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From the board

The NC State Engineering Foundation (NCSEF) was established in 1944 to aid and promote, by financial assistance and otherwise, engineering education and research at NC State. A board of directors made up of alumni and friends of the College of Engineering works with the College’s development staff and the dean of engineering to set the Foundation’s agenda. The board is led by President Deborah B. Young, CE ‘77, and Vice-President Scott Stabler, MAE ‘82.

Reflecting and transitioning

The Board of Directors helped the NC State College of Engineering celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2023. Many members were able to attend a 100th celebration on May 3, which brought together engineering alumni, faculty and staff members, and students to recognize the College’s century of achievements and look ahead to all the exciting accomplishments in the future.

Young, board president, spoke at the event, which recognized all nine engineering departments and the three affiliated departments. The event space was lit blue to look like the inside of NC State’s nuclear reactor, and exhibits included a student-built rocket and equipment used for research decades ago. PBS North Carolina previewed its TV series on the College’s 100th anniversary, and episodes aired this fall.

Among all the reflection and celebration, the board also helped send off Louis Martin-Vega, who officially stepped down from his position as dean July 31, 2023, and then welcomed Dean Jim Pfaendtner, who started Aug. 1, 2023. The new dean joined NC State from the University of Washington (more on page 16). As board president, Young was on the search committee. The board is excited and looking forward to working with, assisting and getting to know Dean Pfaendtner as he transitions into his new role.

Board members helped organize two virtual Meet the Dean events open to all alumni in September 2023. Alumnus Tim Humphrey, EE ’96, hosted the domestic event on Sept. 19, 2023. Hosted in a fireside-chat conversation style, Pfaendtner shared with alumni his background, goals for the future and what he’s enjoyed the most so far about NC State. Deval Parikh, board member and CHE ’94 and economics ’95, hosted the event on Oct. 4, 2023, for international alumni. At this event, alumni spoke with Parikh and Pfaendtner about how to increase global engagement.

According to Young, one of the qualities the COE and the NCSEF board pride themselves on is the ability to make smooth, seamless transitions.

“In 2006, Dean Martin-Vega made the transition; now Dean Pfaendtner in 2023 is beginning the transition,” she said. “It is inevitable that change will come. With everyone coming together, our College will continue to be a world-leading engineering school and reach new goals. We welcome Dean Pfaendtner, and we wish him the best.”

Get involved

To learn more about board service for the College of Engineering or to nominate someone, contact Griffin Lamb at

This post was originally published in College of Engineering News.