CCCC celebrates 50th at Chatham Campus
A 5K Rabbit Run April 28 got Central Carolina Community College's 50th Anniversary celebration at ... (more)
A huge tethered balloon offered an exciting lift above the Chatham County Campus of Central Carolina ... (more)
Christopher Watson (right), of Pittsboro, and his son Caden watch with interest as Central Carolina ... (more)
The Step Team from Northwood High School was among the groups entertaining at Central Carolina Community ... (more)
Dr. Bud Marchant, president of Central Carolina Community College, reads information about becoming ... (more)
Keira Brooks, age 8, of Bynum, is impressed as Hope Hunter, of Raleigh, creates a balloon-twist toy ... (more)
PITTSBORO - An overcast day and chilly breeze couldn't dampen the enthusiasm or enjoyment April 28 at Central Carolina Community College's 50th Anniversary Celebration at its Chatham County Campus.
The hundreds of visitors who turned out took part in classes, tours and activities; enjoyed the entertainment and snacks; received free health care screenings; and even went up in a hot air balloon.
Central Carolina Community College is celebrating its 50th anniversary during the 2011-2012 academic year. It offered its first classes in 1961 in Sanford, when it was known as the Lee County Industrial Education Center.
It expanded into Chatham County in 1964, with a health-related program, nurse aide, starting in April of that year. Since then, the college has become the major provider of post-secondary education in the county, serving residents with degree, diploma, certificate and enrichment programs at the Chatham County Campus, Siler City Center, and other locations.
"I recognized the importance of what the college was offering from the time I moved here, said George Lucier, a Chatham resident for 44 years and a college trustee since 2009. "CCCC has been judged to be one of the Top 50 community colleges in the country. That says a lot."
Saturday's event was a big "thank-you" to the Chatham Community for its enthusiastic support of the college, said CCCC President Bud Marchant.
"We wouldn't have become what we are without the strong advocates for and supporters of the college for all these years," he said. "It's amazing what the vision and dedication to the hard work of creating CCCC has accomplished. I thank everyone who was or is involved in it, as well as the students who trusted us to give them an excellent education both for the workforce and for further education."
The first big event of Saturday's celebration was the 5K Rabbit Run. More than 90 runners turned out. Some were experienced; others ran for the fun of it or to show support for the college's event. The winners were: first, Clint Bryan, of Pittsboro, with a time of 18:59; second, 11-year-old Nick Teta, of Pittsboro, with a time of 19:10; and Michael Holt, of Sanford, with a time of 19: 25. There was a Kids Fun Run, but Teta said he wanted to run in the adult race because, "I like more competition."
Anky Chau, of Pittsboro, was at the celebration, smiling as she watched her son, Kai, come down the inflatable slide.
"I love it," she said of the event. "There are so many activities for kids."
Chau has taken classes at the Pittsboro Campus, so she is aware of what it adds to the community.
"Having CCCC in Chatham adds diversity and valuable resources," she said. "The college is a gem in Pittsboro."
One of the highlights of the celebration was the tethered balloon ride, for which both children and adults stood in line eagerly waiting their turn. The mild breeze added to the excitement as the huge balloon rose to about 40 feet in the air. It was worth the wait.
"It was great - and a little scary," said a very happy Ruby Pardington, age 10, after her balloon ride. "I would love to go again!"
While fun activities were going on outside, free health screenings were provided in the Student Center by Chatham Hospital, such as blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol. Chatham County Health Department was there to let visitors know the services it offers. BeTheMatch.org, in partnership with UNC-Chapel Hill's McLendon Clinical Laboratories, ran a registry drive for potential bone marrow donors.
Visitors also got up-close with the campus's green programs and buildings, seeing a culinary arts demonstration and the Student Farm, and touring the college's Sustainable Technology Center and the Chatham Community Library. Both were built to high energy-efficiency and environmentally friendly standards.
The 50th celebration is a reminder that the college has had a strong past, said Marchant.
"Building on that, the college is committed to even greater service to its communities in the present and future," he said.
The college's 50th celebration will continue, with a CCCC Foundation Furniture Auction and Barbecue Cook-off at the Harnett County Campus on June 2. The celebration wraps up June 28 with a ticket-admission finale at the Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center, in Sanford. The finale will feature an original theatrical production on the history of the college written by Ellen Bland, CCCC humanities/drama instructor, and a silent auction. Information about both events will be posted at www.cccc.edu/50years as details are finalized.
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