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From the Dean

Dean David Hinks

By Susan Fandel


This is a very exciting time of year as we welcome our new students this week. The Class of 2022 is one of our largest ever with 186 freshmen. We are also excited to be welcoming 25 transfer students and 67 graduate students!

With the new students and all the hopes and aspirations that they bring, this is a good time to reflect on our deep and strong connections and the impact that the College of Textiles has had on NC State’s successful journey and indeed on the economic vitality of our great state.

Connectedness is one of the six core values our College staff and faculty established in 2015. We define it in our College Strategic Plan as “engaging with our present while honoring our past to ensure a successful future by continuously strengthening partnerships to advance education, research and the textile industry”.

Textiles has been woven into the fabric of NC State for 119 years. The first textiles faculty member hired was in 1899; the School of Textiles was established in 1925; and the College of Textiles was formed by the University under the leadership of our fifth dean, Dr. Dame Hamby, on November 25 1987, more than 30 years ago. The current strength of the College is due to the hard work and creativity of talented and creative College leaders, faculty and staff members, students, passionate alumni and our North Carolina Textile Foundation (NCTF). Our current faculty and staff members are standing on the shoulders of dedicated and impactful predecessors who have afforded us a huge opportunity and responsibility: to realize the potential to take textiles’ impact to the next level. And we are.

In this edition of our newsletter, we highlight tremendous faculty members who have been honored at the highest levels for their achievements in supporting the success of the College and the University: the NC State recipient of the highest faculty award for teaching awarded by the University of North Carolina System; our first female distinguished professor; and not one, but two recipients of the highest faculty award at NC State, the Holladay Medal. I am so very proud of our faculty’s accomplishments and grateful for their commitment to our success.

We also highlight the impact of our partnerships with industry as seen through a VF Foundation gift to support top graduate students; the hundreds of industry partners that cross our threshold to engage with our Zeis Textiles Extension department; and our highly successful career fair (to be held on Sept. 26) that brings scores of companies seeking new talent. All of these achievements are enabled by the NCTF, whose sole mission is to raise funds in support of the College.

Chancellor Woodson rightly states that with strong state support we are a very good university, but when coupled with private support we can be an extraordinary university. Two years ago, we had a record fundraising year and last year we broke the record again with over $4.1 million in gifts and pledges. This included very generous gifts from many of our staff and faculty, which is a wonderful demonstration of the commitment and passion that our College team has for ensuring the success of our students. This year, we aim to smash our fundraising record yet again to help us secure our global reputation as the premier academic, research and service-focused textiles institution.

As Chancellor Woodson also states, it’s not about the money, it’s about what the money enables us to do. On behalf of the entire College of Textiles, I thank all our donors and commit to investing every dollar to ensure our College is able to make an extraordinary impact, especially in preparing the next generation of leaders of industry and society. Go Pack!

David Hinks, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Textiles
Cone Mills Professor of Textile Chemistry