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Alumni Stars Part Two:

My first post regarding the Alumni Association’s Evening of Stars was so long it was a little overwhelming.  I don’t want to overwhelm anyone — just entertain and inform — so I’ve broken the original post in half.  Part two follows.

And be on the lookout for tomorrow’s N&O feature on the new NC State Chancellor’s Residence.

78 of 100  — yes I’m goig to count it.  It has been very busy lately:-)

Butch Blanchard:

Life is an amazing journey!  I am honored to be included among the high achievers recognized here tonight.  Perhaps my selection is more based on variety, persistence, and longevity, than upon singular achievement, rather like the Long Leaf Pine.

The Forestry Foundation has afforded me the opportunity to work in the support of the College of Natural Resources for student scholarships and other needs, and with special alumni who bring positive changes. The Foundation entrusted me for 23 years with the development, nurture, and growth of the world-unique Hofmann Forest, which became an asset of all-time highest value.

But life is really about PEOPLE.  I was proudest at a scholarship dinner when I counted 26 undergraduate and graduate scholarships funded from Hofmann Forest receipts.  I have benefited from knowing all 6 deans of the College – Eric Ellwood, Larry Tombaugh, and Bob Brown are here tonight.

The Development officers of the Foundation have been friends and co-workers – Ben Chilton and David Ashcraft.  And special Faculty members offered friendship and support through the years – Bob Kellison and Art Cooper.

Two other influences to be mentioned:  My wife, Peggy, who supports my various endeavors, and the huge benefit of being part of a Christian faith community.

A heartfelt THANK YOU! to the selection committee who made this night possible for me.

I would like to share a quote that has inspired me through the years. The quote was placed with a photograph of Dr. J.V. Hofmann, our first forestry dean, by Dr. W.D. Miller, author of a book of the first 40-years history of the Hofmann Forest:

“The measure of a man is the height of his ideals, the depth of his convictions, and the breadth of his interests and sympathies.”  This gives us all something to think about.  Thank you.

Dr. Cathy Sigal:

Good evening.  I want to thank Dean Solomon, the PAMS College, and the Alumni Association for this award, which I receive with deep gratitude.  My years at NC State are some of my fondest memories, filled with learning, summer internships, wonderful mentors, and friendships that will last a lifetime.  I would like to take a moment to touch on some of the highlights and express why it is such a priority for me to give back to the University.

Most importantly, you can’t put a price tag on teaching and mentorship.  In my case, I had many superb mentors in the Chemistry Department, starting with Dr. Forrest Hentz who taught my freshman chemistry 101 class; during my sophomore year, I was given the opportunity to work over the summer in Dr. Bordner’s lab on a synthetic organic chemistry project; and in my junior and senior years, I had the opportunity to teach freshman chemistry labs.  As an NC State Fellow, I benefitted from the mentorship of Dr. Gerald Hawkins, who was the driving force behind this incredible program.  The Fellows Program, now called the Caldwell Fellows Program, immensely enhanced my college experience through learning retreats and summer internships.

And now it seems I have come full circle by coming back to NC State to serve on the PAMS Foundation Board.  This experience has been a keen reminder of the central, vital importance of alumni participation in creating scholarships for students.  I have also become aware of the crucial role of alumni donations in providing general support for development efforts, allowing each College to enhance organizational capacity and pursue targets of opportunity.  These efforts ultimately result in the raising of more funds to support the College and its students.

So I’ll end here, and thank you again for this great honor.

David Holt:

When I left Chattanooga, TN to come to North Carolina State University, all I thought about was getting to college where my father, Bryce Holt, could not find out what I was doing.  Well I was wrong about him even caring what I was doing, as he was as glad to get me out of the house, as I was to leave.

Arriving alone on a campus filled with thousands of students, and not quite sure what I was supposed to do for lunch or how to get rid of my assigned nerdy roommate, I decided to stop by the College of Textiles that let me into this fine University in the first place.   As I cautiously walked the echoing floors of Nelson Hall, this crazy looking man stopped me, and asked me if I needed help.  His name was Robbie Robinson, and Robbie turned out not only to be my advisor, but quickly understood the gravity of his understatement about asking me if I needed any help.

What I learned about the College of Textiles my first year, and the balance of my four and a half years, was that the College of Textiles was and is a special place to learn and grow.  The Textile school is a tightly knit, finely woven, fabric of students and professors that care about every fiber that make up the student body and the school.

Both my parents and I were happy that I graduated from the College having a job where you did not have scotch with your breakfast.  What I quickly found out was that I was better prepared to handle my job than many of my non College of Textiles peers. The school had taught me how to learn and had created a desire in me to challenge myself and grow.         Over the years, those skills have enabled me to successfully adapt to the changes in the industry, with my career now focused on recycling nylon waste into products for the plastics industry.

Over the years, I have been very involved with the North Carolina Textile Foundation, the fund raising arm of the school. With an endowment of close to $30 Million, I am proud of how the Foundation has grown and the impact it continues to have on students, faculty, and the facilities.

I am fortunate to be involved with the College of Textiles, and the one thing that I know to be a fact is that a school is only as good as its Dean.  Our past Dean, Bob Barnhart and current Dean, Blan Godfrey, have been the perfect leaders to transition our school from the old world of textiles to the new and exciting world of textiles.  Our College is exploding with new technology, new labs, new professors, and new corporate partnerships under Blan’s leadership.

The College of Textiles is a wonderful and exciting place to learn, grow, and challenge the future, and I am honored and proud to receive the alumnus of year award from the College of Textiles.

Thank you.

Dr. Krista La Perle:

This is such a tremendous distinction and I first want to thank the Alumni Association; Dr. Sonja Steelman-Szymeczek, my classmate, friend and nominator; Dr. Ed Smallwood, our large animal anatomy professor who keeps us connected as Director of Alumni relations; and Acting Dean David Bristol for honoring me as the 2009 Distinguished Alumna for the College of Veterinary Medicine. It is truly humbling to be considered in the company of the other current and former award recipients. For me, this award is like the chocolate icing on the chocolate cake! I am so fortunate because I love my chosen career, one that was first introduced to me while in undergrad here, and then extensively nurtured by many during veterinary school. It is fun to go to “work” each day knowing that it holds new lesions and projects to advance the One Health Initiative, as well as new students to introduce to a fulfilling career in veterinary medicine and pathology. There are so many people, many of them here at NC State, who have had a mentoring influence in my life that there is no way to identify them all, but hopefully they know who they are. I especially want to acknowledge my parents, who join me here this evening from Vermont. They have made many sacrifices over the years to facilitate this journey that I get to be on, so my successes are their successes. I can’t thank them enough for their positive influence, and unconditional love and friendship. Special thanks as well to the support of the life-long friends I made at NC State who are here tonight to share in this celebration with me. Thank you again for this honor and enjoy the rest of the evening.

Bob Kennel:

I am deeply, and truly, honored by this award. In my two minute response there are just two subjects I would like to comment upon.

I knew Ronnie Shavlik in school. Back in 1954-1955, he was an All-American upperclassman, and I was a freshman scrub. Yet he had a combined courtesy and enthusiasm to teammates and competitors alike that showed the fine man he became. It is a thrill to have my name associated with his.

I have shared with the Shavlik family this picture drawn by famed sports cartoonist Bill Ballard. He did these special editions each year before the ACC Basketball Tournaments. This particular year 1956 he featured

Ronnie Shavlik and his broken wrist (the golden nivicular bone) in a barroom silhouette.  The rest of the league didn’t know which wrist was broken, and the cartoon reflected the highest respect that all in the

ACC had for him.

For me, this is as fine an honor as I could ever hope to receive, and I want to thank the Shavlik Family and the Wolfpack Club for my selection. Knowing the previous persons so chosen, it is indeed honored company.

I love NC State with a bright and  ongoing passion. As the first member of my family to ever go to college, NC State gave me an education, an encouragement, and an identity of which I could be proud. In athletics, I played under five coaches who are in the NC Sports Hall of Fame (Edwards, Brubaker, Sorrell, Case, Bubas), and I had two outstanding Nuclear Engineering mentors in undergrad and graduate school in Drs. Raymond Murray and Wes Doggett. That’s a great underpinning!!

Sports have always been important to me as well as academics. There are still some things I want to do for NC State including  coordinating  the current BASE (Beyond Academic Support Excellence) program between the Varsity Club under the Wolfpack Club and the Academic Support Program for Student Athletes under the Provost. We seek the support of all former NC State athletes to become involved in academics, mentoring,  and sportsmanship with current athletes. It is a slow cultural change.

Again, I want to thank you all for making me a very proud and happy person in this special way. And thank you for inviting my family who have also provided a great underpinning. Those here tonight are my wife Elaine of 47 years; daughter Phyllis Kennel UNC-G graduate who is on research staff at Duke; daughter Susan Bull an NC State veterinarian in Asheville; son Phil Kennel an NC State architect in the Triangle; daughter Robin Miller an ASU graduate on staff at Meredith;  plus several outlaws in Kathy Kennel an NC State graduate in Ag and Life Science Development; and Dr. Jeff Miller a WVU graduate doing stem cell research at the NC State Vet School. Finally my much younger UNC-G sister Jennie Adams who has just been named to the Gymnastics Hall of Fame.

Life is Indeed Good !!!

God Bless.”

Billy Maddalon:

“Thank all of you for your kind words and support this evening.  I would particularly like to thank just a few individuals who have supported, inspired, challenged and me over the years, making my service to NC State possible.

First, I would like to recognize Dr. Abe Holtzman, professor Emeritus of Political Science, who passed away last week.  Abe was my advisor, my mentor, my adversary and my reality check.  I chose State over Carolina in large part because of what he had to say to me during a campus visit my senior year of high school.  From there, he pushed me to get involved in everything on campus, from my fraternity to student government to the scholars program to the Legislative Internship program.

Years later I ran into him at an event for CHASS in this very room, where he told me that he had read that I was the president-elect of the Alumni Association.  I assured him that it would not have been possible without his mentoring over the years.  He responded with his typical (and brutal) wit:  “Well, just don’t screw it up and embarrass us both!”  I told him I would do my best and I trust he was proud in the end.  He was a renaissance man.

Second, I would like to thank Perry Safran.  Around 1996 or so Perry contacted me and asked if I would be willing to serve on the CHASS Board of Advisors.  I wasn’t even 30 years old yet and had no clue what that was but I didn’t want to admit it.  Perry seemed to sense my cluelessness and gave me a full run down of what I was being asked to do.  I agreed to serve.  That was the beginning of my life-long service to NC State.  Perry would later ask me to serve on a search committee to find a new Dean of CHASS, where we were lucky enough to find Linda Brady.  I’ll never forget a conversation we had at DH Hill Library, right before we were to interview the candidates.  I asked Perry why he had asked me, from among so many other qualified people on our board, to serve on the search.  I’ll never forget his answer:  “You get it and you’ve got it”.  Now, notwithstanding the fact that I wasn’t sure what “it” was, I was sure it was a compliment and it was confirmation that my talents and skill-set could be beneficial to NC State.  So thank you Perry, for believing in me, those many years ago.

I also want to thank my family.  My father and business partner Mark always encouraged me to “go do it” whenever State asked me to serve.  Without him covering the fort for me all those many days I was away, I would have turned out to either be a very bad volunteer or a bankrupt entrepreneur.  So thank you Mark, for always encouraging me to go for it and working harder than you had to make it possible.  And many thanks go to my spouse Brooks and son Jed, for all the many nights I spent away in Raleigh.  I missed school events, dinners, projects and almost always got home later than I said I would.  You never complained and you always told me how important my work in Raleigh was.  I couldn’t have done it without your love and support.

Finally, thank you to the MANY people in this room whom I didn’t have time to mention tonight.  While I am humbled to be receiving this very nice token of your appreciation, I want to assure you that my life is richer because of the time we’ve spent together and I’m certain I got more out of it than I put in, despite my best efforts.

Thank you again!

Dr. Carlton Blalock:

First, I’d like to introduce those who are here with me tonight to share this occasion.

From the day it was chartered in 1887 as The North Carolina College of Agricultual and Mechanical Arts it was charged with improving the lives of the citizens of this state,a charge unlike that given to any other institution of higher learning in North Carolina. It became the peoples University. Because of this, all of us have been grateful recipients of what it has  offered and our lives have  been better for it.

Almost  from birth, my life has been positively impacted by N. C. State. My mother was a member of her beloved Extension Homemake r Club,  for almost 70 years. It was her college degree. My father worked with the local County Extension Agents and  Specialists in applying the latest technology on our farm. Early on we added livestock to our row crop agriculture,enabling us to avoid some of the booms  and busts that inevitably comes with almost  total dependenc e on a single commodity  As soon as I turned 9,   I joined the local 4-H Club. Later I attended State 4-H Club Week on the campus of N C State, which reaffirmed for me that that was where I wanted to continue my education.

During my 31 years on the faculty, I was fortunate to work with some of the finest people in the world and I owe much of whatever success I may have had to them. So, each of you share in this recognition. . I loved my job. Partly because of the wonderful co-workers  and partly because I felt I was helping the University fulfill its mission of helping people  live  more fulfilling and productive lives .

I want to thank the Alumni Association for this award . As I look around at the other awardees and read of their accomplishments, I’m humbled to be on the same stage with them. I hope to be able to continue my support  for this great institution that has meant so much to me, my family and all the citizens of this state. Thank you.

Parker Overton:

Thank you, Thank you,   If it were not for a dog that I took in as a stray, I wouldn’t be standing here tonight.

Also, if it were not for a lady by the name of Chandy Christian, I would not be standing here before you.

Seventeen years ago, I had a sick dog that could not be treated at home by my local vet so he sent me here to NC STATE.

A few months later I received a phone call from Chandy asking if she could come meet me in Greenville.  She invited me to be on the NC State Vet Foundation Board on which I have served for 16 years.

Four years ago, I was elected President of the Foundation.  Usually that person serves for one year.  For some reason, they kept me for three.  It reminded me of the preacher who wanted to know how he was chosen by his Church.  The Deacon said,

“We really didn’t want a preacher, and you were the nearest nothing we could get.”  So, the next three years get very interesting.

Dean of the Vet School, Dr. Oscar Fletcher retired,  Chandy resigned and moved out of the State.  We had a new Dean join us by the name of Warwick Arden.  He was from Chicago via Australia.   He couldn’t understand my accent and I couldn ’t understand his.   But we made a good team and for the last several months Warwick has been the Acting Provost of the University.  During this time, many of us worked hard to obtain the funding for the new Randall B. Terry Small Animal Hospital.  I would like to thank my friends,  Senator Marc Basnight,  Representative Arthur Williams for their help in making Randall Terry’s dream come true and taking the North Carolina State Veterinary School to being the envy of any school in the Nation.

I received a call a few months back from Lawrence Davenport telling me how I had been honored by the University. I literally couldn’t reply to him. I called him back the next day to say thanks again and I had to hang up the phone.

I called my wife Becky, who was out of town at the time and told her. “I need to tell you something, first of all, I am ok, but I need to tell you this” I couldn’t talk.

I cannot stand here tonight and recognize all the people one by one that I need to.  If I do someone is going to be left out.

Therefore, if you are associated with the Veterinary School,  please stand so I can show you off.  THANK YOU.   I love you all.

I have a lot I would love to say tonight, but there is not enough time. There is enough time to say, I am deeply honored by what you have done for me. I accept this Honor on behalf of all my friends at the Veterinary School and on behalf of all my four-legged friends across the state.



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