Celebrating 75 years!

Toasting the past, present and future are Gillings students and, behind them, from left: Don Holzworth, Paula Brown Stafford, Barbara Rimer, Patsy Polston and Amy Lansky.

On April 17, we celebrated the Gillings School’s 75 years. It was a wonderful event, much like the School—not pretentious, a lot of fabulous faculty and staff members, great alumni and the most amazing students.

We decided not to create a formal or fancy event but to make it fun, nostalgic and involving, befitting a school that has its roots with the people. There was music from different decades, a room that served as a replica of the inside of Trailer 39, the legendary pre-fabricated structure where Quintiles was born, a photo booth where people could take serious or wacky photos, food from different eras (Nabs or Twinkies, anyone?), a picnic table to harken back to the early days of the School when picnics were held on the front steps—and a lot more.

75th patio picnic
Some guests arrived on the patio of the Michael Hooker Research Center before moving indoors to the Armfield Atrium.

Some people started dancing spontaneously. (Way to go, Peggy and Sterling!) We filled a time capsule, said a few words about the 75th anniversary campaign and raised our glasses to the next great 75 years. At the end of the evening, fireworks were projected on our atrium ceiling, complete with recorded sound effects.

75th dancing
Peggy Bentley, associate dean for global health, and Sterling Frierson, development director, enjoyed a dance.

I really enjoyed hearing from students about how much they loved the Gillings School and how accessible their professors are to them. It was also great to see so many people who have become part of my life. After everyone left, I did what I usually do after a big event—walked back in, looked around and thought about the event—what went right, what we could have done better. Mostly, I savored the memory. It was a good night. Happy Monday. Barbara

Photos (except balloons) by Tom Fuldner: For more, go to our Flickr link!

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