Wayne Adcock was born and raised in Vance County, and Vance County is where he gave so much of his time and energy to make a difference as an educator. His family has honored that lifelong devotion to community and to education by establishing a scholarship in his memory at Vance-Granville Community College.
Wayne Adcock died on Nov. 1, 2020 at the age of 73. His widow, Susan, and son John said he always enjoyed talking with students about their future and encouraging them to further their education. He worked in Vance County Schools from 1969 to 2002. He was superintendent for more than six years, capping off a career as a teacher assistant principal and principal across the district’s schools.
The family issued a statement, saying, “Nothing pleased him more than to see a former student and find out that they had made good choices and gotten an education. He would be so pleased about this scholarship. Wayne knew that financial aid can determine for many students if they are able to continue their education. Helping one person further their education can change a life, and even a family, and Wayne would be pleased to contribute to that effort.”
VGCC students who are Vance County residents will have preference when the scholarship is awarded, according to a press release from the college. Except for his college days, Adcock lived his whole life in Vance County.
“He knew firsthand the value of a good education,” the family said. He graduated from Aycock School in 1965 and it was a scholarship dedicated to children of military veterans that he won that propelled him along his college path. He earned a bachelor’s degree from UNC-Chapel Hill and then came back home to teach school in Henderson. He later earned a master’s degree in Education and Education Specialist degrees from East Carolina University.
“This new scholarship will carry on Wayne Adcock’s legacy of servant leadership, inspiration and caring for students,” said VGCC President Dr. Rachel Desmarais. “We extend our appreciation to the Adcock family for supporting Vance-Granville’s current and future students.”
No doubt Adcock influenced many students in Vance County during his career. He started at Townsville High School as an 8th grade social studies, health and P.E. teacher then headed to Carver Elementary where he taught civics and algebra. From there he went to Nutbush Elementary and then was named assistant principal at E.M. Rollins. He spent five years at L.B. Yancey as principal, then took the helm at Clark Street for a year and Carver for two. He was principal at Henderson Junior High for 10 years, Vance Senior High for close to five years and then was principal at Eaton Johnson Middle from 1994 until he took the job of superintendent in July 1996.
He retired from Vance County Schools Dec. 31, 2002.
Next month, Vance County Schools will hold a ceremony to dedicate the Wayne Adcock Auditorium at the Center for Innovation, located on the campus of the former Henderson Jr. High where he spent about a third of his career as principal.
Adcock was an active member at Carey Baptist Church in Henderson and was actively involved with the Henderson Family YMCA. After his retirement, he served on the boards of the Vance County Public School Foundation and the Vance County Department of Social Services.
VGCC Foundation Executive Director Eddie Ferguson thanked the Adcock family for their generosity, saying, “Wayne Adcock loved his community and the students of Vance County, and we are honored that his loved ones have established a scholarship which will help students for years to come. Empowering students to continue their education is an ideal way to remember a great educator like Wayne.”
The VGCC Foundation (formerly known as the Endowment Fund) has enabled more than 9,700 scholarships to be awarded to students since 1982. Scholarships have been endowed by numerous individuals, industries, businesses, civic groups, churches and the college’s faculty and staff. Tax-deductible donations to the VGCC Foundation have often been used to honor or remember a person, group, business or industry with a lasting gift to education. For more information, call (252) 738-3409.