Mindy Sopher has vivid memories of the day she arrived on campus 12 years ago to lead the Greek Life office.
A laid-back celebration suffused Raleigh. Jimmy Buffett was in town for a July 4 concert at Carter-Finley, and the Parrotheads were out in force. Sopher bought a watermelon and sat on the steps at King Village with her bulldog, Missy, savoring the moment.
Since those first days on campus, Sopher has made a lasting impression on hundreds of students and co-workers. Most of them remember when they first met her and have anecdotes to share about her helpfulness, wisdom and humor. In the short video below, Mike Giancola, director of the Center for Student Leadership, Ethics and Public Service, shares one story.
Sopher has battled cancer four times in her 12 years in Raleigh, leading her to shift from Greek Life director to an academic advising position. She also moved into the classroom, teaching public speaking as a lecturer.
Last fall, Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker proclaimed Nov. 20 “‘Mindy Sopher Day” in recognition of her accomplishments at NC State and her volunteer activities with the Komen Foundation, American Cancer Society and Boys and Girls Clubs.
Sopher stories took center stage recently when she received one of the state’s top honors, the Order of the Long Leaf Pine. Douglas Massengill, a senior who calls Sopher his “Raleigh Mom,” nominated her.
Nevin Kessler, vice chancellor for advancement, recalled that when he first worked with Sopher as a graduate student at Heidelberg University in Ohio, “none of us had gray hair.”
Sopher’s new honorary status entitles her to give the state’s official toast, which she hasn’t memorized yet. But her NC State family intends to celebrate her.