As part of the crucial next step in the College of Engineering’s move to Centennial Campus, the NC State Engineering Foundation has been raising private donations to help fund construction of Engineering Building Oval.*
The new building will be home to the Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering; the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering; and the dean’s administration.
The College received $75 million toward the $154-million project in March 2016 through the Connect NC bond. The College hopes to raise $60 million in private funds to help close the gap. As of now, $25 million in pledges and commitments has been raised.
Meet three NC State alumni who share why they donated toward the new building and why you should consider doing so as well.
Looking for a change in his career, Dr. Marty Dulberg looked to NC State to further his education and expand his understanding of computer science.
“I felt NC State had the best combination of interest in me, resources, and I just felt the most comfortable here,” said Dulberg, who earned his master’s and Ph.D. degrees in computer science from NC State. “One of the things I really liked about coming to NC State was that whenever I wanted to try something as a graduate student, people would tell me that it wasn’t a matter of, ‘well you can’t do that because we don’t have whatever,’ it was always more a matter of ‘okay, how are you going to do this?’ I felt like the faculty were invested in my success.”
While working on his degrees, Dulberg ran the computer programming certificate program for the College’s Engineering Online distance-learning program, teaching as a graduate student and then moving up to director of the certificate program.
Since graduating, he has remained at NC State and is currently the senior coordinator of learning technologies with Distance Education and Learning Technology Applications (DELTA), and the chair of the Learning Management System (LMS) Steering Committee in DELTA. With his work in DELTA, he is responsible for the coordination of the LMS governance structure, policy decisions and working with staff to coordinate tactical changes and implementation details.
Thinking back on his time as a student and where his degrees have taken him, Dulberg feels his NC State degrees prepared him for his career.
“It would have been impossible without it. There was an expectation when I was teaching and running a distance education program that I have a Ph.D. I had to finish my Ph.D. in order to keep my job,” said Dulberg. “With this position at DELTA, having that kind of standing with faculty is very helpful and has trained me to operate at a much higher level intellectually.”
Donating to the new EB Oval Building for Dulberg is a chance for him to help students.
“I believe in the mission of the University and what they’re doing, so this is a way for me to help future generations.”
In giving toward the new building, he has high hopes for how EB Oval will serve NC State.
“I am confident that it will continue to provide the type of facilities that future engineers need and to provide the resources to make it work.”
If you ask Pamela Townsend what initially brought her to Raleigh from West Virginia, the weather was a big draw. “It’s always cloudy in Morgantown, so I was looking for a place to relocate with a nicer climate,” laughed Townsend, who earned her bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 1984, summa cum laude, and her master’s degree in civil engineering in 1987 from NC State.
Due to a recommendation by the department chair in the Civil Engineering Department of West Virginia University, where Townsend was working after high school, she found herself at home at NC State.
After graduating, she went on to hold several positions over 24 years with AECOM, a publicly traded A/E firm, including senior vice president, southern states district general manager. That was followed by taking on the role of senior vice president for southeast region strategic planning with Dewberry, a family-owned firm. Today, she is a senior vice president for WSP (formerly Parsons Brinckerhoff), one of the world’s leading engineering and professional services firms, including responsibility for the southeast region operations.
Thinking back on how her degrees from NC State have helped in her life and career, Townsend feels they were a major asset.
“The training throughout my undergraduate and graduate programs taught me how to objectively analyze, problem solve and never give up. This training has served me well through my professional career and tackling life’s challenges.”
Townsend’s connection to her alma mater runs deep. She is currently on the NC State Board of Visitors, has served on the advisory board for CCEE and the NC State Engineering Foundation board of directors, and previously chaired the Paul Zia Lecture committee. So, when the opportunity arose for Townsend and her husband, Bill Jenkins, an NC State College of Sciences 1979 grad, to donate toward EB Oval, they felt it was time.
“Although I have fond memories of Mann Hall, state-of-the-practice training and testing facilities are needed to develop our engineers of the future,” said Townsend. “It is important to Bill and me that we give back to our profession.”
With hopes of attracting the top students and professors to the College and University, Townsend and Jenkins are optimistic for the future and the training of new engineers to help solve the grand challenges facing humanity.
“Many of the world’s challenges today can be solved by engineers. Donating will help to further ensure that NC State remains one of the best colleges of engineering — a major driver of economic development and innovation in the state and country.”
*[Editor’s Note: The Engineering Building Oval (EB Oval) was renamed Fitts-Woolard Hall on April 20, 2018, at the groundbreaking ceremony.]