North Carolina State University’s sense of mission is as solid as the brick that serves as the symbol of our campus. As a comprehensive research university in the land-grant tradition, we are dedicated to excellent teaching, the creation and application of knowledge, and engagement with public and private partners. Enhancing the economic, intellectual, and cultural life of North Carolinians is the basis of our quest for excellence and our aspiration to preeminence. In launching our 2011 strategic plan, we stand on this solid foundation as we lay a pathway to the future. NC State was founded in 1887 to meet the needs of the people of North Carolina for a “liberal and practical education in the several pursuits and professions in life” and to make contributions to the economic development of the state of North Carolina. As the people’s needs have changed, NC State has changed, continuously evolving over 125 years to keep pace with the challenges and opportunities faced by an increasingly diverse citizenry in an increasingly interconnected world. By building on our roots in “agriculture and the mechanic arts” and embracing excellence in a comprehensive range of disciplines, we have created an academic powerhouse devoted to discovering and applying innovative solutions to societal problems at the local, state, national, and global levels.