Katelyn Thomas, a rising senior agricultural business management major and economics minor at NC State University, doesn’t remember a time when she wasn’t surrounded by tractors, crops and fields.
“The average American is five generations removed from the farm or agriculture,” she said. “I am proud to say that I am the opposite of this statistic.”
Thomas, a Lee County native, told members of the university’s R. Stanhope Pullen Society about her life and the program that made it possible for her to come to NC State, during the group’s annual luncheon and induction ceremony on April 29 at Talley Student Union.
The Pullen Society recognizes individuals who are securing NC State’s future through deferred gifts such as charitable remainder trusts, gift annuities, life insurance and will bequests.
Created in 1993 with 173 charter members, the Pullen Society now has more than 1,300 members — including 48 inducted during this year’s luncheon. The society’s namesake donated the original 62 acres for the development of NC State’s campus.
At the event, Thomas told Pullen Society members about the initial heartbreak of not being offered admission to NC State as a prospective student. She then explained how the privately funded Student Transfer Enrollment Advising and Mentoring (STEAM) program made it possible for her to enter the university as a sophomore.
The STEAM program provides an alternate path to admission for students from rural North Carolina communities who are interested in agriculture-related majors.
I will never be able to show how truly grateful I am for the opportunities you create for students like me. I cannot wait to make my mark on North Carolina agriculture.
The luncheon focused on NC State’s contributions to food solutions and featured cooking demonstrations from Mark Turner, NC State’s executive chef, and Gerry Fong, executive catering chef at the Park Alumni Center.
Chancellor Randy Woodson, who hosted the event, highlighted recent faculty and student achievements at the university and said NC State is a leader in so many fields due in large part to the ongoing support of alumni and friends — including those in the Pullen Society.
“We are creating knowledge that will affect people here at home and around the world for generations,” he said. “Generous private support — for scholarships, professorships, programs and other priorities — makes our university’s continued success possible.”
Masich Named New Executive Director of Gift Planning
David Masich is the new executive director of Gift Planning at NC State University. He comes to the university from the College of Charleston, where spent the past 10 years creating, building and leading the gift planning program. David was recognized as the 2013 Fundraising Professional of the Year by the Association of Fundraising Professionals – Lowcountry Chapter. A Winston-Salem native, David holds a bachelor’s degree from Emory University, a law degree from Wake Forest University and a master’s degree from Columbia International University.