Doug Morton earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, construction option, from NC State in 1983 and joined the Navy.
Thirteen years later, Cameron Smith did the same thing.
The two, who never met as members of the Navy’s Civil Engineer Corps, are working together to oversee construction of EB Oval. Morton is the University’s associate vice chancellor for facilities, while Smith is the senior director of capital project management.
“It’s really an interesting coincidence,” Morton, who finished his Navy career as its director of energy and environmental readiness, said. “Our paths are similar. To show up at the same spot here — both of us NC State grads, both of us Navy veterans.”
This is our home. We know what it was like to live and study in Mann Hall. There’s a care factor there that you can’t just go out and buy.
The associate vice chancellor position came open the day Morton retired, he said. He applied immediately.
“I went into the Navy directly out of NC State, and I stayed 33 years,” Morton, who has been in the vice chancellor position since November, said. “Then I came right back.”
The pair’s work overseeing construction and facilities management on Navy bases is remarkably similar to their work at NC State. Just like a base, a college campus has dormitories, dining halls, power stations and health clinics.
“We’d build a hanger instead of an athletic building,” Smith, who spent more than a decade on Navy active duty and active reserve before coming to work for the University a decade ago, said.
While there are several campus construction projects in the works for Morton and Smith to oversee, they are paying close attention to and are particularly excited about EB Oval, the new home of the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering.
“This is our home,” Morton said. “We know what it was like to live and study in Mann Hall. There’s a care factor there that you can’t just go out and buy.”