The 19 students who made up NC State’s first graduating class in 1893 were much more alike than different. Mostly young, male, white and working class, they differed only in the fields of study they pursued. Even then, the choices were limited: 14 completed coursework in engineering, and the other five earned degrees in agriculture.
Today, NC State students thrive in a culture that celebrates diversity on a campus that offers degrees in more than 270 disciplines. NC State welcomes students and faculty from a rich variety of backgrounds; here you might meet a first-generation American who spent much of his childhood in the Middle East or the daughter of Chinese immigrants who grew up in New York City.
It’s exactly the kind of environment that fosters collaboration and innovation. Here are just a few examples from this past year.
In June, students in three fields joined forces to wow the entertainment industry. English major Tim Reavis, business major Josh Bielick and design student Nicholas Sailer shared top honors at the Campus MovieFest International Grand Finale in Hollywood. Their touching film, The Strong One, captured awards for best picture and best director and went on to screen at the Cannes Film Festival.
In May, President Obama recognized doctoral computer science student Sina Bahram as one of 14 “Champions of Change” at a White House ceremony. Bahram’s research focuses on improving interactions between users and technology — a field that is particularly meaningful for Bahram, who is blind.
The composition of this year’s incoming freshman class points to continued excellence in the years to come. The freshmen of fall 2012 are the most academically strong in NC State’s history, with average SAT scores above 1,200. More than half were in the top 10 percent of their high school graduating class. Students like these guarantee that NC State will continue blazing trails in every field they touch.