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Alumnus Endows Charles Smallwood Jr. Graduate Student Award

The following excerpt is from the NC State University Foundation; please click here to read the full article.

Growing up on a small farm in western North Carolina, Jim Hipps often wondered about his future. In the late 1960s, a football scholarship brought Hipps to NC State University, where he earned a degree in biological and agricultural engineering and a graduate certificate in sanitary engineering.

The opportunity to attend NC State made a huge impact on his life. After graduating, Hipps began a 35-year career in civil engineering — working on projects ranging in scale from small wastewater treatment plants in North Carolina to China’s Longtan Dam, the world’s largest roller-compacted concrete dam.

“I never could have envisioned, nor imagined, what was in front of me — a wonderful, supportive wife and family, getting paid to see most of the world, meeting folks from different countries and cultures, forming friendships and working relationships with people in parts of the world I did not even know existed, and providing an important service — clean water and an improved environment — often for many of the world’s destitute and impoverished,” Hipps said.

Although he has traveled the globe and enjoyed a decades-long career as a civil engineer, Hipps never forgot his alma mater and its influence on his life. Now retired, Hipps and his wife, Kathy, recently made philanthropic commitments that will positively impact the university for generations to come. Their generosity also pays tribute to some of the people who defined Jim’s experience as a student-athlete at NC State.