For Carolyn Whitehurst, some of her fondest memories of working at NC State for 25 years include meeting some of the university’s best-known athletes.
When Whitehurst worked at NC State Bookstores, she met a bunch of NC State star athletes, including basketball players Spud Webb and Nate McMillan.
But those memories might pale in comparison to the ones Whitehurst will have after she attends the Quarter Century Club breakfast at the chancellor’s residence on Nov. 1.
Whitehurst and 75 other NC State staff members have been invited to the annual breakfast. The purpose of the breakfast is to honor staff members who have accrued 25 years of state service.
“I think it’s a very nice gesture,” said Whitehurst, who currently works in Campus Enterprises as an administrative assistant. “To me, it shows appreciation for the work that you have done.”
The honorees will meet Chancellor Randy Woodson as well as NC State deans and vice chancellors. The employees being recognized at the event can bring a spouse or another loved one to the breakfast.
“Susan and I always look forward to hosting the Quarter Century Club breakfast,” Woodson said. “Getting to connect with employees who have made NC State and the state of North Carolina their home for the last 25 years is truly an honor. Seeing their love for the university and dedication to their work is inspiring.”
The breakfast is a celebratory recognition of the employees’ commitment to the university and the state of North Carolina, and of their contributions to NC State’s mission, said Britt Hurst, NC State’s Employee Recognition and Wellness Program manager.
“Twenty-five years is a long time in terms of staying with one employer,” she said. “I think the chancellor’s personal recognition speaks to how much NC State values its employees.”
For Joanna Carroll, a medical technologist at the NC State Veterinary Hospital, the breakfast falls on the day she’ll be celebrating the 25th anniversary of her first day at NC State.
“I feel very honored,” she said. “I wasn’t expecting this. I appreciate that they are recognizing the years of service.”
Carroll said it has been a joy to work at NC State, and the main reason she has stayed here for 25 years is her amazing co-workers.
“We just really have a good team,” she said. “We get along well. We are like a big family. I’ve just had no desire to go anywhere else.”
Carroll has spent her entire career at NC State working in the Clinical Pathology Lab at the veterinary hospital. She said another reason she has remained at NC State is she is proud to work at the hospital and be part of one of the top veterinary training programs in the country.
“We have faculty and clinicians here that have done groundbreaking work that has not been done anywhere else in the country,” Carroll said. “Our infectious disease department is just amazing. It just feels really great to be part of all that.”
Carroll and the other honorees will receive a special award: a brick from University Plaza with a plaque attached to it. The plaque displays the honoree’s name and years of service.
The Facilities Division saves loose bricks from the plaza so they can be turned into commemorative awards for the honorees.
The plaza, widely known as the Brickyard, is made of more than 500,000 red and white bricks. The Brickyard is a popular campus gathering spot for celebrations, rallies, protests, concerts and special events.
“The bricks are a big deal because the Brickyard is hallowed ground for NC State.” Hurst said. “Employees love them, and it’s a unique way for us to give a piece of the university back to them.”