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Freedom Shrine Dedicated at VGCC South Campus

A display honoring American history was dedicated at Vance-Granville Community College’s South Campus , located between Creedmoor and Butner, on Aug. 21. Members of the South Granville Exchange Club, which donated the “Freedom Shrine,” were joined by VGCC trustees, college officials, Butner Public Safety officers and state Rep. Jim Crawford.


Wayne Hobgood, the director of Butner Public Safety, officially presented the Freedom Shrine to VGCC. Hobgood is the immediate past president of the South Granville Exchange Club, and was club president when the shrine was purchased for South Campus. Hobgood said that purchasing and dedicating the shrines is a way for the club to carry out its goal of promoting Americanism. The 19 historical documents reflected in the shrine give visitors education about the country’s foundation and its ideals. “We know how important it is for our youth to be aware of American heritage,” Hobgood said.


The Freedom Shrine is a permanently mounted collection of reproductions of many of the most important and historic American documents, including the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States and the Gettysburg Address. Exchange clubs across the country have installed Freedom Shrines in schools, universities, libraries and other public places. The local Exchange club has placed shrines in Granville County high schools and is planning one for the new Granville Central High School. After Hobgood saw an ideal space in the new addition to VGCC’s South Campus, which was dedicated earlier this year, the club purchased and installed the shrine.Rep. Crawford thanked the club on behalf of Granville County citizens, saying that the Freedom Shrine was “a wonderful display…It is so important to educate the community, especially the young people, about American history. If we don’t learn from the past, we have a tendency to repeat it.”


VGCC President Randy Parker thanked the Exchange Club on behalf of the college’s trustees, faculty, staff and students, for its leadership in bringing the display to the campus. He received a plaque from Hobgood noting the club’s contribution. “Our South Campus has been here for 25 years,” Parker said. “We’ve just finished a 20,000-square-foot expansion here this year, and we’re very happy to have your group be a part of this campus.”Developed by the National Exchange Club, the Freedom Shrine originated from the Freedom Train that toured the nation in 1947 carrying an exhibit of historic documents. “The historical American documents that comprise the Shrine were carefully chosen to exemplify the beginnings of our nation and those subsequent turning points of importance which shaped our national character and eminence,” according to the national club website (www.nationalexchangeclub.com/).


The mission of the Exchange Club, which is made up of more than 800 clubs and nearly 28,000 members throughout the United States and Puerto Rico, is “to make our communities better places to live through programs of service in Americanism, Community Service, Youth Activities, and… the Prevention of Child Abuse.” Promoting pride in country, respect for the flag and appreciation of our freedoms are the primary purposes of Exchange’s Americanism programs.


Above: From left, N.C. Rep. Jim Crawford, former South Granville Exchange Club president and Butner Public Safety director Wayne Hobgood and Vance-Granville Community College President Randy Parker celebrate the dedication of the Freedom Shrine on the college’s South Campus. (VGCC Photo)