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N.C. State

Wilson College of Textiles leaders share exciting updates at Town Hall

Posted August 4, 2021


By Devin Steele


The N.C. State Wilson College of Textiles today hosted a Textile Alumni and Friends Town Hall featuring Dean David Hinks; North Carolina Textile Foundation (NCTF) Executive Director Michael Ward; Dr. Karen Leonas, professor of Textile Sciences, in the Department of Textile and Apparel, Technology and Management; and Melissa Sharp, associate director of the Zeis Textile Extension.


Dr. Hinks reviewed Wilson College’s activities, noting that in the 2020-21 academic year, 300 undergraduate, 51 master’s and 25 doctoral degrees were conferred, which is “something to celebrate, especially during COVID-19,” he said. And while data collection is still underway, 64% of May 2021 graduates have been successfully placed so far, he added.


Among several other success stories, Hinks shared information about Wilson College establishing a 2+2 program with Gaston College and Catawba Valley Community College. Through the program, textile bachelor’s degree programs will be offered to students in a unique format – two years at the community college and the last two years at N.C. State’s Wilson College of Textiles.


Ward reported that two Days of Giving in the past fiscal year drove the NCTF’s donor base to 1,256 contributors. “This has been a fantastic year for the foundation under such unprecedented, difficult times that we’re all experiencing,” he said. “We raised nearly $6 million in the fiscal year, which was another high mark for the foundation. We exceeded our dollars from the previous year by $1.2 million. So our philanthropy, impact and reach continue to grow, which ultimately impacts our students and the dean and our faculty and the things they want to accomplish.”

Additionally, endowments have surpassed the $80 million mark, he noted. “We’ve had great investment returns, in addition to a philanthropic impact with our endowment. So we’re on a very rapid path for a $100 million endowment, which is a goal of our teams. We thank everyone for your support, especially during these times.”


Dr. Leonas provided an update on an intensive research project covering “Sustainability Through the Supply Chain.”


And Sharp offered insights into the Zeis Extension, which provides such services as professional training, Lean Six Sigma training and education, eLearning, testing and fabrication services through the ZTE labs and academic and industry conference services.


Sharp also noted that tours of the Wilson College of Textiles will be offered to attendees of Techtextil North America in Raleigh, N.C., August 23-25, and are by appointment only due to COVID restrictions. If you would like a tour, please email Sharp here.


A recording of the event is available here.

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