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A Toast To Mindy Sopher

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.

Mindy Sopher and Order of the Long Leaf Pine.

Sopher displays the Order of the Long Leaf Pine.

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.

Cheers, Mindy.

Responses (16 Comments)

  • Nicole Wood

    If anyone deserves to be honored by the university, city, state, or country – it is Mindy Sopher!

    She is a colleague to some, mentor to more, and an inspiration to us all.

    Congrats, my friend.

  • Mindy is a difference-maker through and through and touches the lives of every one she meets! We love you lots, Mindy!

  • [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by NC State News, Kristen Jeffers. Kristen Jeffers said: A Toast To Mindy Sopher :: North Carolina State University Bulletin: via @addthis [...]

  • Abraham Dones

    If there is anyone who is deserving of this honor it would be Mindy “Mommy” Sopher. Her dedication to students and her ability to brighten anyone’s day is an understatement. As a colleague, I am extremely honored to have had the opportunity to get to know her and look forward to the days ahead. Congratulations and I love you. God Bless and always be a light.

  • Sandy Stallings

    How appropriate that you are honored in this way. You make a difference in each life you touch; everyone benefits. Thank you, my friend, for all you have done and will continue to do.

  • Caroline Barnhill

    Mindy Sopher was an advisor of mine during my years at NC State – and what a wonderful person she was. Always such a cheerful and supportive listener. NC State is blessed to have her!

  • Kim Bristow

    Mindy Sopher is one special lady. I will be forever grateful to her for getting me through my first class after being out of school for 20 years. It is because of her encouragement that I know I can do anything I put my mind to.

  • Melissa Johnson

    Mindy has always been a terrific colleague in the Department of Communication, and is an inspiration to all of us. Congratulations, Mindy!

  • Amber Keating Zielinski

    Mindy was my colleague and quickly became my dear friend at Old Dominion University.

    She brings light to all, no exceptions.

  • Carlos Pena

    After a long time away from college I decided to go back to school. In my first class back to college I was nervous and concerned if I would be able to keep up to the high schedule demand. However, God sent Mindy to teach my first class. She made our lives easy and encouraged us to go beyond our fears and limitation. She was able to bring forth the good of an adult education class and we all loved her. Congrats my teacher, professor and inspiration. May our God protect and guard you with a long and happy life.

    Your student.

    Carlos Pena

  • Bootsie Harris

    Mindy is THE BEST!!! Would hate to have to follow her in any arena!

  • Orlando Ortiz

    Mindy is so nurturing and encouraging. She knows how to bring out the best in you and at the same time to believe in yourself. Going for my bachelor’s after a two year absence from school and at the age of 38, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and out of place. Mindy created an atmosphere where one can feel empowered to achieve greatness. Thank you, Mindy, for your hard work and sincerity. It was greatly appreciated.

    Yours truly,


  • Nicole Hargrove VandenBosch

    That’s wonderful news. Congratulations Mindy! I cannot think of a more deserving person than you. I also can’t believe it’s been 12 years. My how time flies.

  • Mindy Sopher

    Many thanks to all who have posted here …. and shared your love and inspiration with me. Peace College students, Old Dominon and Heldelberg University folks, and my dear WOLFPACK NATION – Thanks to all. You are each a true blessing and teacher to me! ~Mindy

  • Steve Rothman

    I am so pleased to read this article. Mindy had such a wonderful influence on me when I was involved in Greek life back in the late 80′s and early 90′s. She showed me the importance of pride in a job well done and how to be a better leader. I fondly remember the frequent chats we had about KDR and life in general. Congrats Mindy! You deserve it! Thank you for all you did for me and others! I try to carry on your positive influence in everything that I do.

  • John White

    I had the pleasure of working with Mindy Sopher when I was working in Raleigh for a nonprofit organization called GenerationEngage. We partnered with many organizations, institutions and community groups. Mindy Sopher is one person that I will always remember for her passion and dedication in and outside of the classroom. Having given this award to one or two…I can personally say she definitely deserves this honor!

    Way to go Mindy…way to go!

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