at expanded tailgate event
If horses are your fascination, then College Connection2000 was the place to be on September 16. The day unfolded with the Royal Thunder Percheron hitch team at the fairgrounds and was capped off with the Southern Methodist University Mustangs as they took on the Wolfpack on the Carter-Finley Stadium field.
The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ annual tailgate event was expanded this year to become College Connection2000 — offering even more entertainment options for returning alumni and friends, all under a warehouse-size tent at the N.C. State Fairgrounds.
The festivities began with a reception to promote awareness of the November 7 university/community college building bond issue, authorized for voter consideration by the North Carolina General Assembly. Passage would provide the capital funding to meet enrollment growth and enable the university system to address a backlog of repair and renovation needs.
N.C. State University Chancellor Marye Anne Fox, speaking at the reception, got to the point immediately. “We need this bond referendum if we are to move forward as an institution,” she said. “We have got to get the message out. In order to fulfill our mission to provide access and opportunity to the students who will undergird the state’s economy in the next century, we must pull together. The statewide bond issue is the future of education in North Carolina”
At the reception, an exhibit detailed the College-related projects that would benefit from the bond’s passage, with the message, “There is a need; there is an answer; there is a choice. The choice is yours — November 7.”
Other Connection2000 exhibits showcased the College’s 22 departments’ research, teaching and extension activities. A popular spot was the interactive sport fishing simulator, part of the display from the Eastern 4-H Environmental Education Conference Center and the Betsy-Jeff Penn 4-H Educational Center. Here, visitors could grab a rod and reel and experience the actual pull of landing the big fish shown thrashing against a line on a video screen. Nearby, the Entomology Department presented a unique “petting zoo,” where Dr. Ron Kuhr invited visitors to hold bright blue tobacco horn worms and huge cockroaches. And Memory Lane offered a nostalgic stroll through a display of archival copies of the Agromeck and the Technician.
After the tailgate meal, guests were treated to a choice of post-main-event options: either head across the road to the football game (where the Wolfpack shut out the Mustangs 41-0) or stick around under the tent where a DJ played favorites well into the night.