North Carolina State Alumnus Dedicates Engineering Lab in Honor of His Professor
The Fitts-Woolard Hall is the latest addition to the campus of North Carolina State University. The 225,000 square foot building houses the College of Engineering’s Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering; the Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE); cutting-edge laboratories; administrative offices; and more than 100 classrooms.
The construction of Fitts-Woolard Hall was made possible by a unique public-private partnership. Half of the $153 million needed for the building was provided by public funds, thanks to a bond referendum passed by North Carolina voters in 2016, while NC State secured the remaining funding through private philanthropy.
One example of the alumni support involved in this project is the new Smith Lab, named by industrial engineering alumnus, CTE President and CEO and NC State Board of Trustees Vice Chair Ed I. Weisiger Jr. (Alpha Omega–North Carolina State ’79) in honor of ISE Senior Lecturer and Assistant Head Emeritus Clarence Smith Jr. ’69, ’83. Smith said he believes this unexpected gesture speaks to the kindness of his former pupil.
“I am an NC State graduate and was on faculty at NC State for 32 years,” Smith said. “I taught and advised more than 4,000 students [during that time]. Ed was one of the first students I taught. When I found out about the gift, I called Ed to thank him, and I got very emotional. I still get very emotional.
“It’s such an honor,” he added. “I believe the Smith Lab is the only lab in the building, thus far, named for a former faculty member.”