College News

CCCC Foundation scholarship donors, recipients meet

Click to enlarge CCCC Foundation scholarship donors, recipients meet

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At the CCCC Foundation Scholarship Luncheon Tuesday at the Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center, scholarship ... (more)

Click to enlarge CCCC Foundation scholarship donors, recipients meet

click to enlarge ⊗

At the CCCC Foundation Scholarship Luncheon Tuesday at the Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center, scholarship ... (more)

Click to enlarge CCCC Foundation scholarship donors, recipients meet

click to enlarge ⊗

At the CCCC Foundation Scholarship Luncheon Tuesday at the Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center, scholarship ... (more)

11.16.2011College & CommunityFoundationSpecial EventsStudents/Graduates

SANFORD - Christopher Godfrey is a determined man. The Central Carolina Community College student is earning degrees in both Industrial Systems Technology and Automotive Technology. He's not only doubling up on majors, but also completing five semesters of work in four.

Godfrey, a Lee County resident, was at the CCCC Foundation's Scholarship Luncheon Tuesday to personally meet and thank those who have helped to make his college career possible: the donors of the J. Shelton and Clarice Wicker Memorial Scholarship.

"It means so much to have received this scholarship," said Godfrey, who has two children and a third on the way. "I couldn't afford school without it. It motivates me to do something like this for someone else some day."

CCCC is celebrating its 50th anniversary during 2011-12 and J. Shelton Wicker served on the college's board of trustees from 1971 to 1978, the year he passed away. He had also served in the North Carolina legislature, on the Lee County Board of Commissioners, and was very active in the community.

"Both J. Shelton and Clarice were big supporters of education and of this college," said Alisa Wicker, their daughter-in-law, who attended the luncheon. "[Their son] Dennis and I established this scholarship as a way to honor them and help others. When you hear the stories of the recipients, it makes you proud to be part of the scholarship program."

Scholarship donors and recipients gathered for the luncheon in the Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center, named for J. Shelton's son, who also served as a college trustee and in the legislature. There he was instrumental in getting state funding to build the facility.

Student speakers for the Scholarship Luncheon were Jennifer Sanchez, of Moore County, and Jeanne Southall, of Randolph County. Sanchez spoke of the challenges of attending and affording college as a mother of five with her husband on active duty, and making 97-mile round trips to take her father to cancer treatments.

On the day she decided she couldn't do it anymore and would have to drop out of college, she told one of her professors why she was withdrawing. That set things in motion that she said she thought couldn't be done. She received the CCCC Ambassador Scholarship, enabling her to complete her education.

"At times, our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person," she said, quoting Albert Schweitzer. "Thank you to all those who provided the spark for me."

And, she added, her father's cancer is now in remission.

Southall, a single mother of two, put her children through college, then wanted to get more education for herself and find a career field she would love. That turned out to be Veterinary Medical Technology. She enrolled at CCCC, commuting four hours a day to attend classes at the Lee County Campus. She received several scholarships that have made it possible for her to get her education.

"I am overcome with gratitude," she told the gathering. "People who didn't even know me supported my education. From all of us who have received scholarships, thank you very, very much."

The spirit of the early history of the college was also represented by the Samuel R. Miriello Memorial Scholarship. The college began offering classes in Harnett County in 1965. Miriello worked to have an industrial education center in that county, which was finally opened in Lillington in 1985. In recognition of his efforts, the administration building on the Harnett Campus is named for him.

"My dad worked like a Trojan to get the center built," said Ron Miriello, retired CCCC vice president, who attended the Scholarship Luncheon. "He loved the college and every year it's a blessing to know that the scholarship named for him is helping students to get their education."

James Strickland, of Dunn, a Laser and Photonics Technology student, received both the Miriello and the Laser and Photonics Technology scholarships.

"I wouldn't have been able to go to college at all without this help," Strickland said. "I can't say thank you enough."

Gary Beasley, CCCC lead instructor for Laser and Photonics, spoke with Strickland at the luncheon.

"The scholarship is funded by donations," he said. "It helps fulfill people's dreams of getting an education and a good job afterward. It is so fulfilling to see it happen."

CCCC President Bud Marchant and Foundation Board Chairman Bill Milholen thanked all the donors for their generosity. Milholen recognized the college's 50th anniversary, saying he first came to the college 36 years ago to learn about computers, then returned for a pre-licensing class for contractors. He owns Basic Machinery Co., in Siler City, and said he has always relied on the college for workforce training.

"The college's mission is to be a catalyst for personal, community, and economic development by empowering people through education and training," he said. "The Foundation's primary mission is to support the college in that."

He noted that, this year, the Foundation awarded $160,000 in scholarships to 180 students and also bought some equipment for the college.

Tommy Bridges, of Sanford, smiled as he looked around at the luncheon gathering. He was representing the James F. and Dixie B. Bridges Memorial Scholarship, named for his parents.

His father was one of the founding trustees of the Lee County Industrial Education Center, which became the college. James F. Bridges served as a trustee for 27 years, 1963-1990, the longest of any trustee in the history of the college. Tommy himself served 12 years as a trustee.

"The most fulfilling thing is coming here and hearing the testimonies of people who receive scholarships," he said. "My dad always took so much pride on being here at the beginning of the college. He wasn't a man of a lot of words. If he could be here today, he would just roll his cigar around in his mouth and grin to see how the college has grown."

The CCCC Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization affiliated with, but independent of, the college. It receives donations of money and equipment on behalf of CCCC and uses them to promote the educational mission of the college and assist students through scholarships and grants.

For information on establishing scholarships or endowments, contact Foundation Executive Director Diane Glover at (919) 718-7231 or or Associate Director Emily Hare, at (919) 718-7230 or To apply for a scholarship, contact the CCCC Financial Aid Office, (919) 718-7229.