Draft Brick Article, 2/19/2013

— Written By Trudy Pickett and last updated by

Date (March 22, 2013)
Media contact: Trudy Pickett, 252-527-2191

N.C. State’s McKimmon Center honors women who built it

As North Carolina’s Extension and Community Association prepares to celebrate 100 years of service, members want to honor women who were in Home Demonstration Clubs, Extension Homemakers, ECA and any Extension agents who worked with them throughout the years.

Honor ECA members and Extension agents — past and present — by donating a brick for the courtyard of the Jane S. McKimmon Center in for the 2013 centennial. The 4×8-inch bricks will bear the honoree’s name and will be dedicated during a special ceremony during the ECA centennial gala event Oct. 27 in Raleigh.

The Extension and Community Association was started in North Carolina in 1913 as “home demonstration clubs.” Later, they became N.C. Extension Homemakers, and today, this volunteer group associated with N.C. Cooperative Extension is known as ECA. From the beginning, these volunteers have played important roles in their communities, from teaching food safety and home gardening to preparing the first school lunches and promoting community literacy.

McKimmon Center is an important landmark at North Carolina State University because the club women provided seed money to help build the facility. As a result it was named in memory of Jane S. McKimmon, the first leader of North Carolina’s home demonstration extension programs.

In the 1920s, the home demonstration club women throughout the state came to the N.C. State University campus in Raleigh for an annual week-long short course taught by extension  specialists and agents. The women called it “Country Woman’s College.” This yearly experience made such an impact, that in the 1950s they decided to raise money for a building of their own.

In 1966, the N.C. Extension Homemakers Association presented a $100,000 check to N.C. State as seed money for a continuing education center on the N.C. State campus. The McKimmon Center for Extension & Continuing Education today continues the mission of education for all people, honoring the vision of the women in home demonstration who made it happen.

Through March 30, the tribute bricks are available for $100, and the cost will increase slightly after that. “A brick in the garden is a lasting tribute to their work and dedication and the impact their service has made on their families as well as in their communities and their county,” said Wilma Hammett, executive director of the Family & Consumer Sciences Foundation and Extension and Community Association Foundation.

Locally, you may contact Cooperative Extension, Trudy Pickett at 252-527-2191 or any Lenoir County ECA member. Online, visit go.ncsu.edu/eca_bricks.