The Student Body President Desk Drawer

Judge Ronald E. Spivey recalls starting the tradition of Student Body Presidents signing the inside of the their desk drawer in the Student Government office.

Interview on 2014-12-15


00:00:00.000 It was one of my final days in the office of student body president, and even at that young age I think to some extent I realized, in hindsight at the end of that term, how important this was, how fortunate I had been to be in this office.
00:00:19.852 I got to represent the students, I mean it was amazing. I'm like, this has been such a privilege, and I don't think it would have happened to me at any other university, but it happened at NC State.
00:00:32.901 I was sitting at my desk one day thinking, I really don't want to leave, I don't want this experience to end, and I opened my desk drawer and I'm like, you know what? I'm going to sign up in the back,
00:00:44.497 because I don't want anybody to get mad about it, but I'm going to sign my name here in the back and put the years that I used this desk here. That would have been 1981-82.
00:00:54.759 I guess it was probably late '90s, I was at a football game at Carter-Finley Stadium and the then-student body president came up to me and said, "You're Ron Spivey!"
00:01:06.531 I'm like, "Yeah, yeah," and he said, "You were student body president in 1981 and '82," and I'm like, "Yes," and he said, "You're the first one to sign the drawer," and I'm like, "Okay. What drawer?"
00:01:17.584 He said, "The student body president's drawer, in the desk," and I'm like, "Oh, yeah," and I didn't realize until that time that all the other student body presidents had been signing the desk afterwards. I was so excited to see it on display here at the library
00:01:31.887 because I see so many of the kids, now adults, that I have met over the years, that have led this university, their names are in that drawer, and I've tried to carry that tradition over to the realm of judging.
00:01:45.423 In fact I just had a judge the other day tell me he was fiddling around with a desk and opened it up and saw my name in the back where I'd signed it about ten years before.
00:01:53.991 I think my favorite one was actually down in Pender County at Burgaw. I went down there for a session about three years ago and the bailiff said,
00:02:02.652 "Now, before you leave, Judge, a lot of the judges sign their name inside of that drawer to your left," and I opened up the drawer on that particular judge's bench and there had been judges signing this particular desk drawer for about twenty years.
00:02:15.213 As I looked back at the list I'm like, wow; these are some of the giants in the judicial field in North Carolina.
00:02:21.320 As I look at that desk drawer here in the library I think, wow; those are some of the giants in Student Government. It's just amazing to me that it caught on and I'm so proud to be the first.
00:02:33.324 It wasn't thought out; it was just something I wanted to do because I didn't want it to end.