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Filling the gap

Fitts-Woolard Hall Aerial Shot (, 8/2019)

The College needs your help to complete Fitts-Woolard Hall

Lead with a Gift

Donors who support the College’s Fitts-Woolard Hall project receive recognition and exclusive benefits as part of their important gift. Along with recognition in this iconic new engineering building, members will receive regular insider updates on the construction and will be invited to exclusive events, including hard hat tours of the space and the building dedication.

Cornerstone Society

For gifts beginning at $100,000, your name will be permanently associated with the space of your choosing, and your gift will be recognized in a central location in Fitts-Woolard Hall along with a special recognition biography and photo.

Dean’s Oval Club

For gifts of $50,000 to $99,999, you will receive permanent recognition with a donor profile in a central location in Fitts-Woolard Hall.

Dean’s Young Alumni Oval Club

For gifts of $25,000 over five years by young alumni up to 15 years after graduation, you will receive permanent recognition with a donor profile in a central location in Fitts-Woolard Hall.

Get Involved

Contact Erica Fuller with the NC State Engineering Foundation at or 919.515.9958 to learn more about how you can contribute to the fundraising effort or help host an informational event.

Relocating the College of Engineering to NC State’s Centennial Campus has been a University priority for years, and by 2010, six of the its nine academic departments had made the move. A fourth engineering building seemed just over the horizon.

But with a shift in the long-established state funding model for university facilities and the effects of a recession that began in 2008, plans for a fourth building were delayed.

So, the College took a bold step, making a commitment to help finance construction of the fourth building through private fundraising, a new model for North Carolina but one that NC State would need to adopt to further its academic mission.

“It was imperative that we carry on with this momentum,” said Dr. Louis Martin-Vega, dean of the College. “To reach our full potential as a preeminent public college of engineering, we needed to continue the process of unifying on Centennial so that we could take advantage of everything that the campus has to offer.”

Today, construction of Fitts-Woolard Hall is going full steam ahead. The future home of the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering (CCEE); the Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE); and the dean’s administrative offices is on track to open in summer 2020. Thanks to generous commitments from more than 300 alumni donors, the College has fulfilled 80 percent of its commitment of $60 million.

But there is still a fundraising gap of $11.7 million to fill. Now, more than ever, those who have benefitted from the College’s research, education and extension programs are being asked to help ensure that NC State Engineering remains strong for decades to come.

“Our alumni and friends have risen to the occasion, accepting the challenge of securing private support to fill the gap between what public funding alone could accomplish and realizing the dream of the next engineering building,” said Griffin Lamb, assistant dean for development and college relations and director of the NC State Engineering Foundation. “The finish line is in sight, but we still need the help of the collective engineering community. Every gift counts and puts us one step closer to our goal.”

Engineering on Display

The $154 million project received $75 million from the voters of North Carolina through a 2016 bond referendum. The NC Legislature provided $2 million and the University is providing $17 million. The fundraising effort received a substantial boost when industrial engineering alumni Edward P. Fitts and Edgar S. Woolard made a transformative $25 million gift to support it. The University broke ground on Fitts-Woolard Hall and named it for the two donors in April 2018.

Fitts-Woolard Hall will allow ISE and CCEE to move out of buildings that are more than 50 years old and leave behind the constraints of limited space and outdated facilities. Students and faculty members will take advantage of a uniquely collaborative environment, where leading companies share real estate with classrooms and lab spaces and the beneficial collisions that result can lead to groundbreaking ideas.

Fitts-Woolard Hall was designed by architecture and engineering firm Clark Nexsen with “engineering on display” as a theme. The building will showcase the two departments’ labs to give visitors a glimpse of research being conducted in areas of great societal impact including additive manufacturing, smart infrastructure and environmental engineering. The building’s location on the south side of Centennial’s Engineering Oval next to the Hunt Library will make it a prominent through point and put engineering achievements front and center.

The building should be ready for occupancy in July 2020, with a goal of having both departments moved in when the fall 2020 semester begins.

Making an Investment

Meeting its fundraising obligation will allow the College to continue to grow and improve in a fiscally sustainable way. Having to borrow to meet that obligation means debt service that would take money from scholarships and programs that enhance the educational experience for students.

The College has created three exclusive giving societies (see sidebar) that offer donors insider access to the project. Tours of the facility are planned for Friday, November 8, 2019, during homecoming festivities. The Engineering Foundation is continuing its information sessions on the building across the state, with upcoming events planned in Greensboro and Charlotte.

NC State Engineering research is improving lives both at home and abroad and helping to drive the state’s economy. Engineering students engage in hands-on educational experiences that prepare them for work in industry, entrepreneurship and leadership, giving them a solid foundation for future success.

The College has made tremendous strides in the last decade, growing its research, elevating its national prominence and improving its recruitment of the most-sought-after students and faculty members. Fitts-Woolard Hall is the next step in that progression and is part of a $250-million investment by the College that will continue that upward trajectory in an environment in which no peer colleges of engineering are standing still.

“Support for Fitts-Woolard Hall represents an investment in NC State and in our College of Engineering,” Martin-Vega said. “With your help, the College will continue to grow, continue to achieve and continue to make our alumni and friends proud.”

Return to contents or download the Fall/Winter 2019 NC State Engineering magazine (PDF, 2.3MB).

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