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College Update

June 2017

I regularly proclaim to the students and parents I address at New Student Orientation that “your success is our success” and that the high point of the year is the week when graduations, pinnings, and the achievement of student goals proceed with celebrations and bright hopes for the future.  This year was no exception.  The numbers were the largest ever and the good cheer of our completers and the important regional stakeholders whom we serve rang resiliently across our area.

One letter to me from Ms. Felicia Colston Rogers was especially gratifying.  After 25 years of delaying her pursuit of a degree while supporting her family, including son Steven who completed his A.S. in 2014 in pre-engineering and daughter Margaret with an A.A. with a 4.0 GPA this year, Felicia also graduated on May 10.  Her extensive praise of many faculty and staff who helped her and her children along the way displays her genuine passion for PCC:  “Thank you so very much for helping me to not only accomplish a long awaited goal for myself, but also to show my children that it is never too late to finish one.”  What a boost to us all this endorsement is!

As I shook the hands of degree, diploma, and high school equivalency completers, I saw a dedicated look in the eyes of many of them.  Sure, there was plenty of exuberance.  But there was a confidence in the future also in their response to this commencement of the next steps in their lives.  Thanks indeed to the friends, family, and our PCC employees and supporters who are “empowering” so many.

Another major step in the evolution of Pitt Community College was announced in May at the PCC Foundation Board meeting and approved at the May 23 Board of Trustees meeting.  The Accelerate the Future Capital Campaign will raise funds to construct the Student Advancement Center on the corner of Warren Drive and Reedy Branch Road and to build the Foundation’s capacity to provide endowments, program support, and support to promote the mission of the College.  Executive Director Vice President Susan Nobles announced a lead major gift to name this facility the Eddie & Jo Allison Smith Center for Student Advancement.

In July the formal ribbon-cutting for the largest building on Pitt’s campus, the 80,000 square foot Science Building, will tangibly display the College’s commitment to STEM students and faculty, including Biotechnology and Industrial Systems.  The Board of Trustees has endorsed naming this vital resource for student learning the Walter & Marie Williams Building.  More details about the opening will be coming soon.

PCC students have distinguished themselves in many ways in 2017, but in intercollegiate sports this was indeed a banner season.  Women’s Softball won the Region X Tournament and went on to the NJCAA Division II Softball National Tournament in Mississippi.  Jennie Harp was honored as Region X Coach of the Year in her first year.  Taylor Carroll was Region X Player of the Year.  Men’s Baseball repeated this outstanding record by winning the regular season championship and regional tournament. Tommy Eason was named Region X Coach of the Year and five players were named to First Team All-Region.  After winning their first games at the World Series, they fought fiercely to the end.  This was the greatest accomplishment recorded by PCC in sports at the national level.

Accomplishments and Recognitions

*Liam Hutchins (TA Career Services) was selected for the NASA Community College Aerospace Scholars program this summer.

*Matt Gathercole (Information Technology and Services) recently received the designation of Certified Wireless Network Administrator.

*Elizabeth De Jesus Toderick (Director, Nursing) announced the recommendation of the National League of Nursing commission for pre-accreditation candidacy for the Associate Degree Nursing Program, a major step up in recognition for PCC.

*Victoria Davis-Gibbs (Science) was recognized as a Spring 2017 Greenville Tourism Ambassador. Deans Katherine Clyde and Dr. Stephanie Rook were recognized as graduates of the Fall 2016 Greenville Tourism Ambassador program.

*Lori Weston announced that the Pitt Community College Transitional Studies Department will participate in a pilot program in partnership with TEACCH Autism Program and Vocational Rehabilitation Services along with Wake Tech and CPCC, much larger institutions.

 *Dr. Virginia Hardy, Jimmy Nelson, and Walter Williams (former Board of Trustees members) received the Distinguished Service recognition on May 10.

At its May 23 Board meeting, Dr. Peter Kragel was elected Board Chair for the coming year.  Dr. Patti Sanders-Smith will serve as Vice Chair and Don Mills will be Secretary.  Charles Long will step down after three very productive years as Board Chair.  We are fortunate indeed to have such strong leadership from our Trustees, Foundation Board, County Commissioners, and key community and campus individuals.


                                                            G. Dennis Massey, President