Chancellor Caldwell

Eric Moore talks about his relationship with Chancellor John T. Caldwell.

Interview on 2012-05-17


00:00:00.000 And I am pleased to say I thought I had a very good relationship with Chancellor Caldwell.
00:00:03.843 It's not very often that a student can have that close a relationship
00:00:07.883 but because of the student government connection and obviously his
00:00:13.965 involvement with student leaders we would do a lot of social things.
00:00:17.901 By that time I was married my senior year
00:00:20.599 and so often my wife was with me,
00:00:23.152 and then she was carrying my oldest daughter
00:00:25.846 and so Mrs. Caldwell was kind of looking out for the pregnant student,
00:00:30.277 making sure and giving motherly advice.
00:00:32.155 Dr. Caldwell, I'll never forget, when we were going somewhere and he opens up his shirt
00:00:36.028 -I mean his coat-and I'm seeing J.C. Penney,
00:00:38.957 and I'm thinking, the chancellor of NC State University is wearing J.C. Penney suits? [Laughs]
00:00:43.843 They look great, but [Laughs] it gave me a whole new perspective about [Laughs]
00:00:48.328 what may be under the label.
00:00:50.929 But yeah, he was a true statesman
00:00:54.292 and in so many ways provided a role model for me in terms of just how you carry yourself.
00:01:00.653 Even when I was ready to go to grad school
00:01:03.101 I said well it's not every day I can get the chancellor of the university to make a reference call,
00:01:06.658 and he said, you know, he literally had an open door policy.
00:01:09.929 I got up and I knew the receptionist and the secretary and I said, "I'd like to get in and see Dr. Caldwell for a minute,"
00:01:14.646 and so in just a minute they checked and said they had Eric Moore and he said, "Bring him in."
00:01:17.351 So I came in and said, "Dr. Caldwell, I'm thinking about going to graduate school,"
00:01:20.037 and he said, "Do you know where you're going?" and I said, "Well, probably Ohio University,"
00:01:23.199 which Carl Eich had recommended to me because he was an OU grad.
00:01:27.641 They had a very respected communication program-Matt Lauer is one of the alumni of the Ohio University program,
00:01:34.065 so I had to throw that one out-so I said
00:01:36.670 it's a pretty good program. So I applied and of course you needed recommendations and he said, "Well I'm not going to write you a letter. I'll make a phone call. Who do I call?"
00:01:44.875 "And I'm only making one phone call."
00:01:48.051 I said, okay. Dr. Roderick Rightmyer, who was the graduate coordinator at Ohio University,
00:01:54.135 I said here's his phone number and he says, "All right, get out of my office."
00:01:56.989 [I said,] "Yes, sir. I'm leaving." So he calls,
00:02:00.145 and then I went up for a visit and they told me: "It's not every day we hear from the president of the university, [Laughs]
00:02:06.370 "calling on behalf of a student."
00:02:08.838 That kind of helped my chances. I didn't have the greatest grades in the world
00:02:13.071 but at least I had promise.
00:02:15.255 So that was again something else that he would do
00:02:19.623 for people that he cared for,
00:02:23.295 and I've always appreciated that,
00:02:25.173 because there were strategic folk on campus
00:02:28.204 who would look beyond race and just basically dealt with you as a person,
00:02:32.649 and I've always enjoyed that about my relationship with State.
00:02:36.310 It's been good.