Proud NC State experience

I just wanted to take a quick moment to share a personal experience that I had on Monday morning at the annual “Breakfast of Champions” for the Boys and Girls Club of Raleigh at the Raleigh Convention Center.

As always, this was a ‘first class’ event and served as a great opportunity to support one of the stronger and more credible charitable organizations in our region. The keynote speaker at the event was none other than our own Debbie Yow.

Debbie’s NC State contingent included: her husband; Chancellor Randy Woodson; Bobby Purcell from the Wolfpack Club; and a few other folks whom I refuse to mention. The NC State Marching Band was in attendance playing all of the usual favorites.

Two things really stood out for me at the event:

(1) The general presence and overall feeling of “NC State” was very present and impressive. This is very hard to convey into words – but, the combination of the band, the spirit, the red and the professionalism of the NC State group created a general vibe in the room just ‘felt right.’

(2) Debbie’s comments were fantastic. You must realize that the topic of this event was not to talk about NC State athletics, or college athletics, or even athletics at all. Surely, there is some overlap between activities and successes of young, underprivileged children in the Boys and Girls Clubs evolving and matriculating up through athletics careers. But, this was a charity event with a keynote speaker who needed to deliver an appropriate message for the situation.

So, Yow’s comments took a very business-like direction that were outside of her conventional speaking engagements. After discussing charity and some specifics of how much money given by Americans each year, Debbie then launched into a very personal story about someone who gained significant value from their boys club experience — ultimately revealing it was her husband. I couldn’t help but be impressed with her (a) understanding of the tone of the room and (b) ability to deliver such a strong and appropriate message from a place that was not her day to day experience.

In short, she was fantastic!! And, fantastic on a stage that is not her sweet spot but is very important to our University in general — the greater Raleigh business and charity community. This wasn’t just some ‘local Wolfpackers’ getting together to chum it up; this was a gathering of some of the most important companies in the Triangle who all paid big dollars for sponsorship tables.

Unfortunately, while enjoying the moment, I also couldn’t help but allow my mind to drift and imagine the nightmare and embarrassment that could’ve/would’ve ensued if the ‘last guy’ had been invited to give the keynote. While experiencing this nightmare, I also couldn’t help but note a lesson sitting right in front of my face — a few of the prominent Wolfpackers in the room on Monday morning have been equally as ‘prominent’ over the last 20+ years. And, when the ‘last guy’ was around they were just as happy to be dignitaries in the room without ever exercising any leadership or responsibility to make a change from the last bozo to a real leader like Debbie. Yet, here they are lapping up the spotlight and the positive glow that she is creating but never would’ve existed if SOMEONE (Chancellor Woodson and some Board members) hadn’t finally found their way to Raleigh.

The overall ethos of the spirit and climate created in that room on Monday morning was very polished, professional and beneficial for NC State University. I just thought you might like to know.

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Debbie Yow NC State Administration

17 Responses to Proud NC State experience

  1. LRM 10/24/2012 at 4:40 PM #

    Yow is great.

    All we’ve ever wanted is someone to lead us, someone who knows that to most of us North Carolina State University is something far more indelible than a brand.

  2. Virginia Wolf 10/24/2012 at 4:46 PM #

    This is good to hear! Thanks for sharing! We are grateful to have DY and pray she will be with us for a long time. Also grateful, the last guy is gone!

  3. oceanman 10/24/2012 at 5:30 PM #

    It should be obvious to any knowledgable person that the state’s true flagship university is moored between Hillsborough Street and Western Blvd in Raleigh NC. It is not self proclaimed. It just is! It is “Our State”!!!! God bless NC State University and God bless the leaders who guide the university and this Great State.

  4. doug 10/24/2012 at 5:35 PM #

    I am not a NC State grad but one of my younger brothers is. I grew up a State fan beginning with David Thompson . I have never given up hope and still remember every game in 1983 . I have never given to the University other than tickets and purchasing STATE items. If I wanted to contribute more to STATE where should I start? Proud fan in west TN.

  5. Virginia Wolf 10/24/2012 at 7:06 PM #

    Doug, Start with the Wolfpack Club. That would help support N.C. State Athletics. It would also benefit you in getting better seats at athletic events. Welcome the family!

  6. Aceman 10/24/2012 at 7:31 PM #

    I have continued to be impressed with the work Dr. Woodson and Dr. Yow continue to do for the image and stature of the university. Your story was the final straw that drove me to write our good chancellor an email thanking him for his work. Thank you.

  7. greywolfsixtyfive 10/24/2012 at 7:47 PM #

    I was completely surprised to hear her reveal that the person whom she spoke of was in fact her husband. There were a couple of tear jerker moments, Levelle Moton’s story as well.

  8. coach13 10/24/2012 at 7:56 PM #

    NCSU leadership displaying class, making the fans and alum proud.
    UNC leadership sill floundering and makinig excuses and embarassing theirs.

  9. ADVENTUROO 10/24/2012 at 8:02 PM #

    I admit that I had misgivings about Debbie Yow. There were a couple of situations where I expressed my concerns and also voiced a contrary opinion. Dr. Woodson treated my comments with respect….they were professional in my tone and not personal. After his response, I also received a personal email from Debbie and she told me that she was always open to criticism and would listen to any side of a situation.

    From there, I have emailed her on occassion and developed a great admiration for her managerial talent and her enthusiasm for NC State. I think she is the perfect person for the job and that we are very fortunate to have her.

    Over the years, when things were going good or bad, I have commented and offered support. She has responded with compassion and appreciation.

    I am solidly in her corner. I also feel the same way about Dr. Woodson. I have met him on several occassions and had an opportunity to have a one-on-one with him for a few minutes on the Charter to St. Louis this spring.

    He is very charming and down-to-earth and will forward an email to a department head or assist if there is something that needs attention.

    They are a phenominal team….really a synergistic relationship.

  10. TheCOWDOG 10/24/2012 at 8:24 PM #

    SF…nice message. Thanks.

    Says a little about yourself by being there, too.

    Tip O’ the Cap.

  11. 66pack 10/25/2012 at 9:08 AM #

    SF,thanks for sharing this event with us.

  12. old13 10/25/2012 at 9:23 AM #

    Ditto. I’m continually amazed at what those two have brought to NCSU, not just in athletics, but overall in every aspect. And they continue to expand those improvements and betterments for Our University. A new day certainly dawned when they came to NCSU. It’s like a dark cloud lifted and the sun came out!

  13. Southbeachstyle 10/25/2012 at 10:29 AM #

    Great article! And especially great to hear that DY is representing us so well, even outside of NC State-centric events.

    No need though to go back and kick a dead horse (last 2 paragraphs). Time to move on from that and celebrate the present and future.

  14. howlie 10/25/2012 at 1:04 PM #

    [head banging echo from 5 years back:]”Does the Athletic Director really make any difference or have any impact concerning wins and losses of any particular sports program?”[/head banging echo from 5 years back:]

  15. tjfoose1 10/25/2012 at 1:47 PM #

    “No need though to go back and kick a dead horse (last 2 paragraphs). Time to move on from that and celebrate the present and future.”

    I disagree. I think it IS important, and I do not consider it kicking a dead horse.

    We need to constantly remind ourselves of where we were, what we accepted and what we didn’t do for so long to keep us there… And what we finally did to get where we are today. If many of our “leaders” had had their way, we would still be there.

    ” The general presence and overall feeling of ‘NC State'” has dramatically changed since the arrival of Woodson and Yow. It is not by accident. It doesn’t happen by itself.

    Excellence isn’t easy. It’s not a destination to be reached, it’s a standard to be lived. Every single day.

  16. tjfoose1 10/25/2012 at 1:48 PM #

    “Does the Athletic Director really make any difference or have any impact concerning wins and losses of any particular sports program?”

    Our community actually asked that question?

  17. blpack 10/25/2012 at 1:58 PM #

    TJ – yep, every single day.
    We are lucky to have leadership in place finally. Long live the Wolfpack Reign.

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