Service is part of NC State’s DNA. Since 1889, when the university began helping farmers with soil and agriculture problems, NC State has focused on practical ways to give back to the community. Today the university is a national leader in community service.
In 2012, NC State earned a presidential award for its commitment to volunteering and civic engagement, joining just four other U.S. universities at the top of the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.
NC State students, faculty and staff performed 330,000 hours of community service in the last academic year, boxing 1 million school lunches, donating nearly 3,000 pints of blood to the Red Cross and raising more than half a million dollars for charity.
NC State’s efforts set the highest standards for innovative, effective service.
The student-led Krispy Kreme Challenge is a perfect example. Started in 2004 as a dare among a few students, the annual race tests not only physical stamina but also intestinal fortitude. Competitors run more than two miles to the nearest Krispy Kreme store, where they down a dozen doughnuts — and then they run back, all in an hour.
The competition has raised $374,000 for the North Carolina Children’s Hospital and provides the single largest donation from a nonprofit to the hospital each year.
A remarkable range of service projects are in progress at any given time at NC State. A typical week finds NC State students providing literacy training in a local elementary school, running a recreational program for the children of deployed soldiers, and organizing a trip to a rural Mexican village to deliver donated clothing and school supplies.
“Serving others is an important part of the NC State experience,” says Michael Giancola, director of the Center for Student Leadership, Ethics and Public Service. “We realize that when we work together in partnership with others, there is nothing we can’t accomplish.”