Donald Abernathy began his studies at NC State in fall 1969. However, he took a break from school to serve in the military during the Vietnam War. While serving in Vietnam, Abernathy stepped on a land mine, leaving him 70 percent disabled and resulting in a fourteen-month hospital stay. Abernathy returned to State with two Purple Hearts and resumed his activities in organizations such as the Agricultural Education Club and the House Council of Syme Hall. As president, Abernathy focused on increasing school pride and unifying the student body. Abernathy owned an auction company, Don's Auction Co., which he operated while he was president. Following his presidency, Abernathy ran an unsuccessful campaign for Student Senate president.
Abernathy served as the pastor of Longcrest Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee for eighteen years and was a member of Civitan International and the National Auctioneers Association. He and his wife Ramona had one son. Donald Abernathy died in December 2001.
Student Body President, 1972-1973
Class of 1974
Abernathy met with Reynolds Coliseum box office manager and NC State’s athletics director, Willis Casey, and successfully negotiated the reduction of date ticket prices to athletic events. Administrators lowered ticket prices from $7 to $5.
Donald aided in the creation of a Student Bill of Rights. The student body presidents of the sixteen Consolidated Universities drafted the document and presented it to the Consolidated University’s Board of Governors.
Additionally, Abernathy supported the establishment of a “student co-op book exchange” in fall 1972. The book exchange allowed students to receive a reasonable return for their books during sell back. Student Government received half of the profits from the co-op. The book exchanged continued for several years.
The Raleigh Times (17 April 1972)
Technician (21 April 1972, 1 September 1972, 13 September 1972, 26 January 1973, 2 March 1973)