointed full professor in the College of Textiles.

2010-2019 Debbie Yow was first woman Athletics Director
Technician, July 1, 2010Technician, July 1, 2010
2011-2012 Chandler Thompson

Student Body President

Chandler ThompsonChandler Thompson
2011 Kappa Phi Lambda sorority established

Kappa Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc. officially became a registered student organization in fall 2011. Kappa Phi Lambda was the first Asian-American interest sorority on campus.

8/17/2011 First "Respect the Pack" event held

The first "Respect the Pack" event was held at the Free Expression Tunnel and became an annual event to promote diversity and inclusion on campus.

01/2012 Professor Christine Grant awarded

Dr. Christine Grant, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, was awarded the 2012 Stanley C. Israel Regional Award for Advancing Diversity in the Chemical Sciences.

Summer 2012 "Slut Walk" held on campus

The first "Slut Walk" on campus was held in the summer of 2012. The walk, a movement first started in Canada, promoted an end to blaming victims of sexual abuse.

2014 Brittni Watkins won multiple EAGL championships

Brittni Watkins became the first NC State gymnast to win two events at the EAGL championships when she captured titles on the vault and floor exercise. She was also the first gymnast in Wolfpack history to collect multiple All-America honors in 2014 and 2015.

2017 Frances Ligler inducted into Hall of Fame

Dr. Frances Ligler was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame for her development of portable optical biosensors. The biosensors quickly identified biological warfare agents and pathogens in the food supply, among other applications.

Technician, March, 30, 2017Technician, March, 30, 2017
01/21/2017 Students participated in Women's March

NC State students participated in the Women's March on Raleigh in solidarity with the Women's March on Washington, D.C. The march addressed issues such as reproductive rights, immigrant rights, and sexual assault.

2017-2018 Jackie Gonzalez (President), Mia Connell (Vice President)

Jackie Gonzalez was the first Latinx person elected student body president. Gonzalez and Vice President Mia Connell formed the first woman-of-color team elected into the highest student government offices.

Jackie GonzalezJackie Gonzalez
2017- Julie Swann served as department head

Julie Swann was the first woman department head appointed in industrial and systems engineering.

11/2017 Christine McGahan appointed dean

Christine McGahan was the first woman to hold the position of dean for the College of Sciences. She joined the College of Veterinary Medicine in 1983 and was head of its Department of Molecular Biomedical Sciences for 14 years.

2018-2019 Jess Errico (President), Meredith Spence-Beaulieu (Vice President)
Jess ErricoJess Errico
03/14/2019 Christina Hammock Koch launched to space

Alumnus and astronaut Christina Koch launched to the International Space Station. She was a part of the Expedition 59 and 60 crew. Koch later set the record for the longest single spaceflight by a woman, and participated in the first all-woman spacewalk. At NC State, she earned a BS in electrical engineering (2001), a BS in physics (2001), and a MS in electrical engineering (2002).

2019-2020 Emma Carter (President), Nicole Teague (Vice President)
Emma CarterEmma Carter

2020s

2020-2021 Melanie Flowers (President), McKenzy Heavlin (Vice President)

Melanie Flowers became the first African American woman elected student body president at NC State. She was also elected Chair of the Council of Student Body Presidents for the University of North Carolina System.

2022 First woman appointed CVM dean

Dr. Kathryn Meurs was the first woman appointed Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and the inaugural recipient of the Randall B. Terry, Jr. College of Veterinary Medicine Endowed Dean’s Chair.