NC State University has come a long way in terms of diversity since its first graduating class in 1893. Students today come from all over the world and represent a variety of ethnicities, races, sexual orientations, religions and socioeconomic backgrounds. The 34,000+ student body is comprised of students from all 100 North Carolina counties, 52 states and territories and 119 foreign countries.
Since my arrival at NC State University, I have expressed my desire to see this outstanding university soar to new heights. One way that we can begin doing this is through a collective effort to embrace diversity on our campus. As a land-grant university with a mission to develop future global leaders, one of our first priorities should be to create a campus environment that is conducive to innovation and groundbreaking research. We must create an atmosphere where individuals experience educational freedom and are comfortable learning and exploring. In order for this to be achieved, it is absolutely necessary for us at NC State to understand the importance of diversity and the role it plays in our lives. In this constantly changing world, new cultural boundaries are constantly broadening; new ways of thinking emerging; and new ideas unfolding. However, it is no longer enough to simply recognize these things. We must now fully embrace them with open arms. In order to achieve our university goals and to prepare students for the global workplace that awaits them after leaving NC State, we must create a campus climate and overall sense of global awareness that encourages and embraces all forms of diversity. We must remain committed to the collective pursuit of excellence through acceptance of both individuals and ideas that may be different than our own, for these are the items that will continue to move this outstanding institution forward. Here at the people’s university, we welcome all people regardless of ethnicity, race, national origin, age, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background, religion or disability. While these may be things we choose to identify ourselves as, they do not define us. Instead, we choose to be defined by our excellence and our commitment to growth. Because diversity is what makes our lives richer and gives us the chance to advance our university, NC State will continue striving to be more diverse in hopes of creating a culture that values empathy, respect, tolerance and equality for all. In doing this, we hope to serve as pioneers in a much larger way, paving the road for a more diverse and inclusive world – both at home and abroad. Chancellor W. Randolph Woodson July 12, 2010