2022 in Review
Reflecting on another year spent together as a Wolfpack, we couldn’t be more proud of what our students, faculty, staff and alumni have accomplished. Over the last 12 months, you’ve innovated, instructed, learned, led — and proven once again why our university ranks among the nation’s finest.
See a few highlights from NC State’s 2022.
Our Wolfpack Won National Acclaim
We’ve vaulted more than 30 spots on the annual U.S. News & World Report rankings in the last decade; this year, they placed NC State among the top 30 public universities in the country. In 2022, we also had three graduate programs in the top 10 nationally: veterinary medicine, nuclear engineering, and biological and agricultural engineering.
Forbes listed us at No. 23 among public schools nationwide — and they also surveyed 60,000 employees across the country before declaring NC State the No. 1 large employer in North Carolina. For the fifth year running, our research and development expenditures topped half a billion dollars, and more than a dozen new companies got their start here in 2022 alone.
And then there are the individual awards and honors collected by the NC State community. Our students earned Goldwater, Boren and Fulbright scholarships this year, while our faculty picked up awards for everything from chemical and biomolecular engineering to poetry and teaching. NC State also had multiple inductees into the National Inventors’ Hall of Fame.
We Said Goodbye to Our Graduates …
Nothing makes us more delighted than seeing our students graduate and thrive beyond our campus (even though saying goodbye never gets any easier). This year, we awarded more degrees than in 2021. On May 8, more than 6,100 spring 2022 graduates turned their tassels at the PNC Arena, earning a total of 6,494 degrees. On Dec. 17, NC State awarded 3,653 degrees to 3,508 fall 2022 graduates, up from about 3,400 fall graduates in 2021.
All told, we’re graduating more students each year than at any time in our university’s history — all while boasting a six-year graduation rate that’s 21 percentage points higher than the national average.
Before embarking on their next chapters, this year’s graduates heard some words of wisdom from their fellow alumni — Mohamad L. Mansour, an internationally renowned entrepreneur and philanthropist, and Chavonda Jacobs-Young, the chief scientist and under secretary for research, education and economics for the U.S. Department of Agriculture — at the spring and fall commencement ceremonies, respectively.
… And Welcomed Our Largest-Ever Incoming Class
The Wolfpack is growing, and we couldn’t be more excited. This year, we received a record number of almost 40,000 first-year and transfer student applications and welcomed 5,601 new students — the largest and most diverse class in NC State history.
About 30 percent of the newest members of the Wolfpack are people of color, more than half are women and nearly 19 percent are first-generation students, proving once again that NC State is a college for all.
We’re proud to draw the best and brightest students from all over. Our fall 2022 incoming class includes students from 98 North Carolina counties, 43 U.S. states and 41 countries.
We Soaked Up Campus Through the Seasons
Winter, spring, summer or fall — it’s a joy to be part of the Pack through every season. Our campus home experienced all the best North Carolina has to offer this year, from January’s snow showers to April’s dogwood blossoms to November’s golden ginkgo trees. (If you know, you know.)
As the seasons changed, we captured moments in time and collected them for you. Take a walk through the stories and photos.
Our Research Crossed Disciplines
Year after year, our research endeavors tackle complex challenges across the globe. With a focus on equity and interdisciplinarity, our research spanned both natural and technological fields.
Here in North Carolina, we launched the “Bradford Pear Bounty” program alongside state agencies. When residents cut down their invasive Bradford pear trees, we gave them a native tree to replace it. Our Plant Sciences Building opened its doors, making North Carolina one of the world’s premier hubs for research and innovation in agriculture.
Twenty-five hundred miles away, we joined the International Galapagos Science Consortium. By solidifying our dedication to studying and preserving the famed archipelago, we’re building upon our evolutionary and veterinary medicine research.
Our research continues to invest in local communities and our society. Using artificial intelligence, our researchers predicted extensive flood damage in the continental United States. They found a high probability of flood damage for more than 1 million square miles of land over 14 years — more than 790,000 square miles greater than flood risk zones identified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The nonprofit Heartland Forward ranked NC State second among all U.S. public universities in research technology transfer and commercialization and second among universities — public and private — without medical schools. It ranked NC State seventh among all U.S. universities.
We Scored More Big Wins Than Ever Before
It was a year of unprecedented success for the NC State Athletics, with women’s basketball winning its first regular-season conference title in 32 years and achieving an ACC Tournament three-peat, and the Pack wrestling team racking up its fourth-straight conference title. That was March. By June, the Wolfpack had collected more NCAA championship hardware than any time in school history, posting back-to-back top-25 finishes in the Directors’ Cup for the first time ever. And it all began this time last year, when the women’s cross country team took home NC State’s first national championship since 1983.
Then there was the double-overtime football rivalry win against the Tar Heels in the fall — twinned with victory off the field in the Pantry Bowl, as Wolfpack fans combined for 1,128 gifts to combat food insecurity. (There’s always next year, Drake.)
We also made sure to highlight special athletics moments and memories throughout 2022 — from the ”Bengals raised by wolves” starring in Superbowl LVI to an ESPN series about ACC men’s basketball (co-produced by former Wolfpack guard Dereck Whittenburg) to the legend of the victory barrel.
We Celebrated Iconic Anniversaries and Inclusion Milestones
This year, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of Talley Student Union, a major NC State landmark. The building’s evolutionary journey since its inception as the University Student Center has only elevated its importance as a centerpiece of our campus.
We commemorated 10 years of the Division of Academic and Student Affairs, which has nurtured holistic success for our students since the pioneering merger of NC State’s academic affairs and student services functions in 2012.
We also marked two anniversaries that affirm our commitment to fostering a more diverse and inclusive Pack, with the 50th anniversary of Title IX and the 30th anniversary of the Nubian Message both coming in 2022. Passed by Congress as part of the Education Amendments of 1972, Title IX remains an essential safeguard ensuring all members of the Wolfpack have opportunities to succeed, regardless of gender or gender identity. The Nubian Message continues to offer a vital outlet for Black voices across our campus, as it has since its launch in 1992.
We Raised a Glass to Wolfpack Wine and Cheese-Rolling
We toasted the launch of three NC State licensed wines this year — the second limited-edition wine in the Hallowed Places Collection, along with Wolfpack Red and Wolfpack White. The wines are produced by Shelton Vineyards as part of our ongoing partnership with North Carolina wineries, which also includes research and extension projects. Developing the wines even provided hands-on experiences to students — the labels were designed by College of Design students Carter Avayou and Josh Garrett. A portion of each purchase helps fund student scholarships, so you can feel extra good about bringing a bottle along to all your holiday celebrations.
The release of the new wines paired perfectly with our favorite cheese-related news of the year: We will never stop talking about alumna Abby Lampe’s astonishing victory in the Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake, held near Gloucester, England. Before her win in June, we had no idea we could be this excited about someone throwing themself down a hill to chase after an eight-pound wheel of cheese. Lampe (Industrial and Systems Engineering ‘22) traveled to England over the summer for the express purpose of entering the race — and woke up the next morning to discover that she was an international viral sensation.
Your Gifts Lifted Up Students and Enhanced Programs
This year, our Wolfpack continued to dedicate itself to helping NC State students in need. On Day of Giving, generous supporters united to make a record of 14,533 gifts and raise more than $23 million. These donors gave to a variety of funds that help students afford tuition and books, participate in research and internships and care for their physical and mental health.
Our supporters have also bolstered diverse programs throughout the university. Pat and Jerry ’67 Collier gave a planned gift that will give scholarships to up to 100 military-connected undergraduate and graduate students each year. The John M. Belk Endowment is investing $25 million to advance the College of Education’s Belk Center for Community College Leadership and Research, which fosters exceptional community college leaders and advances equitable college access and student success. And alumni Gayle and Dwain Lanier gave $250,000 to improve the Wolfpack women’s basketball’s locker room — the single largest gift ever made to the program.
We Shared Your Story Across NC State’s Social Media
So much happens over a year at NC State, from research awards and academic accomplishments to game day wins and graduation ceremonies. But we’ve got a soft spot for the small vignettes, too — those first flower buds outside of Reynolds that told you campus was finally thawing, the extra-big scoop of Howling Cow that really hit the spot, that amazing sunset you happened to catch while studying in the bookstacks.
All year long, we told those stories — big and small — across NC State’s social media channels. You’ll find snapshots from some of our most-loved Instagram posts for 2022 below.
Our Wolfpack’s next chapter is just a few weeks away. Follow along with us on social media to ensure you won’t miss a thing in 2023.
This post was originally published in NC State News.