03/25/07 — Time capsule marks start of WCC's 50th celebration

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Time capsule marks start of WCC's 50th celebration

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on March 25, 2007 2:07 AM

The newest building at Wayne Community College officially opened Friday, while the burial of a time capsule also served as the kick-off to a number of upcoming events marking the college's 50th anniversary.

Ribbon-cutting ceremonies were followed by tours of the Spruce Building, which houses the business and technology programs and is the last of the college construction funded by the state's 2000 Higher Education Bonds.

The $4.2 million structure is 31,050 square feet and houses eight classrooms, eight computer labs, 18 faculty and staff offices, and one of three N.C. Community College System computer information system training centers.

Another feature of the ceremony was the burying of a time capsule, designed and created by students using materials donated by Mt. Olive Pickle Co., Griffin Steel and McLamb Monument. A marker outside the entrance to Spruce noted that the capsule is to be opened at the centennial celebration in 2057.

Dr. Ed Wilson, president of WCC, recalled the historic journey since the notion of a local vocational training school was introduced in 1957.

"The Goldsboro Industrial Education Center was born that year and through three name changes and two campuses, the mission is still work force development," he said.

The college currently serves nearly 15,000 students a year, Wilson said, ranging in age from 6 months to nearly 100. With more than 70 college credit programs and hundreds of continuing education courses, as well as the addition of day care and high school programs, Wayne Community really demonstrates what it means to be a lifelong learner, he said.

"WCC is more than a training center now," he said. "It is essential to the growth of this county because it is the center of the community."

Friday was an occasion to celebrate all that the college has become and the path it took to get here, Wilson said. But more so, it was an opportunity to draw a map of the college's future.

One way of leaving a mark that will later be unearthed, literally, was through the time capsule that contained items representing the college.

Several were chosen to participate in the task, including 2-year-old Hayden Wall from the child care center. His mother, Angela Hobbs Wall, who works in the industrial maintenance technology department, spearheaded the time capsule project.

Barbara Watson is an information systems major at the college. Like the college, she is 50 years old. Alice Wadsworth, chief financial officer, represented the Class of 1967.

"They represent our future, our present, our heritage and our accomplishments," Wilson said.

Among the contents of the time capsule, which weighed more than 50 pounds, were an invitation to Friday's event as well as the upcoming retirement party for Wilson, the third WCC president; a collection of logos over the years; a campus map and directory; student handbook and newspaper; and various program brochures.

Pop culture was also represented, with a flip-style cell phone, as well as current newspapers and recruiting items such as a ruler, key chain, golf tees and sticky notes.

Whoever one day opens the capsule, Wilson said, "will hold history. They will marvel at our primitive technology and laugh at our hairstyles, the same way we recently were doing while looking at yearbooks and mimeographed documents from the past 50 years.

"They will remark on how far they have progressed, knowing that they simply continued a movement that actually began with a group of citizens who wanted a better life for other Wayne County residents.

"Today we plant a capsule and all this year we celebrate the seed that was planted in 1957."