Wolfpack Traditions

School Colors

The Red and White has represented NC State for many years. However, the original colors for the North Carolina State College of Agricultural and Mechanic Arts (the original name for NC State) were pink and blue, which represented an early literary society on campus. Pink and blue were replaced with brown and white as school colors in September 1895, but only lasted for one football game when the A&M Farmers played against the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Later that year in November, a poll of the student body resulted in the choice of red and white for the school colors, which have remained unchallenged to this day and have been displayed proudly by the school and student body for over 100 years.

Free Expression Tunnel

Since the 1960s, the Free Expression Tunnel has been the University’s answer to combat graffiti on campus. Located on Central Campus, the tunnel connects the two halves of campus split by the railroad track with residential and student life buildings to the South and academic buildings and classrooms to the North.

The Free Expression Tunnel gives students a venue for expressing their thoughts and feelings with civility and respect about anything--from “Happy Birthday” to announcing club and organization meetings. During football and basketball seasons, the tunnel is used to promote upcoming games and friendly rivalries, as well as promote activities and events occurring on campus. The tunnel never looks the same twice, as it is painted daily by various student groups.

Krispy Kreme Challenge

Started in 2004 as a dare between a few students, the Krispy Kreme Challenge not only tests your physical stamina, but also your intestinal fortitude. Competitors run two miles to the nearest Krispy Kreme on Peace Street where they down a dozen doughnuts, and then run back, all in an hour to complete the challenge. Proceeds for the race go to the North Carolina Children's Hospital. Not interested in running, or eating? Participants can sign up as a supporter, casual runner, or volunteer. This February race has quickly become one of the most recognizable traditions at NC State and was featured on Sports Illustrated "102 More Things You Gotta Do Before You Graduate". (The Brick 2011, Student Government)

Howling Cow Ice Cream

Each year, University Dining produces 15,000 to 20,000 gallons of Howling Cow ice cream. It is made with milk from the University's own dairy cows at the Dairy Education Unit at the Lake Wheeler Road Field Laboratory. The ice cream is available by the scoop in 18 flavors at the Talley Student Center and at the Creamery in D.H. Hill library and by the pint in five flavors at all of the C-Stores. In October 2010 Chancellor Randy Woodson unveiled his Chancellor's Choice ice cream flavor, Wolf Tracks, a twist on moose tracks with chocolate, fudge, vanilla, and peanut butter. The Food Science Club also serves Howling Cow ice cream at the North Carolina State Fair. (The Brick 2011, Student Government)

NC State Athletics

NC State University has been competing at the highest level of college athletics for more than a century, as a charter member of both the Southern Conference and, later, the Atlantic Coast Conference. Now, with 23 varsity sports, NC State continues to excel on and off the field. In men’s basketball, the Wolfpack has won two NCAA championships, made three trips to the Final Four and brought home 17 conference championship trophies. It has produced one of college basketball’s greatest players, David Thompson, and introduced the college basketball tradition of cutting down the nets after significant victories.

Football has also had its fair share of success, going to 26 bowl games, beginning with the 1946 Gator Bowl, and winning 11 South Atlantic, Southern and Atlantic Coast Conference championships. Among the 34 football All-Americans are a pair of record-breaking quarterbacks, Roman Gabriel and Philip Rivers, both of whom defined passing offenses in college football.

NC State has been no less groundbreaking in women’s athletics, thanks in part to Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame inductee Kay Yow, a North Carolinian hired in 1975 to initiate women’s basketball, softball and volleyball programs. More than three decades, four ACC titles, one Final Four appearance and one Olympic gold medal later, Yow led the women’s basketball program, maintaining the traditions begun by Coach Everett Case in Reynolds Coliseum. She served the school and courageously fought cancer until her death on January 24, 2009.

NC State athletes have won 29 individual NCAA and AIAW national championships, receiving honors in wrestling, cross country, track & field, golf and swimming and diving. The school has produced Olympic champions in swimming and dominated the sports of men’s and women’s cross country like no other in the ACC.

Most teams compete on the main campus, with a few exceptions. Some off-campus facilities include PNC Arena (men’s basketball); Carter-Finley Stadium (football); and Lonnie Poole Golf Course (men’s and women’s golf).

The Red and White Song

Written by J. Perry Watson, the Red and White Song challenges our favorite opponents and has lyrics and a tune that many Wolfpack fans cannot get out of their heads.

The Red and White Song
We’re the Red and White from State
And we know we are the best.
A hand behind our back,
We can take on all the rest.
Come over the hill, Caroline.
Devils and Deacs stand in line.
The Red and White from NC State.
--- Go State!!