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BCC celebrates 45th Anniversary

Source Date: October 17, 2012

Bladen Community College is observing the 45th anniversary of its founding this year and the year-long celebration culminated last Thursday with a gala on the grounds of the college. The celebration included a short program followed by an outdoor barbecue prepared and served by members of the college faculty and staff.

The program began at 11 a.m. with BCC President Dr. William Findt welcoming the large group of attendees. Among those in attendance were many local officials and former employees of the college, along with faculty, staff and students. Chairman of the BCC Board of Trustees Hayes Petteway then welcomed the attendees.

Town Manager of Elizabethtown Eddie Madden, a board member of the State Board of Community Colleges, then welcomed everyone on behalf of the Community College System. He pointed out that BCC was established only five years after the founding of the state's community college system, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

Following remarks by BCC Student Government Association President Robert Cassetty, Nash Hester, a 35-year faculty member of BCC, gave a short history of the college.

He began by stating that BCC was established in October 1967 and first began offering a limited number of classes in January of 1968. He stated that the college first operated in rented facilities in Elizabethtown--the old Johnson Cotton Company building on South Poplar Street and the old Elizabethtown Baptist Church Education Building on Broad Street. He noted that an adjoining property to the Johnson Company site was added shortly thereafter.

He pointed out that the college's trustees began working to secure a site for a main campus for the college shortly after its establishment. The search resulted in the group deciding to locate the campus on its present site. He stated that part of the property for the new main campus was donated by Dublin resident Roy Brisson and the remainder of the original 25-acre plot purchased. He said that the first buildings on the new campus were completed and occupied in 1971. The College was chartered in January of that year.

In conclusion, Hester pointed out that the College had been an important part of the fabric of the community since its inception, providing education and training to many area residents, thereby contributing immeasurably to the quality of life of the community.

Following the program, a barbecue lunch was served on the grounds. Musical entertainment was provided by a local band, South of Sanity, which is made up of current and former BCC students Noah Simmons, Eli Simmons, John Thomas Rains and high school student Robert Kinlaw.