VGCC Honors Pioneer at Board Meeting

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Vance-Granville Community College honored the memory of a college pioneer, approved a new degree program and provided the latest update on grants, among other actions, at its regular bimonthly Board of Trustees meeting on Monday, Jan. 27, on Main Campus.

The family of Charles F. Blackburn was presented with a framed resolution recognizing the now deceased attorney and state legislator who was the initial chairman of the Board of Trustees of what was first named Vance County Technical Institute.

Presenting the plaque to Blackburn’s wife, Mrs. Thalia Jane Tillman Blackburn of Henderson, VGCC Board of Trustees Chair Deborah Brown noted, “Mr. Blackburn was an accomplished lawyer and was the first chairman of our board from 1969 to 1977.

“Mr. Blackburn’s ideas, energy and skills made Vance-Granville Community College a reality and our college has flourished as an institution of higher learning within the service areas of Vance County, Granville County, Warren County, and Franklin County, certainly because of his contributions,” she said.

Mr. Blackburn, who died in October 2013, “was truly the Father of VGCC, whose ideas, energy and skills made VGCC a reality, and his sense of honesty and fair play continues to be part of the educational bedrock and educational fabric of Vance-Granville Community College,” the resolution states. Mrs. Blackburn was accompanied to the board meeting by her nephew, George T. “Tem” Blackburn II.

Dental Hygiene

The new curriculum program, which will offer an associate’s degree in dental hygiene, will now move forward to be considered for approval by the State Board of Community Colleges and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) Commission on Colleges.

As approved by the board, the Associate in Applied Science Degree in Dental Hygiene will provide individuals with the knowledge and skills to access, plan, implement, and evaluate dental hygiene care for the individual and the community. The recommendation for the program came from the Curriculum Committee of the VGCC board, chaired by Trustee Dr. Doris Terry Williams. Students will be eligible to earn an associate’s degree, diploma or certificate.

Grants

In other reports from Trustee Dr. Williams’ committee, the board was updated on grants received in 2013, including: the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant, the single largest competitive grant award in VGCC history, $1.7 million; Golden LEAF, $460,000; NC Back-to-Work, $120,000; Male Mentoring Grant, $20,500; and Plus 50 Encore Completion, $15,000. Additional grants will be announced at a later time.

Other Reports

The board received updates from Trustee John Foster, chair of the trustees’ Building Committee, on capital projects. A motion was also approved to demolish a structure on Warren County Campus property at 214 Ridgeway Street in Warrenton.

Mid-year amendments were made to the 2013-2014 budget resolution as presented by the board’s Budget Committee, chaired by Trustee Sara Wester.

Trustee L. Opie Frazier Jr., chair of the Investment Committee, provided an update on college investments.

The board heard a report from Theresa Chiplis of Norlina, a student in the Global Logistics Technology, Accounting and Business Administration programs, who is the Student Government Association president and Student Trustee. She reported on activities being undertaken by the SGA.

In her report to the board, President Dr. Stelfanie Williams highlighted recent activities and accomplishments and announced upcoming events.

Trustees will be attending training scheduled for Feb. 25 at Halifax Community College, Dr. Williams announced. The N.C. Association of Community College Trustees and the N.C. Association of Community College Presidents have organized the training with project funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The training is designed to help board members be more knowledgeable of their role in student success at their colleges.

Dr. Williams also noted that a dinner theater has been scheduled for May 1-2 on Main Campus. The VGCC Endowment Fund golf tournament will be played May 6 at Henderson Country Club. Graduation is scheduled for May 16 at the gazebo on Main Campus.

The next meeting of the Board of Trustees will be held on Monday, March 17, 2014. The board will meet at the Masonic Home for Children at Oxford (home of VGCC’s Culinary Arts program) and have a joint dinner with the Granville County Board of Commissioners.

Above: Deborah Brown, Chair of the VGCC Board of Trustees, left, presents a framed resolution from the board honoring the memory of Charles F. Blackburn to Mr. Blackburn’s wife, Jane Blackburn, right, and her nephew, Tem Blackburn. Charles Blackburn was the college’s first chairman of the trustee board. The Trustees made the presentation at their regular bimonthly meeting on Main Campus on Monday, Jan. 27. (VGCC photo)