By: Library Staff
At 17, Dr. Ricky Bloomfield (’04) had pretty definite plans to attend a prestigious local private university. NC State only made it on his list as “backup school.” Until he visited.
The Park Scholarship he was offered was a significant draw, but it was really the sense of excitement and what he calls “the immersion in innovation” that he experienced on his brief trip to campus that set the direction for the rest of his life.
The Bloomfield family, Ricky and Kim,
with daughters Catherine and Miriam.
Just listing Ricky’s undergraduate majors and minors gives you some sense of what he cherished at NC State. There are four—Chemistry, Secondary Education, Saxophone Performance, and Spanish. He’s not one to be put in a box.
That ability to range wide and deep across disciplines led quickly not only to a medical degree, but to the successful iOS apps company he began while still in medical school. Soon he was engrossed in figuring out new ways that mobile applications could help transform the medical field, letting him, as he explains, “combine my passion taking care of patients one at a time with helping out patients millions at a time with medical technology.” Dr. Bloomfield is currently Director, Mobile Technology Strategy for Duke Health Technology Solutions, as well as Assistant Professor in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at Duke University.
Ricky’s wife, Kim Bloomfield (‘02 in Chemistry and Textile Chemistry), first learned about the Hunt Library on a tour while she was president of the Park Scholars Alumni Society, back when the building was still under construction. “I got excited about it,” she says with some understatement, given the couple’s ongoing passionate support of the new space. “Knowing how much Ricky loves technology and how much I loved studying up in the stacks at D. H. Hill, it was something we became interested in supporting.”
“We are highly into education—and we have kids and want them to be excited about learning. It was a way that I could see getting my own children excited about NC State. And I was sure that the new iconic library would be a benefit to recruiting for the Park Scholarships.” Their two daughters, Ricky explains, will no doubt be NC State, Class of 2028.
“When the Hunt Library was announced, packed full of technology—which is no surprise given NC State’s talents, areas of focus, and research—it really intrigued me,” Ricky continues. “We found out more about it and felt it was something we wanted to get behind.” Right after the building opened, they decided to sponsor and name a student workstation on the building’s 4th floor.
Ricky explains their motivation: “we both went through the Park Scholars program, feel very fortunate in what we were given, and feel an obligation to give back to an institution that has given us so much. We want to see NC State continue to succeed, and the Hunt Library will serve as a rallying point for showcasing talent and innovation. For recruiting, there’s nothing better than taking prospective students to Hunt to show them what NC State can do and hint at the things that they themselves will do once they are here in proximity to all this innovation and technology. Giving back to something that will only make NC State stronger is a no-brainer.”
Their message to young graduates is especially clear. Laughing that they are probably “skewing the age profile of NC State donors down a little,” Kim explains that “we subscribe to the idea that what you spend your money on shows what you believe in. When we began giving to NC State, it wasn’t large amounts—Ricky was still in med school. Recent graduates are sometimes intimidated by hearing about endowed faculty positions or big gifts. But smaller donations made regularly can make a big difference, and they’re more feasible for younger alumni. Our own gifts are not huge, and they did stretch our budget to begin with. But we realized that we can make a huge difference even if we can’t yet endow a chair or name a wing in the library. If recent graduates start from a younger age, this can really make a difference for decades before they enter their golden years.”
As for their investment in the Hunt Library, both have been back many times since the space opened and both are happy, according to Ricky, that it is “living up to its promise as a space where you can let your creativity flow and combine the technologies in ways that are novel and interesting.”
Like their own lives, “things are just getting started. The best is most certainly yet to come.”