Robert Andrew Payne

Andrew Payne made a name for himself in NC State’s Student Government, where he served as Student Body Treasurer, and he was also President of the Association of Student Governments, representing students at all campuses of the University of North Carolina System. Known for opposing increases in tuition and student fees, he also advocated for student representation on governing bodies. In addition to his student government activities, Payne was also a columnist for the Technician (NC State’s student newspaper) and a radio host on student-operated WKNC.


Years at State

Student Body Treasurer (NC State), 1999-2000

President (Association of Student Governments of UNC System), 2001-2002


At NC State, Payne made a name for himself fighting against tuition and fee increases. He even wrote a letter to the Chancellor Marye Anne Fox (published in the Technician), criticizing her for saying that she put students first and then supporting higher tuition. He was even against tuition increases at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, because they could set a precedent for the same happening here. In addition to his fight against increases, he also called for more support of homecoming and other traditions as a way to bring together all students. During homecoming 1999, he led student participation in a bonfire on the Brickyard.

As a leader in the Association of Student Governments (ASG), Payne advocated student representation on the Board of Governors, even bringing his case before the North Carolina General Assembly. During his presidency, ASG organized a “Day at the Capitol” on 20 Feb. 2001 to advocate for need-based financial aid, faculty salary increases, and student representation on the Board of Governors. On ASG, Payne also worked against inequities among the different UNC-System campuses.


After graduation from NC State, Andrew Payne was chief communications officer at Market America, Inc. (2004-2011). He earned an MFA at Columbia University (2013); he also represented the School of Arts on Columbia’s student senate. He then became president of Active Biotech (2013) and a co-founder of The Great Raleigh Trolley (2017). Payne passed away on 28 Feb. 2019.