James Nolan was the first junior elected president of Student Government. While campaigning for the presidency, Nolan declared, “If elected I promise to work for the greatest benefit for the greatest number, in order to build school spirit and a Student Government that will be second to none in the nation.” Following his election, Nolan worked to lower the price of student “date tickets” to athletic events and to extend winter break. Nolan also encouraged Student Council members to change what needed to be changed, stating, “It’s little strokes that fell great oaks.” Following a productive term, Nolan campaigned for reelection with a platform calling for improved campus medical care and new married students’ housing. Nolan won reelection with almost 58 percent of student votes, making him the first student to serve two terms as student body president.
Nolan graduated from State College in 1957 with a degree in industrial engineering.
Student Body President, 1955-1956
Student Body President, 1956-1957
Class of 1957
In response to student complaints concerning the cost and distribution of football “date tickets,” Nolan altered the method in which students purchased tickets. Students could purchase date books for $8, which included 10 games.
Nolan encouraged student participation in campus activities including athletic events. In October 1955, Nolan planned a car caravan to the Furman-NC State football game. Over 100 students traveled to the game. Additionally, Nolan challenged student legislators to represent their schools to the best of their abilities. According to Nolan, student Senators should “get the facts, discuss them intelligently and solve the problems facing them.”
One of Nolan’s most celebrated accomplishments was his successful lobbying of the administration to change winter break schedule. Nolan approached the chancellor about dismissing classes early to correspond with the break of other Consolidated University schools. The administration extended winter break by four days.
Nolan vetoed a bill which suspended parking violations and registration checks in VetVille. Nolan feared that the bill would set a precedent in which other groups would request ticketing exceptions. Nolan stated, “I don’t feel that an exemption...for any particular group is fair. I am in a position where I must think of the entire campus and must consider all matters in relation to their bearing on the entire student body, not just one group.”
In October 1956, Nolan presented the proposal of the Investigations Committee of Student Government concerning student athletic tickets to Chancellor Bostian. Student opposed $3.50 date tickets. Nolan asked the chancellor to reduce ticket prices to $2.
Nolan called for students to display good sportsmanship at Wolfpack basketball games. In a statement issued in the Technician Nolan stated, “Good sportsmanship must be exhibited by the students as well as the players...Courtesy is contagious. Try it.”