PAS celebrates Homecoming, 10-year Anniversary

The Park Alumni Society marked the 10th anniversary of the program with a gala dinner and homecoming tailgate.

This year marked the tenth anniversary of the Park Scholarships program at NC State. To celebrate, the Park Alumni Society planned a reunion weekend to coincide with Homecoming Weekend.

The festivities kicked off on Friday, Nov. 3, with an open house and reception at the newly renovated and relocated Park offices in Peele Hall. Alumni were able to tour the new space and were treated to milk and cookies with current scholars. Afterward, alumni and scholars walked over to Hillsborough Street for the Homecoming Parade.

The evening was capped with a special gala dinner at the new Dorothy and Roy Park Alumni Center. More than 70 alumni, faculty and friends attended the event, which featured a buffet dinner and a short presentation. There were updates from PAS president Terrell Russell (2000), a history of the program with Dr. Art Padilla, and a forecast for the future from director Laura Lunsford. The evening concluded with sundaes and mingling.

Honorary Park Alumni Award

At the gala, the PAS also awarded the first Park Alumni Society Honorary Park Alumni Award. Established to honor faculty, staff and friends who have made significant contributions to the Park Program or its alumni, the award was proposed by members of the Class of 2005.

This year’s recipient was Dr. Ana Kennedy, one of the Park Faculty Scholars for the Class of 2005. While at NC State, Ana taught in the Foreign Languages and Literature department, mentored several Park students, and led study abroad trips in Spanish. Dr. Walt Wolfram, her co-Faculty Scholar, accepted the award on her behalf.

4th Annual Homecoming Tailgate

Despite the cold weather, more than 35 alumni and friends came out for the fourth annual Park Alumni Homecoming Tailgate on Saturday, Nov. 4. Attendees enjoyed a barbecue meal in a heated tent beside the RBC Center, before heading over to watch the Pack take on Georgia Tech.

During half-time, Park Scholar Casey Coats (2008) was named Leader of the Pack. The $1000 scholarship honors one female and male each year on the basis of scholarship and their leadership and service in the campus community.

Casey, a junior in landscape architecture and music (at Meredith College), helped organize Homecoming activities and served as chair of the Wear Red, Get Fed committee. She is active on campus, volunteering as an Alumni Association Student Ambassador and Wolf Aide and serving on Student Government. She is also president of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and has done study-service projects for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Stop Hunger Now, Raleigh Rescue Mission, Goodwill of Raleigh and Service Raleigh.

While the Pack didn’t win, Park alumni cheered them on through a very chilly night.

Above (l-r): Dan Amerson (2001) and Kim Bloomfield (2002) speak with a current scholar at the Alumni Scholar Reception in Peele Hall; The class of 2005 poses with Dr. Walt Wolfram; Sharene Pierce (2001) and Kim Robertson (2001) trade contact information at the gala; The Homecoming game against Georgia Tech kicks off; Adam Rush (2005) and Meg Andrews (2004) show off their beads at the Homecoming Tailgate; Casey Coats (2008) accepts the Leader of the Pack award during half time.