College Names Law Enforcement Training Center Lobby for Alumnus

PCC officials were joined by the late Ken Thompson's brother and sister-in-law this week to dedicate the PCC Law Enforcement Training Center lobby. From left to right are: PCC Police Chief Tyrone Turnage, PCC President Lawrence Rouse, Steve and Teresa Thompson, PCC BLET Director Thomas Forrest and PCC Foundation Executive Director Beth Sigmon.

WINTERVILLE—Pitt Community College and PCC Foundation officials joined relatives of the late Ken Thompson Monday afternoon to officially dedicate the PCC Law Enforcement Training Center’s lobby to the longtime Greenville police officer’s memory.

Before losing a hard-fought battle with diabetes at age 63, Thompson lived a life of service to others. And though he’s been gone since 2016, he continues to care for the community he first swore to protect and serve more than 50 years ago, thanks to a $147,382.54-planned gift his estate made to the PCC Foundation earlier this year.

This fall, five Pitt students received scholarship funding to help them cover the cost of tuition, fees, books and supplies during the 2023-24 academic year. The students — Basic Law Enforcement Training’s Ian Radcliff and Criminal Justice Technology’s Paulisha Dekeyser, Anthony Phillips, KenShawn Siebert Jr. and Catherine Smith — represent the very first recipients of the Kenneth Thompson Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement Endowed Scholarship.

“Those who knew and worked with Ken Thompson recall his friendship, work ethic and commitment to his profession,” PCC Scholarships Coordinator Kim Simpkins said. “They say he was someone to look up to, and they remember his infectious laugh. By creating an endowed scholarship with the PCC Foundation, generations of PCC students will remember Officer Ken Thompson as the man who helped them achieve their academic goals.”

Born in Wilmington, Thompson graduated from J.H. Rose High School before starting his law enforcement career at age 21. He earned an associate degree in Criminal Justice Technology from PCC as a member of the Greenville Police Department, where he rose to the rank of sergeant before retiring with 30 years of service.

“The PCC Foundation is tremendously grateful for Sgt. Ken Thompson’s 30 years of service as a police officer and his love for our community,” PCC Foundation Executive Director Beth Sigmon said. “By establishing an endowed scholarship at PCC, he has ensured our community will have skilled law enforcement personnel protecting it for years to come.”

While a majority of Thompson’s PCC Foundation gift went toward the endowed scholarship that will support as many as 10 students annually in perpetuity, $20,000 was used to name the PCC Law Enforcement Training Center lobby. Those funds were directed to the PCC Foundation’s “15 in Five Endowment Campaign,” which is generating revenue for general scholarships at the college.

To be eligible for the Thompson Endowed Scholarship, students must be enrolled full- or part-time in either Pitt’s criminal justice curriculum or BLET program with at least a 2.5 GPA. Financial need is also taken into consideration by the PCC Foundation Scholarship Committee that determines award recipients.