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Pullen Society Welcomes New Members

On April 27, NC State honored 53 individuals and couples as the newest members of its R. Stanhope Pullen Society.

The Pullen Society recognizes those who follow in the footsteps of NC State’s first planned giving donor by making a deferred gift through their estate. R. Stanhope Pullen’s bequest to the university included the 62 acres that would become NC State’s campus. Now in its 25th year, the society began with 173 charter members and has grown to over 1,500.

The Pullen Society’s annual luncheon was held in Talley Student Union, and Walt Wolfram, the William C. Friday Distinguished University Professor in NC State’s Department of English, served as the featured speaker. Wolfram is a pioneer of research in social and ethnic dialects and has published more than 300 articles and over 20 books, including Talkin’ Tar Heel: Voices of North Carolina. He also recently released a documentary focused on African-American speech called Talking Black in America: The Story of African American Language.

Wolfram’s presentation celebrated North Carolina’s rich language diversity, from the Outer Banks to the mountains—and demonstrated how holding a distinguished professorship enhances research and teaching opportunities.

“One of the key aspects of cultivating outstanding students is high-quality faculty,” said Chancellor Randy Woodson. Bolstering the number of endowed and named professorship positions like Wolfram’s is a key priority of the Think and Do the Extraordinary Campaign.

This year’s Pullen Society inductees included members of NC State’s faculty and staff, as well as alumni and friends. Their gifts will shape NC State’s future by supporting scholarships, study abroad opportunities, research, NCSU libraries and programmatic initiatives. The chancellor and Vice Chancellor for University Advancement Brian Sischo personally welcomed the 32 new members in attendance.

“Whether you are an alumnus, friend, faculty or staff member, your choice to invest in our university through your estate plans, life income gifts and other deferred gifts illustrates our think and do spirit,” said Jim Broschart, the associate vice chancellor for University Development.

As of February 2018, Pullen Society members have contributed over $300 million toward the Think and Do the Extraordinary Campaign—almost 25 percent of the campaign’s $1.26 billion total.

“We are all here because we are dedicated to building a stronger university,” said Sischo. “That’s what the Think and Do the Extraordinary Campaign is all about. The commitments you all have made to the university are critical to this effort and ensuring NC State is at the forefront of innovation and achieving our land grant mission for generations to come.”