From the Dean
By Susan Fandel
On November 2, we had tremendous privilege to announce that Textiles alumnus Frederick “Fred” Eugene Wilson Jr. (textile chemistry ’61) and his family committed $28 million to the College of Textiles — and in honor of their generosity — NC State University now has its second named college, the Wilson College of Textiles!
This gift represents an extraordinary moment in Wolfpack history. It will ensure NC State and North Carolina remain the home of the United States textiles industry for generations to come, providing for significant and long-term impact in so many ways, including enhancing how we:
- Connect students with new opportunities
- Invest in award-winning faculty who will conduct life-changing and life-saving research
- Upgrade campus facilities used by students, faculty and industry partners
- Educate and mentor the leaders of tomorrow
The Wilson family boasts three generations of NC State Textiles alumni: Fred; his son Frederick “Rick” Eugene Wilson III (’87); his daughter Elizabeth Creswell “Cres” Wilson Calabrese (’89); and Fred’s grandson and Rick’s son, Frederick “Rede” Eugene Wilson IV (’16). Their connection and commitment to the college as well as to our great state run deep; all four work for their family-owned and -operated High Point-based company, Piedmont Chemical Industries, which was started 80 years ago. They understand the challenges our industry has faced. They understand the need to adapt and innovate and have chosen, through this gift, to honor the unique role Wilson College has and will continue to play as we catalyze the advancement of the resurgent U.S. textiles industry for decades to come. I invite you to read more about the Wilsons in this edition of the newsletter.
You will also meet Dr. Byoungho “Ellie” Jin, our new Albert Myers Distinguished Professor in Textile Economics and Management, and the members of the Dean’s Young Alumni Leadership Council, a group of remarkable recent graduates helping to shape the NC State Wilson College of Textiles as they give back to their alma mater. Read about research stemming from the Max Weaver Dye Library and the success of two Textiles students who competed in the Graduate School’s annual Three Minute Thesis Competition. Spoiler alert: they swept first and second place!
As we enter a season of gratitude, I want to share my thanks.
For more than a century, our interdisciplinary faculty and staff have remained steadfast in their commitment to advancing the textiles industry, to educating a workforce of bold leaders and to supporting the communities that we call home. Thank you!
Each day our amazing students demonstrate what it means to Think and Do as they bring creativity, adaptability and critical thinking skills to their classes, projects and research. On behalf of our faculty and staff, thank you!
To our outstanding alumni – who for the first time in our 119-year history number more than 10,000, you are our living brand. In your professions and in your communities, you represent the Wilson College of Textiles in extraordinary fashion, helping us secure our reputation as the global leader in textile innovation. Thank you!
The remarkable North Carolina Textile Foundation has played a pivotal role as our College has evolved and innovated. For 76 years, the NCTF has been the bridge to textile industry and alumni support that allowed college leaders, faculty and staff to double down through challenging years, recruit and retain world-class faculty in emerging areas and anticipate what would be needed next to help Wilson College and its students succeed. To past and present NCTF presidents, directors and staff, thank you!
Finally, I offer my deep and sincere thanks to the Wilson Family for their generosity–and to Fred Wilson–for having the vision to solidify the Wilson College of Textiles as the global leader and innovator in textiles in perpetuity. This extraordinary gift will elevate the value of a textiles degree for our current students and every member of our alumni family.
There is so much more we can accomplish together. We have a huge opportunity and responsibility: to realize our potential to take textiles’ impact to new heights, catalyze economic vitality, and enrich and protect lives while solving grand challenges for our great state, the nation and the world.
I wish you and your families a happy holiday season and peace and joy in 2019.
David Hinks, Ph.D.
Dean, Wilson College of Textiles
Cone Mills Distinguished Professor of Textile Chemistry