We are fortunate to have tremendous support for Forsyth Technical Community College in this community. The individuals, companies, and community partners that continue to advocate for education and workforce development are changing lives.
Over the past three years, the community supported two major fundraising initiatives. The Pathways to Possibilities Capital Campaign launched in 2015 to help make a long-term investment in Forsyth Tech. Thanks to every individual and company who donated, we surpassed our initial goal of $18 million and raised more than $20 million for the college.
We are grateful to Robert L. and Elizabeth Strickland, who donated $2.8 million to the campaign. Through their generosity, the Oak Grove Center was renamed the Robert L. Strickland Center. The College’s career center will be enhanced, and the position of Center Director will be the first endowed position at the college.
We also recognize Reynolds American, Inc., our long-standing business partners for their lead gift of $3 million. This gift has provided non-restricted funds for the college, training support, and eight robots to expand our capability in advanced manufacturing.
We greatly appreciate Susan Cameron, retired president and CEO of Reynolds American Inc. who served as the honorary chair of our campaign. We are thankful for the efforts of campaign co-chairs Heather Robinson, vice president of Honeywell Aviation, and former Forsyth Tech Foundation Board member; and Ed Welch, campaign co-chair and president of I. L. Long Construction and former Forsyth Tech Board of Trustees and Foundation board member.
The second major initiative began in 2016. While many individuals and businesses in the region contributed to our campaign, many, many other citizens contributed to their community college through their vote. In the 2016 general election, Forsyth County voters approved a $65 million bond referendum for new facilities, including a new Aviation Lab building, as well as much-needed improvements to our main campus over the next six to eight years. With the voters’ support, these bonds will help ensure that Forsyth Tech remains a vibrant learning environment for our future students.
I want to share with you two outstanding achievements this spring:
- Our Nanotechnology students Michael Harmon, Winter Collins, Carmen Wright, and Austin Bennett are national finalists in the National Science Foundation Community College Innovation Challenge. The Forsyth Tech team will join the other nine finalists at a four-day boot camp in June where the winner will be announced.
- In the state competition for Skills USA, Forsyth Tech was represented by 42 students from the Engineering Division: Broadcasting and Production Technology, Digital Effects and Animation, Carpentry, and Collision Repair and Finishing Technology. All students placed in each category they entered.
We are proud of our students and how they are using their education to improve their future and the future for others. Thank you for the difference you are making in Forsyth Tech.
Dr. Gary M. Green