Celebrating Black alumni
After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering, Gayle Lanier worked to ensure NC State students could pursue their dreams as she did. Along with her husband, she established the Dwain K. and Gayle S. Lanier Scholarship endowments to help under-represented students from North Carolina study engineering.
Her devotion to NC State and its students didn’t stop there. She continued to fund scholarship programs, gave the College of Engineering’s keynote address in 2005, served on the NC State Board of Trustees for eight years and, in 2017, became the first Industrial and Systems Engineering alumna to receive the Watauga Medal — NC State’s highest nonacademic honor.
“NC State has been wonderful in providing me with the fundamentals to be successful in my career,” Lanier said at the time. “Giving back has been solely out of my love for this university, its faculty and staff, and most importantly, the students it serves.”
Lanier worked her way up in the business field, retiring from Duke Energy as senior vice president and chief customer officer. Earlier, she was vice president of corporate services at Progress Energy and vice president and general manager at Nortel Knowledge Services. Chancellor Randy Woodson praised her advocacy for NC State students and the university itself in the industry.