VGCC Honors Radiography Graduates at Pinning Ceremony 

-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Twenty-two new graduates of Vance-Granville Community College’s two-year Radiography program were honored in a May 6 pinning ceremony in the college’s Civic Center.

The Radiography Class of 2019 included Frantz Alexis, Jr., of Chapel Hill; Shanice D. Alleyne, Karene Anderson, Matthew Battistel, Kristen Bowman, Starsha M. Hargrove and Dwayne Huneycutt, all of Creedmoor; Allison Weaver Wiggins of Franklinton; Samantha Pierce and Paige Snider, both of Garner; Brooklyn Rooker and Ashley Bobbitt Ward, both of Henderson; Angela Basili of Hillsborough; Shayla A. Cash and Dulce Santillan, both of Louisburg; Megan Irene Proctor of Macon; Crystal Sorrell and Megan Whitman, both of Oxford; Rubi Judith Coyote Baizabal, Celeste Evans and Treva Gordan, all of Roxboro; and Marina Rombout of Stem.

Above: members of the 2019 Radiography graduating class at Vance-Granville Community College who received their pins May 6 included, on the front row, from left: Marina Rombout, Megan Whitman, Angela Basili, Shanice Alleyne, Shayla Cash, Treva Gordan and Brooklyn Rooker; second row, from left: Ashley Ward, Paige Snider, Samantha Pierce, Dulce Santillan, Crystal Sorrell and Rubi Coyote; third row, from left: Karene Anderson, Matthew Battistel, Dwayne Huneycutt, Allison Wiggins and Kristen Bowman; back row, from left: Megan Proctor, Starsha Hargrove, Frantz Alexis and Celeste Evans. (VGCC Photo)

Angela M. Thomas, the Dean of Health Sciences/ Interim Program Head for Radiography, presided over the ceremony. She encouraged students to “love what you do or you will not give it your best; enhance your passion for giving and dream bigger than Disney World.” The ceremony featured live entertainment by Detroit Yancey, an Oxford native, who sang “Wind Beneath My Wings.”

The keynote speaker for the ceremony was Lewis Daughtry, Jr., one of the instructors for the program. He advised the students, “Do not think future opportunities are going to stop and wait for you. You must be ready.”

Rubi Judith Coyote Baizabal gave an address in response on behalf of her classmates. A Dean’s List student and Phi Theta Kappa inductee, she has served as one of her program’s representatives in the VGCC Student Government Association.

“Remember, do not bury your failures, let them inspire you,” Baizabal told her fellow students.

Lindsay Hinkle from the VA Medical Center in Durham was chosen by the graduating students to receive the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) Certificate of Excellence for Clinical Educators. The students voted for Tabitha Owens from EmergeOrtho William Penn Plaza in Durham as the top technologist at the clinical sites in which they received their 900 hours of practical training, while the Clinical Affiliate Award of Excellence went to the EmergeOrtho William Penn Plaza in Durham.

Receiving the JRCERT Certificate of Excellence for Students was Megan Whitman, who also received the VGCC Radiography Academic Award. In a first-ever tie, the VGCC Radiography Clinical Excellence Award was presented to two students, Megan Proctor and Brooklyn Rooker.

Instructor Anthony Twisdale shared the history of the Radiographer’s Pin before he and Angela Thomas awarded the pins to each graduate. Thomas led the graduates in reciting the Radiographer’s Pledge as the ceremonies concluded.

New VGCC President to Address Graduates as College Celebrates 50 Years

-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Dr. Rachel Desmarais, who earlier this year became the seventh president of Vance-Granville Community College, will serve as the principal commencement speaker for the college’s graduation exercises on Friday, May 10, 2019. As VGCC celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, Desmarais follows in the footsteps of the school’s first president, Dr. Donald Mohorn, who was the commencement speaker at the first such ceremony, back in 1970.

Dr. Rachel Desmarais, who earlier this year became the seventh president of Vance-Granville Community College, will serve as the principal commencement speaker for the college’s graduation exercises on Friday, May 10, 2019. (VGCC Photo)

Jose Angel De Leon of Henderson, president of the VGCC Student Government Association, will be the student speaker.

Nearly 500 students are scheduled to be honored during ceremonies beginning at 6 p.m. at the gazebo by the lake on the college’s Main Campus in Vance County. For those unable to attend the event in person, VGCC will broadcast a live video feed from the ceremony online on its YouTube channel (

The VGCC Board of Trustees selected Dr. Desmarais to become the college president in December 2018, while she was serving as the executive vice president and chief operating officer of Forsyth Technical Community College.

Once a student at Forsyth Tech, Desmarais became an adjunct instructor at the community college from 1996 to 1999 while also working in the private sector. She joined Forsyth Tech full-time in 2002 and served in a variety of academic and administrative roles over the next 16 years.

Jose Angel De Leon of Henderson, president of the VGCC Student Government Association, will be the student speaker. (VGCC Photo)

Desmarais earned her doctorate of philosophy in instructional design and technology from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va., in 2015 after getting her master’s of science in information technology management from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2003. She earned a bachelor of music degree in voice performance from Mars Hill College in 1992.

She was also among fewer than 40 aspiring and emerging community college presidents nationwide who were chosen for the Aspen Institute Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence in 2017-2018.

De Leon is graduating from VGCC with a degree in Criminal Justice Technology. A graduate of Norlina Christian School, he has earned Dean’s List and President’s List honors at the college and has been inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa honor society.

De Leon plans to continue his education at North Carolina Central University, where he will complete a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. His long-term plan is to earn his Ph.D. in criminal justice or criminology and become a college professor.

Students serving as graduation marshals will be Caroline Williamson of Bullock; Ebony Cotton of Franklinton; Hannah Edwards, Evin Swilley, April Zuniga-Trejo and Leslie Zuniga-Trejo, all of Henderson; Gricel Arroyo of Louisburg; Miranda Brown of Oxford; Rana Alashmali of Timberlake; and Ronnie Brodie, Jr., of Wake Forest.


April Zuniga-Trejo of Henderson

Caroline Williamson of Bullock

Ebony Cotton of Franklinton

Evin Swilley of Henderson

Gricel Arroyo of Louisburg

Hannah Edwards of Henderson

Leslie Zuniga-Trejo of Henderson

Miranda Brown of Oxford

Rana Alashmali – Timberlake

Ronnie Brodie, Jr., of Wake Forest

Education Veteran to Address VGCC Basic Skills Grads

-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Vance-Granville Community College will hold commencement exercises dedicated exclusively to new graduates of Adult Basic Skills programs on Thursday, May 2, 2019.

The ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. in the Civic Center on the college’s Main Campus in Vance County. Those being honored will include students who have completed either the Adult High School Diploma program or the High School Equivalency program in the past year.

Rev. Dannie T. Williams, a longtime leader in education, will deliver the principal commencement address at VGCC’s Adult Basic Skills graduation ceremony on Thursday, May 2, 2019. (Photo courtesy VGCC)

Rev. Dannie T. Williams, a longtime leader in education, will deliver the principal commencement address. Williams is a Franklin County native and a GED High School Equivalency graduate himself. He went on to graduate from Shaw University with a B.A. in Criminal Justice, along with a minor in Sociology and Public Administration, from Christian Bible College in Rocky Mount with a Master of Theology, and from North Carolina State University with both a Master’s in School Administration and an Ed.S. in School Supervision and Administration.

Most recently, he has completed all required coursework for his doctoral degree (Ed.D.) and is currently working on his dissertation.

Williams has had numerous experiences in the field of public education. He began his career as a teacher assistant/bus driver. After receiving his Lateral Entry teacher certification, he taught the subjects of Social Studies, Science, Mathematics and English, and served at times as a basketball coach and coordinator of character education. He has served as a member of the Board of Education in Franklin County.

In administration, he was an assistant principal, principal, executive director for human resources and auxiliary services and is currently the chief of human resources with the Franklin County Schools.

Rev. Roberta Egerton will speak on behalf of graduating students at VGCC’s Adult Basic Skills graduation. (Photo courtesy VGCC)

In addition, Williams is a Christian educator. He served as the Minister for Church Life and Education for the Southern Conference, United Church of Christ (UCC), and currently is the President of the Board of Directors of the Southern Conference, UCC. He has been the Senior Pastor and Teacher of the Melfield UCC in Haw River, N.C., for 23 years and has over 43 years of ministry experience.

Speaking on behalf of the graduating students during the ceremony will be Rev. Roberta Egerton of Louisburg. She completed her High School Equivalency earlier this year after attending classes on VGCC’s Franklin County Campus. She is also a Monmouth Bible Institute graduate and an ordained Baptist minister.

Egerton has enrolled in curriculum classes at VGCC with plans to obtain an Associate’s Degree in Nursing.

LaRocca, New Director of Communications, Encouraged by VGCC’s ‘Fresh Approach’

Christopher LaRocca, director of communications for Vance-Granville Community College, was the guest of honor on Thursday’s edition of WIZS’ Town Talk program.

LaRocca, who joined the college in March after 15 years with Duke University, said his own experience as a graduate of North Country Community College in Saranac Lake, New York made the possibility of working for VGCC appealing.

“Vance-Granville is giving me another opportunity to give back to the community college system that gave so much to me,” LaRocca said. “I gained valuable tools learning how to manage my time, learning how to focus academically, and then using those skills at a four-year college and in my career.”

In addition to Duke University, LaRocca’s career includes stints with the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team and USA Basketball Men’s National Team.

While LaRocca believes his educational path was the key to success in his career, he agrees that everyone must define success in their own terms – an opportunity readily offered by the community college system.

“I’m a big proponent of education. I’m a big advocate of getting a four-year degree and even going on to get a master’s degree; however, I’m also aware that college isn’t for everyone. Sometimes getting a two-year degree in a skill or trade is enough to be successful,” stated LaRocca.

While less than two months into his new position, LaRocca said he is encouraged by the positive growth he has already witnessed under the leadership of VGCC President Dr. Rachel Desmarais. Desmarais, who previously served as executive vice president and chief operating officer of Forsyth Technical Community College in Winston-Salem, joined VGCC as the institution’s seventh president in January.

“I love the new, fresh approach at the college. Dr. Desmarais has some wonderful ideas in terms of restructuring and her view on where the college could be in the next few years.”

In a recent Town Talk interview with WIZS, Desmarais explained her vision promoted economic turnaround by helping the four-county area transition “from tobacco and old-style manufacturing into healthcare and biotech innovation.”

Part of that vision, according to LaRocca, is promoting new programs at the college to ensure students have the skills needed to be eligible for emerging career opportunities in the local area.

Two of VGCC’s newest programs – Healthcare Informatics and Cyber Security – will be offered as certificate and associate degree programs through the Information Technology Department beginning fall 2019.

“We are making strides to create new programs so there is something available for everyone. I encourage the community to check out our website frequently ( for updates,” said LaRocca.

LaRocca also invites the community to attend upcoming events at VGCC, including:

To hear the Town Talk interview with LaRocca in its entirety, click here. LaRocca’s portion of the interview begins at the 10:00 mark.

VGCC Names 79 Students to Fall Semester President’s List

-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Vance-Granville Community College has announced that 79 students earned President’s List academic honors for the fall 2018 semester.

The President’s List recognizes students who achieved a perfect 4.0 grade-point average (GPA) while carrying a “full load” (at least 12 credit hours) in 100-level or higher curriculum courses.

*WIZS will post the list of VGCC fall Dean’s List recipients on Friday, April 19.

Fall Semester President’s List honorees are listed below by program of study and then by residence.


Accounting & Finance:

Alicia D. Hinton of Castalia;

Abigail S. Pruitt of Oxford.


Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration Technology:

Christian A. Dockum and Ethan D. Hughes, both of Creedmoor.


Associate in Arts:

Austin M. Councilman of Creedmoor;

Joshua I. Horton of Franklinton;

Kaitlyn M. Harris, Dylan T. Jackson, Jadyn M. Jones, Josiah Jones and Caroline A. Nutt, all of Henderson;

Wesley T. Beach and Matthew D. Varker, both of Kittrell;

Pamela R. Campbell of Littleton;

Jacob N. Carver, Ker’Telian S. Fields and Calli S. Massey, all of Oxford;

Lily R. Averette of Rougemont;

Conner G. Bryant of Warrenton;

Taylor N. Wagaman of Youngsville.


Associate in General Education – General Science:

Victoria K. Swain of Durham;

Kyra E. Corrigan of Wake Forest.


Associate in Science:

Shadi M. Nagi of Henderson;

Rewees A. Ebrahim of Oxford;

Kayla M. Blue of Stem;

Heather L. Gwin and Heidy Labra-Franco, both of Warrenton;

Emily J. Bauer of Youngsville.


Automotive Systems Technology:

David D. Bragg of Franklinton;

Toby J. Bradsher, III, of Henderson;

Branden S. Lilley of Louisburg;

Cesar L. Vazquez of Oxford;

Xavier Durham of Warrenton.


Business Administration:

Charlene A. Kearney of Creedmoor;

Holly R. Buchanan of Henderson.



Kandace N. Rutter of Creedmoor;

Jennifer H. Bruner, Jamie L. Moody and Samantha B. Williamson, all of Franklinton;

MacKenzie D. Hutson, Chelsea L. Jones, Dasha S. Kearney and Skylar N. Mulhollen, all of Henderson;

Anna M. Wood of Louisburg;

Monet L. Faucett of Norlina;

Kathleen R. Feinman of Rolesville;

Samantha J. Tackema of Wake Forest;

Janice P. Shehata of Warrenton;

Kelley R. Oakley of Youngsville.


Criminal Justice:

Tanya Beal Smith of Butner;

Adrianna M. De Nuzzia of Creedmoor;

Alexis R. Lincoln of Franklinton;

Gricel Arroyo and Kimberly R. Smith, both of Louisburg;

Andrew L. Ayscue of Youngsville.


Culinary Arts:

Dominique A. Winters of Creedmoor;

Sonya K. Jackson of Franklinton.


Early Childhood Education:

Brittaniana M. Channell and Stephanie L. Griffin, both of Creedmoor;

Lakee’ D. Steed of Henderson;

Catherine A. Mendell of Oxford.



Melissa B. Anderson of Butner.


Human Services Technology/Substance Abuse:

Allyson D. Dellea of Kittrell;

Kelly F. Yarborough of McLeansville;

Tiffiney Whitt of Roxboro.


Information Technology:

Douglas Boulia of Creedmoor;

Joseph T. Hedgepeth of Henderson;

Ebony Thomas of Kittrell;

Brandon Vestweber of Wake Forest.


Mechatronics Engineering Technology:

Herbert H. Davis of Henderson.


Medical Office Administration:

Kimberly C. Cagney of Creedmoor;

Kelsey B. Ivey of Henderson;

Danielle N. Enright and Elizabeth L. Wiggins, both of Louisburg.


Office Administration:

Mia N. Wireman of Creedmoor.


Practical Nursing:

Mary W. Wanjiku of Cary.



Kacie L. Gann of Durham.


Welding Technology:

Lacy E. Hidalgo-Gato of Franklinton;

Matthew K. Hamilton of Louisburg.



VGCC Alumnus: Acting in Dinner Theater ‘Feels Like Coming Home’

-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Vance-Granville Community College holds a special place in the heart of Spencer Nunn, who has returned to his alma mater as a member of the cast of the college’s upcoming Dinner Theater production of Stephen Sondheim’s musical comedy, “Company.”

When the former Warrenton resident first enrolled at VGCC, he planned to complete an Associate in Science degree and transfer to a four-year university to study Marine Biology. As it turned out, his experience at the community college changed his career plans and, in fact, his life – dramatically.

“When I got to Vance-Granville, I was already into acting, since finding theater in my freshman year of high school,” Nunn recalled. “But I thought of theater as a hobby.”

Vance-Granville Community College holds a special place in the heart of Spencer Nunn, who has returned to his alma mater as a member of the cast of the college’s upcoming Dinner Theater production of Stephen Sondheim’s musical comedy, “Company” on April 25 & 26. (Photo courtesy VGCC)

One semester, he considered auditioning for VGCC’s production of “The Importance of Being Earnest,” but a Biology lab session conflicted with the audition time, so he missed it. “Fortunately, I knew one of the cast members and found out that somebody had dropped out of the play,” Nunn said. “I was just in the right place at the right time. I auditioned and got the part.”

Many more VGCC productions followed, including the first four Dinner Theaters. Nunn attended school part-time, while also working part-time. That meant he was enrolled for more semesters than some students, and he had more chances to appear in VGCC plays. “I might be the most prolific actor in Vance-Granville history,” he reflected with a laugh.

Along the way, after spending time studying with VGCC Theatre Arts instructor Betsy Henderson, something clicked for him. “I thought after a while, ‘this makes me happy,’ and I decided to pursue the theatre as a career,” Nunn said. His new plan was to transfer to a four-year university to complete a degree that would allow him to teach drama.

Nunn graduated from VGCC in 2016 and enrolled at William Peace University in Raleigh, where his professors marveled at the amount of college-level stage experience he had. He is set to graduate from WPU with his bachelor’s degree in Theatre Education, and a minor in English, on May 4, not long after the VGCC Dinner Theater. “Later, I’d like to get my master’s and teach at the college level,” Nunn said. “I was not on that course when I started at VGCC.”

There is another significant aspect to Nunn’s experience at the community college: the lasting relationships he formed. In addition to making many friends and gaining a mentor in Betsy Henderson, Nunn started dating one of his fellow student actors, Rachel Pottern, after they appeared together in “Zara Spook and Other Lures.” He proposed marriage to her in front of an awe-struck VGCC Civic Center audience at the conclusion of a Dinner Theater production, “Smoke on the Mountain.” She said “yes,” and they eventually wed in 2016. “So that’s something else I owe to Betsy Henderson and the college,” Nunn remarked. They even had their wedding on the VGCC campus. Originally set to take place in the gazebo outside, the ceremony moved into the Civic Center because of Hurricane Matthew.

His wife is an accomplished thespian herself and graduated from William Peace University right before he enrolled there. Among the four plays in which Nunn has acted at WPU, one was directed by Rachel. He has submitted a proposal to direct a play at the university after he graduates, just as she did.

Appropriately enough, in the new production of “Company,” Nunn plays “Paul,” a young man who is about to get married to “Amy,” played by Rachel. Nunn describes Paul as “a young banker in New York City; he’s very optimistic and overly affectionate at times, but he’s genuine, kind-hearted and loving.”

Spencer and Rachel Nunn are the only cast members in this year’s seventh annual Dinner Theater who were also in VGCC’s first such production (“Our Town”) back in 2013. Their involvement in the show as alumni is in keeping with the celebration of the community college’s 50th anniversary.

“The cast of this show is a lot of fun,” Nunn said. “The music is really challenging. Sondheim is known for complex music. If the cast was not so determined and ego-free, it could be frustrating, but we are all so supportive of each other.” In addition to Betsy Henderson directing and co-starring, Nunn noted that the production benefits from “a fantastic music director, Joanna Li; I feel I understand musical theater so much better after working with her.”

“Coming back to do this show feels like coming home,” Nunn added. “I never regretted going the community college route. I am 100% positive I would not be in the position I am, mentally, emotionally or in terms of maturity if it wasn’t for Vance-Granville.”

His heart, he said, “is at peace knowing I am doing theater because I realized how much it meant to me at Vance-Granville, and now, I want to get on a career path to be able to give that back. Going to the college is one of the best things I ever chose to do, and so many blessings have come from it.”

The dinner theater is scheduled for the evenings of Thursday, April 25, and Friday, April 26. Dinner will begin at 6 p.m. each evening in the Civic Center on the college’s Main Campus near Henderson. Tickets are available for $30 each through the VGCC website at

VGCC’s 35th Golf Tournament, Presented by CertainTeed, Set for May 7

-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Vance-Granville Community College is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2019, and part of that celebration involves marking another milestone: the college’s 35th Annual Endowment Fund Golf Tournament, scheduled for Tuesday, May 7, 2019, at the Henderson Country Club.

For the first time, CertainTeed of Oxford will serve as the event’s presenting sponsor. All proceeds support the mission of the college and fund student scholarships.

“Since its inception in 1985, the VGCC golf tournament has grown into a wonderful tradition and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the college, thanks to the generosity of numerous golfers and sponsors,” said VGCC President Dr. Rachel Desmarais. “We appreciate the strong commitment demonstrated by CertainTeed in partnering with us as the tournament’s presenting sponsor, which will enhance our ability to serve and support our students.”

Eddie Ferguson, director of VGCC’s Endowment Fund, added, “With our community’s continuing support, we expect that once this year’s tournament is complete, we will have raised more than $1 million over the course of the history of this event.”

CertainTeed is a longtime supporter of the golf tournament and has endowed the CertainTeed Academic Achievement Scholarship at VGCC. Founded in 1904 as General Roofing Manufacturing Company, today, CertainTeed is North America’s leading brand of exterior and interior building products, including roofing, siding, fence, decking, railing, trim, insulation, gypsum and ceilings. A subsidiary of Saint-Gobain, one of the world’s largest and oldest building products companies, CertainTeed and its affiliates have more than 6,300 employees and more than 60 manufacturing facilities throughout the United States and Canada.

Other businesses and individuals supporting the tournament include: Glen Raven of Norlina, the breakfast sponsor; First Citizens Wealth Management of Raleigh, the lunch sponsor; Duke Energy, the dinner sponsor; Robling Medical of Youngsville, the flag sponsor; MR Williams of Henderson, the scoreboard sponsor; Novozymes North America of Franklinton, the golf jacket sponsor; Wester Insurance Agency of Henderson, the driving range sponsor; Durham Coca-Cola Bottling Company, the soft drink sponsor; Charles Boyd Chevrolet Cadillac Buick GMC, the car sponsor; John Nelms, Jr., of Raleigh, the trophy sponsor; and Private Wealth Management of NC of Henderson, the putting green sponsor.

Businesses and individuals can still take advantage of sponsorship opportunities at various levels. Businesses may also donate products or premium items featuring the company’s logo to be placed in golfers’ gift bags or to be given as door prizes.

This year’s morning and afternoon rounds will begin with shotgun starts at 8 a.m. and at 1 p.m. The afternoon round is sold out, but there are openings in the morning round.

The format is four-person “Captain’s Choice Super Ball.” Golfers can form their own teams of four, or sign up and be put on a team. Teams will be handicapped based on handicaps supplied by each player. Trophies will be awarded for first net, second net and first gross. Other awards will be given for “closest to the pin” and “longest drive.”

A hole-in-one on Hole 9 will be rewarded with a car, courtesy of Charles Boyd Chevrolet Cadillac Buick GMC. A player who hits a hole-in-one (with a $10 donation) on Hole 16 will win $5,000, while another $5,000 will be awarded to the VGCC Endowment Fund.

The cost for one golfer to enter the tournament is $150. That fee includes greens fees, cart, meals, gift bag and practice balls.

A light breakfast, lunch and dinner (immediately following the afternoon round) will be served in the HCC clubhouse. A silent auction and door prize drawings will be held in conjunction with dinner.

For more information, contact Kay Currin at [email protected] or (252) 738-3409.

With Community Support, VGCC Plans to Celebrate 50th Anniversary

-Press Release, VGCC 

During 2019, Vance-Granville Community College marks a half-century of excellence in education and training, and college officials are planning for events that tie into the celebration throughout the year.

These events include: the seventh annual VGCC Dinner Theater, set for April 25 and April 26; the 35th annual Endowment Fund Golf Tournament, on May 7; commencement exercises for VGCC’s 50th graduating class, on May 10; a formal inauguration of the college’s new president, Dr. Rachel Desmarais; and events at each campus on or around Sept. 4 – the date on the college’s original charter, which is traditionally observed as the college’s official birthday. A team of college faculty and staff are currently finalizing plans for additional events and activities.

“The 50th anniversary of VGCC provides numerous opportunities for us to celebrate the positive impact this institution has had on Vance, Granville, Franklin and Warren counties, while also renewing our commitment to our students and our communities,” Dr. Desmarais said.

Local citizens and businesses have stepped up to support the college’s anniversary celebration. The highest level of anniversary sponsorship is represented by the “Vanguard” sponsors. These include Bob Hubbard of Henderson, longtime vice-chair of the VGCC Endowment Fund Board of Directors; Mr. and Mrs. Hutson “Hut” Wester of Henderson, who are also supporters of the Endowment Fund; and Mr. and Mrs. John Nelms, Jr., of Raleigh, the son and daughter-in-law of the late John K. Nelms, who served on both the VGCC Board of Trustees and the Endowment Board. Four businesses are also Vanguard sponsors: Duke Energy, Altec Industries of Creedmoor, the Guild Gift Gallery at Maria Parham, and Henderson Fruit and Produce.

Sponsors at the “Patron” level include Mr. and Mrs. Bob Nelson of Henderson; J.M. White Funeral Home of Henderson and Mr. and Mrs. Julius Banzet of Warren County.

“Benefactors” for the anniversary include Janet Mills, Mr. and Mrs. Marshall Tanner, Hicks and Wrenn, PLLC, the Honorable and Mrs. Randolph Baskerville, Mr. and Mrs. Josh Towne, Katharine Horner, Phillips Dorsey Thomas Waters & Brafford, P.A., CertainTeed, Ruth Brummitt, Nathan Fleming, and Mr. and Mrs. Jim Crawford.

“We thank these steadfast friends of the college for their commitment to helping us celebrate Vance-Granville’s rich tradition of service to our region,” said VGCC Endowment Director Eddie Ferguson.

The four-county educational institution that is today VGCC began in 1969 as Vance County Technical Institute. After offering classes in various community locations, VCTI moved into renovated quarters of the former Maria Parham Hospital building near downtown Henderson in January 1970.

Soon, phenomenal growth in enrollment made it clear that the school needed larger, more permanent facilities. Granville County leaders then joined Vance County in supporting a united effort to construct and maintain a brand-new campus.

With the institution renamed Vance-Granville Technical Institute, the new campus was built midway between Henderson and Oxford. It opened in August 1976, just six weeks after the legislature granted community college status, meaning that the school could offer students the first two years of a four-year degree. Accordingly, its name was changed to Vance-Granville Community College.

Under the leadership of Dr. Ben Currin, VGCC’s longest-serving president, the college expanded by establishing additional campuses: South Campus, a facility in southern Granville County, in 1982; the Warren County Campus in 1988; and the Franklin County Campus in 1991. Throughout the years, the institution has benefited from the strong support of citizens in all four counties, in the form of donors’ endowed scholarships and in the form of voters’ approval of bonds to build facilities.

In more recent years, VGCC has been transformed through the addition of online programs that can extend educational opportunities to even more students and through the establishment of four Early College high schools — one at each VGCC campus — in partnership with local public school systems.

“In the short time I have been at Vance-Granville, I’ve heard from so many people in the four-county area about how much pride they take in their community college. They want to see it grow while maintaining a focus on accessibility and preparing students for great careers,” added Dr. Desmarais. “In fact, VGCC Vanguards are all around us in the community, demonstrating the college’s excellence over the past 50 years. Our alumni are leaders in business, in health care, in education, in law enforcement and so many other fields.”

The college is interested in hearing from alumni about how their education at VGCC prepared them for success. To share such a story, or to find out more about supporting the college, contact Eddie Ferguson at (252) 738-3264 or [email protected].

VGCC to Offer Open House at All Four Campuses

-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Vance-Granville Community College will hold an Open House on Saturday, April 6, 2019, from 9 a.m. until noon, at all four of its campuses.

VGCC staff members and faculty will be available during those hours to provide information on the enrollment process, academic programs and student support services. Visitors will also be able to take campus tours.

The Summer 2019 term begins May 20, while the Fall 2019 semester starts on August 19.

Prospective students are encouraged to pre-register for Open House (and select the campus they plan to visit) at

VGCC’s Main Campus is located at 200 Community College Road, Henderson (Exit 209 on Interstate 85, about midway between Henderson and Oxford).

The Franklin County Campus is located at 8100 N.C. 56., Louisburg (just west of Louisburg).

South Campus is located at 1547 South Campus Drive, Creedmoor (off of N.C. 56, between Creedmoor and Butner).

The Warren County Campus is located at 210 West Ridgeway Street (U.S. 158 Business) in Warrenton.

For more information on enrolling, call (252) 738-3234 or visit any campus.

VGCC Franklin Campus to Hold ‘Community Engagement Night’

-Information courtesy Christopher LaRocca, Director of Communications, VGCC

Vance-Granville Community College will hold a “Community Engagement Night” event at their Franklin Campus in Louisburg on Tuesday, March 19, 2019.

The community is invited to hear campus updates and discussion on the community college vision and VGCC’s strategic direction. An open dialogue session will also provide a speaking opportunity for participants.