Wayne Community College Celebrates 65 years

Wayne Community College Celebrates 65 years

Wayne Community College celebrated 65 years of service to Goldsboro with a reception Wednesday at the Moffatt Auditorium. The Keynote speaker was Jimmy E. Ford an alum and current WCC Trustee.

Ford recounted his decision to attent Wayne Community College during a period of time when he was uncertain about his future.

“I wanted a life change, and I finally found out hat if I go the route that I was involved in at the time, my life would change.”

“I tell people I looked out my back door, there was Wayne Community College. I decided to give it a try. And Lord have mercy, when I did, i began to get involved to the point that I knew my life was changing for the best.”

Dr. Brandon M. Jenkins, Vice President of Academic and Student Services welcomed the invited guests
Dr. Thomas A. Walker, Jr., Former WCC President and Dr. Patricia A. Pfeiffer, WCC President also spoke.

Wayne Community College came to life in 1958 as the Goldsboro Industrial Education Center. Goldsboro’s center was one of seven IECs established in North Carolina to provide vocational training for adults. Under the governance of the Goldsboro City Board of Education, the IEC used classrooms in Goldsboro High School. Kenneth Marshall directed the IEC until 1961 when Hal K. Plonk took over.

A campus was established on the U.S. 70 Bypass in 1960. By the fall of 1962, the IEC had eight faculty and 47 students. In August 1962, Dr. H. B. Monroe became the institution’s first president and served until 1966. He was succeeded by Dr. Clyde A. Erwin, Jr. in July 1966. Dr. Erwin served for 20 years.

Goldsboro IEC changed its name to Wayne Technical Institute in 1964. Enrollment increased steadily and by fall of 1966, there were 550 students on campus and 1,500 extension students.

In November 1967, a community vote approved the necessary financial support for WTI to become Wayne Community College. One year later, curriculum enrollment was 700.

Wayne Community College was accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1970 and has been regularly reaffirmed by the agency’s Commission on Colleges, most recently in 2016.

The student population’s rapid growth overwhelmed the U.S. 70 Bypass facilities. In January 1974, the Board of Trustees commissioned a Master Plan for campus relocation to Wayne Memorial Drive. The first building on the new campus, constructed in 1978, housed auto-diesel technology, welding, watchmaking, drafting and electronics programs.

A local bond referendum in 1986 provided $9.9 million in construction funds, which were matched by state funds in the following years. WCC’s campus relocation efforts progressed through Dr. G. Herman Porter’s tenure (1986-1992) and continued when Dr. Edward H. Wilson, Jr. took the helm in July 1992.

By the fall of 1992, five buildings were completed. A 1993 statewide bond referendum provided the $6.3 million necessary to add two more buildings on campus and an aviation building at the Goldsboro-Wayne Municipal Airport. All were in use by the winter of 1996.

Enrollment and program offerings continued to grow, and so did the facilities. In the fall of 2000, voters overwhelmingly approved a statewide Higher Education Bond that provided WCC nearly $13 million for construction, renovation and repair. The last building constructed with that bond money is home to the business and information technology programs. That state-of-the-art facility opened in spring 2007.

Also in 2007, the Hope Monument joined the Plonk Clock and the Spillway fountain as campus landmarks. The Hope Monument and the inscribed bricks that surround it honor those who have left their mark on the college and encourage those making their way now. The 16-foot “street clock,” a memorial to Madeline W. Plonk and Hal K. Plonk, was a gift from the residents of Goldsboro and the Plonk family in 2005. Spillway, created by sculptor Jim Gallucci, was given by Goldsboro Milling Company in honor of William H. Shepard, Jr. in 1989.

Dr. Wilson passed the torch to Dr. Kay H. Albertson in July 2007. During her nine years in the President’s office, the college led the state in the number of National Career Readiness Certifications earned, an accomplishment that aided in the naming of Wayne County as the first county in the state to receive the ACT “Certified Work Ready Community” designation.

In March 2016, voters approved the “North Carolina Connect NC Public Improvement Bond” that resulted in $5,800,000 in funds for construction, repairs, and renovations for the college.

Dr. Thomas A. Walker, Jr., held the reins from September 2016 through July 2021. Among the accomplishments of his administration was the construction of the Ash Building to bring the college’s three automotive programs that had been spread among four buildings under one roof. It was the first facility in the North Carolina Community College System to employ a design-build delivery process (the architect and contractor worked together from the start of the project, with the architect employed by the contractor, not the college). It was open for classes in fall 2020.

Planning also began for a Center for Industrial Technology and Engineering (CITE) on Walker’s watch.

Dr. Patricia A. Pfeiffer succeeded Walker in January 2022. Among her goals are the construction of CITE and a lab building for the college’s Agriculture and Natural Resources Department.

Today WCC provides more than 165 credit programs including courses that will transfer to four-year universities. Many courses and programs are offered on-line to provide better access for today’s students.

For 65 years, Wayne Community College has responded to the needs of the community and kept pace with changes in technology and methodology. It has produced an impressive list of student achievements and successful graduates. With each semester, WCC renews its dedication to continuing the tradition of “growing futures.”

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Goldsboro Industrial Education Center – 1958-1964 Wayne Technical Institute – 1964-1967 Wayne Community College – 1967-present

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Kenneth Marshall, Director, Goldsboro Industrial Education Center, September 1958-June 1961

Hal K. Plonk, Director, GIEC, July 1961-July 1962

Dr. H.B. Monroe, President, GIEC then Wayne Technical Institute, August 1962-June 1966

Dr. Clyde A. Erwin, Jr., President, WTI then WCC, July 1966-October 1986

Dr. G. Herman Porter, President, WCC, October 1986-June 1992

Dr. Edward H. Wilson, Jr., President, WCC, July 1992-June 2007

Dr. Kay H. Albertson, President, WCC, July 2007-July 2016

Dr. Lannis Eugene Smith, Interim President, WCC, August 2016

Dr. Thomas A. Walker, Jr., President, WCC, September 2016-July 2021

Dr. Patricia A. Pfeiffer, Interim President, WCC, August 2021-December 2021 / President, WCC, January 2022-present