Local News

Packapalooza celebrates 125 years of Wolfpack pride

Posted August 18, 2012 5:54 p.m. EDT
Updated August 18, 2012 10:12 p.m. EDT

— Students, alumni and fans crowded a Hillsborough Street alive with music, dance and sports demonstrations Saturday to celebrate North Carolina State University's 125th anniversary.

"I can't believe this day is here, but 125 years is certainly something to be proud of," said NCSU Student Body President Andy Walsh. "This event is showcasing what N.C. State is about."

The all-day Packapalooza Street Fair drew thousands like Al and Kathy Warwick who shared a special love of NCSU.

The Warwicks spent the early years of their marriage living in married student housing while Al Warwick attended the university.

"We came here. I wasn't even accepted into N.C. State," Al Warwick recalled. "I talked to a couple of professors. They let me come here for summer school on probation. The rest is history."

NCSU Chancellor Randy Woodson marveled that the student body has expanded from 18,000 when he was an undergraduate.

"We've got 35,000 students on this campus ready to change the world," he said.

Along with the fun and games of the block party, NCSU's 125th anniversary provided a good opportunity to reflect on the influence that large Wolfpack family extends far beyond campus, he said.

"You can expect our institution to work on the problems that the people of this state of North Carolina face," Woodson said. "We've been around a long time, and it's good to take a step back and look at what it took to build an institution of this quality and use it as way to leapfrog to talk about the future."