Engineering dean’s chair endowed with Goodnight Foundation gift
The College of Engineering has announced a transformational gift from two long-term philanthropic leaders that will endow the engineering dean’s chair.
The Louis Martin-Vega Dean’s Chair Endowment at the College of Engineering was created through a gift from the Goodnight Educational Foundation under the direction of Dr. Jim and Mrs. Ann Goodnight.
NC State’s College of Veterinary Medicine has also recently announced the Randall B. Terry, Jr. College of Veterinary Medicine Dean’s Chair Endowment, established with a gift from the R.B. Terry Charitable Foundation. These gifts bring the total endowed deanships at NC State to three, the first being the Stephen P. Zelnak Jr. Dean’s Chair in the Poole College of Management.
“We are so grateful for all that the Goodnight Educational Foundation, the Goodnights and the R.B. Terry Foundation have done at NC State,” Chancellor Randy Woodson said. “Their incredible generosity is a reflection of the truly extraordinary work happening at the College of Engineering and the College of Veterinary Medicine — and throughout our university.”
The Goodnights are NC State alumni and served as co-chairs of the recently concluded Think and Do the Extraordinary Campaign. Jim Goodnight — the founder and CEO of SAS — earned his B.S. in applied mathematics in 1965, and his M.S. and doctorate in statistics in 1968 and 1972, respectively, and the university conferred an honorary degree to him in 2002. Ann Goodnight earned her B.A. in political science in 1968, works as the senior director of community relations at SAS and serves on the North Carolina State University Board of Trustees.
The Goodnights’ commitment to faculty excellence has included increased support for faculty funds and the creation of 28 named, endowed faculty positions, including the dean’s chair.
The Louis Martin-Vega Dean’s Chair Endowment is named in honor of the College of Engineering’s current dean, who has served in the role since 2006.
“I am deeply humbled and honored to have my name associated with this position and grateful for the Goodnights’ continued generous philanthropy and leadership in support of NC State,” Martin-Vega said. “This endowed position will afford future deans a vital tool for pursuing their priorities related to research, teaching and programmatic needs that may not be covered through other revenue sources.”
The gift comes on the heels of the announcement of a new state legislative initiative, Engineering North Carolina’s Future, which will provide NC State with $20 million over the next two years to hire additional faculty and staff and $30 million for facility upgrades, with the aim of supporting the growing student body and the university as a whole. The initiative is tied to plans to expand student enrollment in the College of Engineering from around 10,000 to 14,000 over the next five years.
“Under Dean Martin-Vega’s leadership, the College of Engineering has continued an incredible upward trajectory,” Woodson said. “The demand for an engineering degree from NC State has never been higher, and this deanship, in conjunction with the Engineering North Carolina’s Future project, puts us in the position to meet that demand and fuel our state’s technology economy.”
Martin-Vega came to NC State in 2006 after spending five years as dean of engineering at the University of South Florida. He has also held several prestigious positions at NSF, including acting head of its Engineering Directorate and director of NSF’s Division of Design, Manufacture and Industrial Innovation. Additionally, he has served as chairman of the Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering at Lehigh University and Lockheed Professor in the College of Engineering at Florida Institute of Technology. He has also held tenured faculty positions at the University of Florida and the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez. He is the author or co-author of more than 100 journal articles, book chapters and other publications and has made more than 200 keynote and related presentations at national and international forums.
He was elected as a member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) in 2021. In 2011, he was inducted into the Hispanic Engineering National Achievement Hall of Fame for his commitment to college education and the promotion of diversity. A Fellow of AAAS, IISE, and SME he is also a past President of ASEE and has held several prestigious positions at NSF including Acting Head of its Engineering Directorate.
A Critical Moment
In addition to housing North Carolina’s flagship engineering program, NC State is also home to one of the country’s top veterinary medicine colleges.
The CVM has enjoyed a longstanding partnership with the R.B. Terry Charitable Foundation, which was formed by the late Randall B. Terry, Jr. Terry became a veterinary hospital client and supporter of the college in 1998, and eventually served as president of the North Carolina Veterinary Medicine Foundation. In addition to helping raise $10 million in the CVM’s first campaign, he personally funded challenge grants and student scholarships. Collectively, the foundation and Terry have given more than $62 million to the college.
The Randall B. Terry, Jr. College of Veterinary Medicine Dean’s Chair builds on the foundation’s significant investments in the CVM, which have included multiple faculty positions, research support, additional scholarships and the creation of the Randall B. Terry, Jr. Companion Animal Veterinary Medical Center with the NC State Veterinary Hospital in 2005.
The foundation’s dean’s chair gift comes at a critical moment, as former dean Paul Lunn recently concluded his tenure. Interim dean Kathryn Meurs begins her term on Jan. 18, 2022.
Resources from endowed deanships will enhance teaching, learning and research across each college by providing the flexibility to direct support where it is most needed.
The two deanship gifts helped conclude NC State’s five-year, comprehensive Think and Do the Extraordinary Campaign, which ended Dec. 31, 2021. In addition to increasing scholarships, enhancing programs and funding building renovations and new construction, donor support from the Campaign more than doubled the number of NC State faculty holding endowed positions.
For more information about the Campaign’s ongoing impact, visit campaign.ncsu.edu.