NCSU alumni earn visit

Published 8:02 pm Monday, February 20, 2012

The call went out last year from the North Carolina State University Alumni Association — a request for each alumni network to increase their membership by 10 percent. When the numbers came in, Lalla Sidbury and Paige Harris had increased the Beaufort County network membership by 76 percent — far above and beyond the goal.

The two network leaders’ work for recruiting local alumni earned a visit from NCSU’s new chancellor, Dr. William R. “Randy” Woodson, who will make that visit to Washington this Friday.

“We increased our membership by 76 percent,” said Harris. “As a thank you to the Beaufort County alumni network, Chancellor Woodson is coming to give a personal thank you.”

A reception for Woodson will take place from 3:30 until 5 p.m. Friday at the N.C. Estuarium and is open to the public. Woodson will be discussing NCSU’s corporate partnerships that create millions of dollars in revenue for the state every year, according to Harris.

“N.C. State does a lot of partnering with corporations,” continued Harris. “(Woodson) is here trying to create more of those relationships in our area.”

One of those corporate partners, PotashCorp of Aurora, is sponsoring Friday’s reception.

“We’ve had a long  established relationship (with NCSU) and we just see this as a natural extension of that,” said Ray McKeithan, PotashCorp of Aurora’s manager of public affairs and governmental affairs.

According to McKeithan, many of PotashCorp’s employees — engineers and chemists — are graduates of N.C. State, and  the company welcomes Woodson and NCSU’s outreach to eastern North Carolina.

Woodson, who has a doctorate in horticulture, came to NCSU last year from Purdue University, where he served as the executive vice president for academic affairs and as provost.

“He’s always served at land grant institutions, so he was a perfect fit for N.C. State,” said Harris, who went on to describe the chancellor as being approachable and “down to earth.”

Registration is required for Friday’s event at the N.C. Estuarium, though it is free and open to residents of Beaufort, Hyde, Martin and Pamlico counties. A private oyster roast for NCSU alumni will be held later the same evening.

To register for Friday’s events, call Paige Harris at 252-945-5748.