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Our History

For decades, Centennial Campus has been a hub of innovation for our university and beyond. See how it all began — and how we've evolved through the years.

Centennial Campus Timeline

NC State’s Centennial Campus was established in 1984 with a vision for a new kind of research, innovation and public-private partnership campus that would propel our university’s mission into its second century.

Today, we’ve grown into a vital economic engine for our city, region and state — and North Carolinians see the benefits in new startups, products, jobs and industries cultivated right here.

Follow our journey.


Chancellor Bruce Poulton writes to Governor James B. Hunt, Jr. and University of North Carolina System President William C. Friday to explore the future of the Dorothea Dix Hospital property south of NC State’s campus.


The Hunt administration allocates the first 355 acres of the vacated Dorothea Dix property to NC State.

Dec. 19, 1984: Governor James B. Hunt, Jr., in a public ceremony at the State Capitol, allotted the initial parcel of land totaling 355 acres to NC State. Board of Trustees Chair Jack Jordan shakes hands with Governor Hunt as Chancellor Bruce Poulton looks on.


Governor James G. Martin’s administration allocates an additional 400 acres to NC State.


The Centennial Campus master plan, led by former College of Design Dean Claude McKinney, is approved by the NC State Board of Trustees and UNC’s Board of Governors.


Governor Martin and the Council of State unanimously approve the plan.

Nov. 1987: Construction of the first building on Centennial Campus.


The Precision Engineering Center becomes the first tenant in Centennial’s first occupied and dedicated building, Research I.

Sept. 1989: An aerial view of Centennial Campus.


The College of Textiles moves to Centennial Campus; ABB becomes Centennial’s first corporate partner.

College of Textiles construction on Centennial Campus.

Dedication of the ABB building.


The National Weather Service becomes Centennial’s first government partner.

Weather balloon demonstration at the NOAA National Weather Service on Centennial Campus.


Research III, one of the first university-owned buildings, opens.

Oct. 1994: A ten-year celebration event on Centennial Campus.


Montieth Engineering Research Center opens; Constructed Facilities Laboratory opens.


Venture I, the first private development on Centennial, opens; Partners II, the first lab building, opens; startup companies are accepted into the Technology Incubator.

Apr. 2000: The completed Venture I building.


The Centennial Biomedical Campus is established.


The Spring Hill property, spanning 120 acres, is transferred to Centennial Campus.


The College of Engineering begins its permanent move to Centennial.

Engineering Building I dedication.


Centennial’s first residential units open.


The Biotechnology Training and Education Center opens.


The Lonnie Poole Golf Course opens. The course was designed by Arnold Palmer and the team at Arnold Palmer Design Company (including NC State alums Erik Larsen and Brandon Johnson), and it is home to our women’s and men’s golf teams.

Golfer tees off on the 16th hole at Lonnie Poole Golf Course.


Keystone Science Center opens; construction begins on the James B. Hunt Jr. Library.

Hunt Library is globally recognized for its architecture and technology integration, including a robotic book storage and retrieval system.


Hunt Library and Wolf Ridge Apartments open.


North Shore townhomes and The Greens at Centennial apartment community both open.

North Shore, a private townhome complex, is adjacent to Lake Raleigh and the Lonnie Poole Golf Course.


Alliance One building opens; North Shore townhouses expand.


Center for Technology and Innovation opens; Nonwovens Institute reopens; StateView Hotel and Conference Center opens.

The Nonwovens Institute, the world’s first accredited academic program for engineered fabrics, partners with industry and government to create novel materials.


Fitts-Woolard Hall, NC State’s new 225,000-square-foot engineering innovation building, breaks ground; NC State receives a $28 million gift from alumnus Fred Wilson Jr. and his family to fund an endowment to support and name NC State’s College of Textiles, now known as the Wilson College of Textiles.


N.C. Plant Sciences Initiative building breaks ground; Raleigh Founded, a coworking entrepreneurship incubator, opens.


Fitts-Woolard Hall opens.

Fitts-Woolard Hall is home to the Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering and the Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering.

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An exterior view of Partners I Building on Centennial Campus