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SIE Director to Retire

Elizabeth Benefield shares gratitude for her 10 year legacy at NC State.

Elizabeth Benefield smiles and sits on a chair beside a window.
Elizabeth Benefield set to retire August 2023.

In what feels like the blink of an eye, here I am planning my next life chapter, leaving a job that has all the markings of that ‘once in a lifetime’ career opportunity – the chance to live my passion, practice my values, build something meaningful, and never stop learning. Almost ten years ago, NC State offered me an open canvas to create a vibrant new vision to bring an ‘impact lens’ to our many entrepreneurship assets. Our unwavering goal – empower students to discover their potential as change leaders and aspire to careers of purpose and meaning.

The Social Innovation Fellows, preparing to welcome its seventh cohort, is no doubt my biggest point of pride. It has been my deepest privilege to steward literally hundreds of students through an in-depth process of self-discovery and learning. To say this has been a humbling and deeply inspiring journey is an understatement.

I am most pleased and excited to see the university more fully embracing social impact and innovation as central to our entrepreneurial offerings. If I have learned nothing else, it is that the vast majority of our students are seeking meaningful connection and community, and want to make a positive difference in the world.

Even as we have faced many headwinds and uncertainties, I am forever grateful for our community of inspiring and passionate students and colleagues who never lost faith in the value of our work. My heartfelt thanks to Alisha Brice, Jack Ratterree, Criag Prince, Katie -Gray Jackson, Jane Rogers, Clare Jordan, Kristin Replogle, Andrew DiMeo, Miles Wright, Raj Narayan, Ginger Sall, Carol Mattocks, Steve Kelley, Duarte Morais, Aly Khalifa, and so many others, for your faith and advocacy, and especially for your friendship. Together I believe we have built something special.

I plan to stay in Raleigh and take my social innovation practice into new corners! I hope we’ll stay in touch.