Cathy Sterling and Samantha Smith

Meeting Cathy Sterling at the "Leading the Pack" exhibit opening at D.H. Hill Library on November 3, 2014

On November 3, 2014, I had an appointment with Special Collections at D. H. Hill Library to look through the Cathy Sterling Papers. Serendipitously, I learned that Cathy Sterling would be in the library that night for the exhibit opening of Leading the Pack, an exhibit about NC State Student Body Presidents. At the opening, Rebecca Lowe and I approached Ms. Sterling, introduced ourselves, and told her about the "Activists and Authorities" exhibit. She was thrilled to hear that our group was writing about NC State in the 1970s and invited us to her home in Chapel Hill to do an interview. Rebecca and I were thrilled.

The following week, I met with Ms. Sterling at her residence in Chapel Hill for an interview. Over a pot of tea, Ms. Sterling told me all of the emotions, challenges, successes, and struggles she faced as student body president at NC State during the escalation of the Vietnam War. She was a captivating and eloquent speaker, and before I knew it two hours had passed.

I am very grateful that I had the opportunity to meet with Ms. Sterling to hear about her perspective during the 1970 protests at NC State University. She revealed a lot of information that I was unable to find in the sources. It was a pleasure meeting with her and I hope my exhibit accurately reflects her memory while also connecting her remembrances to the larger historical context of NC State in the 1970s.