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History of Pitt Community College

In March, 1961, Pitt Community College was chartered and designated by the State Board of Education as an industrial education center. The College began its operation as Pitt Industrial Education Center during the same year. Dr. Lloyd Spaulding served as the director of the center. The programs developed and expanded, and in 1964, the school was designated a technical institute by the State Board of Education. The name was changed in July, 1964, to Pitt Technical Institute, and it opened in its new facility, the Vernon E. White Building, in September, 1964, with nine curricula and 96 students.

Dr. William E. Fulford served as the institution's president from 1964-'84. During those twenty years the institution experienced many changes and much growth.

In 1970, a second building, the Robert Lee Humber Building, was completed, providing an additional 31,458 square feet to serve the citizens of Pitt County.

In 1975, an addition was made to the Vernon White Building, adding a new student lounge with various recreational facilities. This addition also provided facilities for the Business Computer Programming curriculum. In recent years the White Building has become the College’s Administrative Center.

The summer of 1979 brought about two important changes to Pitt Technical Institute. The Kay V. Whichard Building, a 26,000 square foot classroom/shop facility, was completed on campus. Also, the North Carolina General Assembly enacted a bill that changed Pitt Technical Institute to Pitt Community College. The change brought about the addition of the two-year University Transfer programs.

Dr. Charles E. Russell was named President of Pitt Community College in 1984 and served as the College’s third president until 2003.

The Learning Resources Center (LRC), the Clifton W. Everett Building, was opened in 1987. The facility provides approximately 33,000 square feet of space for library, audiovisual, and media production services and for Individualized Instruction Center services.

A vocational education classroom and lab/shop building, the A.B. Whitley Building, was opened in February, 1990. The 32,300 square foot facility provides space for the following programs: Machining Technology, Electronic Servicing, Electronic Engineering Technology, Architectural Technology, Manufacturing Engineering Technology, and Industrial Construction Technology. The Industrial and Construction Technology Division office is located in the Whitley Building. The Planning and Research Department is also located in the building.

The William E. Fulford Building, a 44,500 square foot classroom/lab building, was opened in January 1993. This facility provides space for the following programs: Health Information Technology, Medical Assisting Technology, Associate Degree Nursing, Occupational Therapy Assistant, Phlebotomy, Radiation Therapy Technology, Radiography, Cardiovascular/Vascular Interventional Technology, Computed Tomography & Magnetic Resonance Imaging (CT/MRI) Technology, Respiratory Care, Therapeutic Massage, Medical Diagnostic Sonography, Echocardiography, and Nuclear Medicine. The Health Sciences Division office is located in the Fulford Building.

The Welding/Masonry Building, a 10,750 square foot facility, was opened in April, 1993. This building includes the John Roberts Welding Lab.

The G. Henry Leslie Building, the college’s center for Economic and Community Development (Continuing Education), was opened in November 1996. The Leslie Building includes the Burroughs Wellcome Auditorium and the Economic and Community Development Division.

The Edward and Joan Warren Building and the Charles Coburn Center opened in January 2000. This building includes the Admissions Counseling Center, Testing Center, SGA office, Student Activities Director office, and the gymnasium.

The 44,716 sq. ft. Raymond Reddrick Building was completed and opened in the Spring 2004. This building includes general classrooms and offices. The Arts and Sciences Division office and Distance Learning Division office is located in the Reddrick Building.

In the Fall of 1997, Pitt Community College, as well as the entire North Carolina Community College system, converted from a quarter system to a semester system. Today, Pitt Community College offers 44 associate degree programs, numerous certificate programs, 22 diploma programs, and 18 University Transfer programs. The College has expanded its instruction to include more than 200 classes via the internet, classes via the NC Information Highway, telecourses, and community-based classes. During Fall semester 2003, 5,848 curriculum students and 4,234 continuing education students were enrolled.

Dr. Dennis Massey was selected to serve as the college’s fourth president in May 2003. Dr. Massey began his tenure on August 1, 2003. He has over 34 years of experience in higher education in Oregon, Wisconsin, Japan, and Illinois. Prior to joining the PCC Administration he served as the interim president of McHenry Community College in Crystal Lakes, Illinois.

PCC has experienced considerable growth since Massey’s arrival.

In early 2005, PCC Trustees approved purchase of the 131-acre Davenport property adjacent to campus for future expansion. The board also approved a Facilities Master Plan outlining future growth for the college's main campus.

Later that year, college administrators broke ground on farmland just outside of Bethel, at the site of what will one day be a multifaceted Public Safety Training Center. Less than 12 months after ground was broken, local law enforcement began training at the center’s newly-constructed pistol and rifle ranges.

In June 2006, PCC commemorated the re-opening of the Humber Building with an open house. The facility had been closed for a little more than a year while undergoing extensive renovations that brought it in line with modern building, energy, and handicap accessibility codes. The $2.6 million needed to refurbish Humber came as part of PCC's portion of an educational bond referendum state voters approved in 2000.

To help alleviate congestion on the main campus during Humber’s renovation, the college purchased the former MacThrift office building on Memorial Drive in Greenville. The facility eventually became PCC’s Greenville Center and houses the college’s Continuing Education Division services, including the school’s Small Business Center and law enforcement training.

Minges-Overton Baseball Complex began receiving a facelift in November 2006. Improvements made to the park over the next few months included installation of state-of-the-art lighting and construction of Lewis Field House, which was officially dedicated in April 2007.

PCC administrators announced in January 2008 that the college would soon expand its health sciences facilities. That fall, they broke ground on the Herman Simon Building, a 35,765-square-foot addition to the Fulford Building named for an ardent PCC supporter and financial advisor with the Eddie and Jo Allison Smith Family Foundation.

To help pay for the Simon Building’s construction, the PCC Foundation launched the college’s first-ever capital campaign in February 2008 and raised more than $7 million in 14 months.

With the start of the 2009 Spring Semester came the opening of the long-awaited and much-needed Craig F. Goess Student Center. Named for a Greenville businessman and PCC supporter who contributed to the center’s construction, the 33,698-square-foot building features a large multipurpose room and cafeteria and provides a one-stop shop for student services, including counseling, financial aid and admissions.

After nearly two years of construction, the Simon Building opened in time for the start of the Fall 2010 Semester. Though many health sciences programs are still located in the Fulford Building, Simon provides the Health Sciences Division with much-needed classroom, laboratory and office space.

Capital improvement projects that began in 2010 will significantly expand PCC’s main campus. Office and classroom space is expected to increase 20 percent by 2012 with the addition of a new academic classroom facility, Construction and Industrial Technology Building and facility services headquarters.