Backstory and Context
NC State’s SAS building was completed in 2009 and features 119,000 square feet of classrooms, computer labs, tutorial centers and study space for students and faculty in the mathematics and statistics departments. One of the most useful rooms in the building is the Mathematics Multimedia Center, which features Apple desktop computers, all with the necessary software to complete digital math and statistics assignments, such as Webassign and Matlab. The room also features work tables and is staffed with free tutors on Monday through Thursday from 9am to 5pm and Friday from 9am to 4pm, on a first-come, first-served basis. (1)
The building cost 32 billion dollars to construct and was funded through the Higher Education Bond Referendum and gifts from private donors, including the building’s namesake, SAS Institute, a worldwide software company based in Cary, NC. (2) SAS Institute has a deep connection with NC State because the company’s CEO, Jim Goodnight, formed an early version of SAS software while a PhD student at NC State. Later, he and other NC State faculty left the university to create what today is a mega-software company. As of July 13, 2019, Dr. Goodnight has a net worth of 9.7 billion dollars. (3)
Located at 2311 Stinson Drive, the SAS building sits on ground that used to be Riddick Stadium. Riddick served as the football stadium at NC State between 1907 and 1968. The stadium was named after Wallace Carl Riddick, who coached the NC State football team during the 1898 and 1899 seasons. Riddick was torn down and the space was used as a parking lot and eventually the plot for SAS in 2009. (4)
2. Accessed July 13, 2019. https://projects.ncsu.edu/facilities/buildings/sashall.html.
3. Accessed July 13, 2019. https://www.forbes.com/profile/james-goodnight/#174e69ad61c8.
4. Accessed July 13, 2019. https://projects.ncsu.edu/facilities/buildings/ridd-sta.html.