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Extraordinary Difference: Ryan Unger

Ryan Unger smiling to the camera in front of wolfpack themed art.

On Dec. 31, 2021, NC State’s five-year Think and Do the Extraordinary Campaign came to an incredibly successful close. Alumni, friends, employees and more helped propel the university well past its goal of $1.6 billion for a grand total of $2,103,932,120. These new funds will help drive NC State’s land-grant mission of creating economic, societal and intellectual prosperity for all, by both reaffirming its commitment to broad educational opportunity and powering its cutting-edge, hands-on innovation as North Carolina’s leading science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) university.

Ryan Unger ’20 is one of the many Pack members who have been benefited by this historic fundraising effort. As an RA, Unger was always helping others, but when COVID-19 sent students home in March 2020, he found himself in need of help. After graduating, Unger made a gift to the same fund that he had benefited from, bringing his story full circle as part of the Think and Do the Extraordinary Campaign.

“When I was told that I would be getting help, I didn’t believe it,” Unger said. “It had been months since I had had any semblance of financial or housing security, so I sat in shock for a few minutes on a friend’s couch just trying to let go of all the anxiety that had been building up since I’d lost my room at North Hall.

”With the financial shock eased,” he added, “I had more energy to finish my classes and graduate in May — a task that had been pushed to the back of my mind in the chaos of the pandemic.”

To read more stories of campaign success, visit our Think and Do the Extraordinary page.