An early African American woman employee of the university was Ellen McGuire, who began working at NC State in 1889. McGuire worked at State for 50 years, retiring in 1939. According to a 1939 Technician article, McGuire was born into slavery on a North Carolina plantation. Although McGuire maintained many responsibilities during the time she was employed by the college, she spent her last 31 years working in the infirmary.
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 Board of Trustees votes to open A&M College to women.
The Board of Trustees amend their decision from earlier in the year to admit women to A&M, deciding women will be classified as special students, except in textiles courses, where they can be enrolled as regular students.
Margaret Burke becomes the first female student to take a course at A&M (she enrolled in a physics course).
Eula Louisa Dixon takes a course in dairying, becoming the second female student at A&M.
Adeline Stevens, the wife of Frank Lincoln Stevens, becomes the first female faculty member, as an instructor in biology during the 1902-1903 academic year.
During Sherman’s tenure as librarian (1903-1906), 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, she tried to make the library comfortable for extra-curricular reading and subscribed to popular periodicals and newspapers from all North Carolina counties in order to encourage greater library patronage.
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.
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
Lucille Thomson of Wilmington becomes the first woman to enroll as a full-time student, majoring in electrical engineering.
Jane S. McKimmon becomes the first female inducted into NC State's chapter of Phi Kappa Phi.
The first degrees are conferred to women at NC State. Recipients are Jane McKimmon, B.S. in business administration; Charlotte Nelson, B.S. in education; and Mary Elizabeth Yarbrough, M.S. in chemistry. Yarbrough was the first female graduate to have completed all coursework while at NC State, and she went on to become the first woman to earn a master's degree at NC State.
Lillian P. Wallace becomes the first woman to earn a masters degree in Education. She went on to publish several historical works on politics in Europe. Virginia F. Harris becomes the first woman to earn a masters degree in Rural Sociology.
Twenty-one female students enroll at State College for the 1928-29 academic year, twice as many as the previous year.
Phi Epsilon becomes the first local sorority established at State College.
Ada Curtis Spencer becomes the first female to enroll as a freshman and complete a four-year degree from NC State. She majored in social science.
Lillian Tyler Jones was the first female to earn a graduate degree from the School of Textiles. Her thesis was a study of "the effect of some wet and dry cleaning and stripping and spotting reagents on the relative tensile strength of some acetate and viscose yarns."
Elizabeth Lee Lawrence becomes the first woman to earn a B.S. degree in Landscape Architecture.
Katherine W. Sams becomes the first woman to earn an M.S. degree in Economics.
Maud K. Schaub becomes the first woman to earn an M.S. degree in Biology.
The first women undergraduates in textiles were Eleanor Mae Greene and Virginia Lee Reinheimer, who received Bachelor of Science degrees in Weaving and Designing.
Katharine Stinson, personal friend of Amelia Earhart, is the first woman to enroll in Mechanical Engineering.
Female chemist J.C. Richmond of State College is awarded a grant to study the Vitamin C content in goat's milk and the presence of nicotinic acid in cow's milk.
Ethel C. Sheridan becomes the first woman to earn an M.S. in Occupational Information and Guidance.
Margaret Kramer and Martha S. Richmond become the first women to receive M.S. degrees in agricultural chemistry.
Myrtha M. Wilson becomes the first woman to earn an M.S. degree in animal ecology.
Gertrude Cox is hired as Professor of Statistics and head of the Department of Experimental Statistics, becoming the first woman at State College to occupy either rank.
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).
In 1941, only twenty women were enrolled at State College alongside 2,406 men.
Katharine Stinson becomes the first woman to graduate from NC State's School of Engineering. Stinson received a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering degree, 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, a career Stinson pursued in spite of obstacles that ... More
Margery Belle Garriss becomes the first woman to graduate in Architectural Engineering.
Reference Librarian Reba Clevenger became the acting college librarian during World War II, when all male library staff members left for military service. Library Director Harlan Brown took a leave of absence until 1946.
Three women join the faculty at NC State. Ruth Couch Allen and Louise K. Cell become instructors in English, and Ruth Badger Hall becomes an instructor in Modern Languages.
Katharine Stinson, a 1941 graduate of State College, is hired by the Civil Aeronautics Administration (forerunner of the Federal Aviation Administration) as a junior engineer, making her the first woman to hold this position.
Increased enrollment by women needed in engineering courses; urgent appeals are made as the male students leave to fight in the war.
Eighteen young women win a fellowship of $1,425 from Pratt & Whitney Aircraft, which will employ them as engineering aides after they complete a 48-week course offered by State College.
The Textiles Library is established, with Rachel Penn Lane as the first librarian. The Textiles Library was originally located in the main library, but relocated to Nelson Hall the following year (1945). The library was renamed the Burlington Textiles Library in 1954, when Burlington Industries funded its expansion.
Fifty-eight women are enrolled at NC State, many taking advantage of special scholarships to provide engineering training to women so they can work in industry during World War II.
Jeanne Freeman becomes the first person to earn an M.S. degree in Experimental Statistics.
Lois Madden (on drums) becomes one of the first women to ever join the NC State marching band.
Lois Madden became the first woman to graduate with a degree in Chemical Engineering.
Twenty-two women are listed on the faculty, most at the instructor or laboratory technician level. Departments with more than one female member include English (six), Statistics (three), Textiles (three), and Modern Languages (two). Women are also on the faculty in Architecture, Agricultural Economics, Mathematics, Physics, Social Studies, Chemistry, Engineering, Research, and Agronomy.
Betty Ann Cline became the first woman editor of the Agromeck.
Emily Catherine Brown Blount of Fayetteville, NC, became the first woman student to receive a B.S. in civil engineering from NC State in 1953, and received a profession degree in civil engineering in 1954. Blount went on to become the first woman licensed Professional Engineer in North Carolina in 1960, and in 2007 she was inducted into the North Carolina Transportation Hall of Fame.
Hedwig Hirschmann, born in Fuerth, Germany, was recognized for her research in nematode taxonomy. She was the first woman professor of plant pathology and the fourth woman hired as a professor at NC State. Hirschmann married fellow Plant Pathology faculty member Anastasios Triantaphyllou in 1960, and taught at NC State until 1992.
Patricia Ann Sarvella become the first woman to receive a Ph.D. degree at State College (from the Department of Genetics).
The first African American woman academic staff member, Mrs. Justina Williams, is hired to work in the Department of Genetics' Drosophila research lab. Many African Americans had worked at State prior to Williams's appointment, however they primarily worked in custodial or food service positions.
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 14 March 1960.
Hazel Virginia Clark receives a master's degree in Occupational Information and Guidance, becoming the first African American woman to receive a master's degree from NC State.
Women's enrollment reaches 308, and the Erdahl-Cloyd student center featured a special "coed" lounge.
Anna Clyde Fraker, a native of Greenville, TN, with a B.S. in Chemistry from Furman University ('57), became the first woman to receive an advanced degree in engineering at NC State when she received her master's degree in metallurgical engineering in the Department of Mineral Industries.
Clyda Weeks becames the first woman elected as president of the College Union and first female student body leader.
Twenty-three years after Gertrude Cox's appointment, Eloise Cofer, Extension Professor of Food Science and Assistant Director of the Agricultural Extension Service becomes the second woman to be appointed as a full professor. In 1980, Cofer was named Home Economist of the Year by the N.C. Home Economics Association.
Francess Massey became an instructor in Textile Technology. She was the first female faculty member in the School of Textiles.
Mary Ann Weathers became first female student elected to the Honor Code Board.
The university produces, for the first time, a "Report on the Status of Women Students."
Watauga Hall opens as NC State's first female dorm, marking the first time women are able to live on campus at NC State. All undergraduate single women are required to live there.
Two female engineering students from NC State attend a conference at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that discusses the opportunities and difficulties facing women in the fields of science and engineering.
Dorothy Williams becomes the first African American instructor with faculty ranking, teaching in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology.
Doris King becomes the third woman to serve as a full professor, teaching courses in history and education.
Norma Wright Garcia becomes the first African American woman to receive an undergraduate degree, earning a BA in history.
The fourth and fifth female full professors are appointed. Hedwig Hirschmann Triantaphyllou became a full professor of Plant Pathology and Emily Quinn Pugh became a full professor of Adult Education.
Tomoko Ohta of Japan graduated in 1967 with a Ph.D. in Genetics. Her dissertation chair was Prof. Ken-ichi Kojima. Ohta previously obtained her Master of Science degree in Genetics in 1965.
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, seeking to find a material that was compatible with the chemistry of the human body but would not corrode. In her later work at the National Bureau of Standards and Technology (NIST), Dr. Fraker's research led to the development of standards for implant materials.
Ann B. Goodnight graduates with a bachelors degree in political science. She later became a businesswoman, philanthropist, and member of the UNC system Board of Governors.
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 an MS in 1977.
Samiha Mourad becomes the first woman to receive a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering.
First female Student Body President
Cathy Sterling is elected Student Body President, becoming the first woman to hold a major campus 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 says of her decision to run for student body president, "A few weeks before the election, a few ... More
Jane Carol Pickard becomes the first female valedictorian.
Nannette Smith Henderson becomes the first African American woman to be awarded a Ph.D. at NC State, with a degree in Plant Pathology.
Kathy Bounds, Deb Webb, and Genie Jordan organize a basketball club for women.
Dr. Mary Wheeler becomes the first female recipient of the NC State Outstanding Teacher Award.
A Women's Basketball team is established for the first time. The team included two African American women, Gwen Jenkins and Cynthia Steele.
Nanette Smith Henderson became the first African American woman to earn a Ph.D. from NC State University. She received her degree in Plant Pathology.
Alice Cline becomes the first woman at NC State to receive a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering.
Men's Gymnastics and Women's Softball and Volleyball begin varsity play.
Statistics professor Gertrude Cox is elected to the National Academy of Sciences.
Barbara Parramore becomes the second female department head, leading the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at its founding.
A chapter of Delta Sigma Theta is established, becoming the first African American sorority chapter on campus.
Meena Ajmera became the first woman at NC State to receive a doctorate in Physics.
Susan Yow becomes the first NC State female to be named an All-American athlete.
The Wolfpack won the first women's basketball game televised in North Carolina. The team beat UNC-Chapel Hill 68-58.
Mary E. (Betty) Wheeler becomes head of the Department of History, and only the third female to hold a position of department head at NC State.
Joan Benoit Samuelson was a two-time Cross Country All-American (1977, '78) with the Wolfpack. 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, finishing within 30 minutes of her first finish time in 1979.
Women's basketball player Genia Beasley was named Kodak All American. She helped the Wolfpack win ACC season and tournament championships in 1978 and 1980, and she was named ACC Tournament MVP in 1980. She played for the USA Select National Team in 1977 and 1978, and she won gold medals at Pan American Games, Senior Pan American Games and World University Games. In 2012 she was inducted into the NC State Athletics Hall of Fame.
She helped the Wolfpack win the school's first ever ACC women's basketball title in 1979. She became the first player in ACC history to earn four consecutive all-tournament honors. After college, she has been a coach for a number of teams including the Charlotte Sting, the Washington Mystics, Queens College, and Johnson and Wales University.
The NC State Women's Basketball team participates in the first-ever Atlantic Coast Conference Women's Basketball tournament as the top seed. NC State lost in the championship game to Maryland.
The Women's Cross Country team wins the first of back-to-back national championships (1979 and 1980).
Evelyn Reiman, assistant director of student development, sponsors the first NC State Women's Week-- a series of afternoon and evening programs for campus women.
Julie Shea wins the first of two consecutive ACC Athlete of the Year awards, and becomes the first woman to receive the Alumni Athletics trophy at NC State.
Women's Cross Country runner Julie Shea is awarded the Broderick Cup by the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW), as the most outstanding athlete of the year.
Julie Shea Sutton of the Wolfpack's track and cross-country teams became the first female athlete to be named ACC Athlete of the Year. In 2012 she was inducted into the NC State Athletics Hall of Fame.
Ada B. Dalla Pozza becomes the first woman to serve as president of the Faculty Club (now the University Club).
Approximately 8,000 women students are enrolled in a student body of 22,632. More than one third of the undergraduates are women, the highest percentage of women to be enrolled at NC State to that date.
Katherine W. Klein, Associate Professor of Psychology, becomes the first female faculty member to be named an Alumni Distinguished Professor.
Linda Page is one of only seven women at NCSU to have an honored jersey for the Women's Basketball Team. She is one of four players to score over 2000 points during her career. She was inducted into the NC State Athletic Hall of Fame in 2016.
Lee Smith, Assistant Professor of English, becomes the first female faculty member to receive a North Carolina Award, receiving an award in literature.
Sondra L. Kirsch, Associate Professor of Recreation Resources Administration becomes the first woman to chair the NC State Faculty Senate.
Debra W. Stewart was appointed interim dean of the Graduate School, the first female dean and the first woman to serve as dean of the Graduate School. Her appointment became permanent in 1988. She served as dean until 2000.
The degrees are earned by Melinda Hollingshead in August and Cathy Carlson in December.
Elizabeth C. Theil becomes the first woman to receive the Alumni Research Award.
In the fall of 1986, women make up thirty-eight percent of the student body, the highest percentage of women enrolled to that time.
Student Senate charged the Minority Affairs Committee to represent the concerns of African-Americans, Native Americans, women, the disabled, and the gay and lesbian community on campus.
Yarbrough Court, the court surrounded by Holladay, Peele, Leazar, and Watauga Halls, is named after Mary E. Yarbrough, the first women to earn a graduate degree from NC State and one of the first three women to graduate from the university.
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. Susan Nutter retired on 9/30/2017.
The NCSU women's soccer team defeated Erskine College 5-0.
Kaye Gibbons, former NC State student, becomes the NCSU Libraries' first author-in-residence.
Elizabeth C. Theil becomes the first woman at NC State to hold a named professorship, and is honored with the University of North Carolina's O. Max Gardner Award.
Kay Yow, Women's Basketball coach, coaches the winning Women's Basketball team in the 1988 Olympics.
Jennifer Gilmore was the first woman field conductor for the NC State Marching Band.
NC State's first Take Back the Night march and rally was held to protest violence against women. This has been an annual event since.
Christine Grant (Chemical Engineering) becomes the first African American woman faculty member appointed in the College of Engineering.
The Women's Resource Coalition is formed as an outgrowth of the Women Students Advisory Board, organized in the fall of 1988.
Nora Lynn Finch, associate athletics director, is inducted into the Women's Sports Hall of Fame.
The Women's Studies Program is established, with Barbara Risman as its first director.
The first campus-wide newsletter on women's issues, The Newsstand, is published.
The Collection Management Department is established, with Margaret Hunt as its first head. Hunt had been one of the first African-American librarians hired during the 1970s.
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 nontraditional fields such as math, science, and engineering.
The Sista 2 Sistuh Network is established to support African-American women at NC State.
Barbara Parramore became the first female faculty member to receive the Holladay Medal for Excellence.
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.
Margaret A. Zahn, nationally known for her studies on violence in the United States, becomes Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. She serves in the position until 2001.
June Atkinson was awarded an Doctor of Education degree. She later became the first woman to serve as North Carolina Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Katharine Stinson, the first woman to graduate from NC State's School of Engineering, has a street named after her. Katharine Stinson Drive, formerly North Yarbrough Drive, is one of the longest streets on campus.
Chavonda Jacobs-Young was awarded a Ph.D. She had previously earned a Bachelors of Science degree (1989) and Masters of Science degree (1992). She was the first African American woman in the United States to earn a Ph.D. in paper science. She later became associate administrator for national programs for the USDA's Agricultural Research Service.
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)
The Women's Basketball team reaches the Final Four in the NCAA tournament.
Women's Golf is reinstated as a varsity sport. A team was previously fielded from 1980 to 1986.
Peaches Simpkins is named the first female chair of the university's Board of Trustees.
134 NC State athletes are named to the ACC's 50th Anniversary Teams in twenty-one sports.
NC State Track and Field athlete Kristin Price won the individual NCAA championship in the 10,000-meter event. She was a twelve-time All-American in track and cross country.
NC State Women's Basketball coach Kay Yow was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame at a ceremony in Springfield, MA.
The Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) program is established with 56 freshman women with majors in PAMS and the College of Engineering. As of 2009, this "living and learning village" has a full complement of 256 women majoring in five colleges across campus, and a high school chapter has been established at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics.
Susan Nutter is named the Librarian of the Year by Library Journal.
NC State 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 winningest NCAA Division I basketball coach.
Lisa Johnson becomes the first woman to be appointed University Architect.
Student Body President
Cynthia Istook became the first woman appointed full professor in the College of Textiles.
Debbie Yow was the first female Athletics Director. She retired in 2019.
Student Body President
Originally held at the Free Expression Tunnel, this has become an annual event to promote diversity and inclusion on campus.
Breaking gender and race barriers in the sciences, Professor Christine Grant wins 2012 Stanley C. Israel Regional Award
The first Slut Walk on campus was held in the summer of 2012. The walk, a movement first started in Canada, promotes an end to blaming victims of sexual abuse.
Dr. Frances Ligler was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame for her development of portable optical biosensors. The biosensors quickly identify biological warfare agents and pathogens in the food supply, among other applications.
Many NC State students participate 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.
Jackie Gonzalez was the first Latinx person to be voted Student Body President. She and Vice President Mia Connell formed the first woman-of-color team to be elected into the highest Student Government offices.
Alumnus and Astronaut Christina Koch launches to the International Space Station. She is a part of the Expedition 59 and 60 crew. At State, she earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (2001) and a Bachelor of Science in Physics and a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering (2002).