DOBSON — Surry Community chose fun over formality as it kicked off its 50th Anniversary Thursday afternoon with a floating luncheon for staff and faculty.
“We didn’t want pomp and ceremony. This was, by design, a chance for our staff and faculty to relax in an atmosphere like a family reunion or homecoming,” said college President Dr. David Shockley. “This is a grown-up birthday party. I told them I didn’t want to make a speech but I would go around and visit.”
Shockley said he felt the schedules can often segment staffers into groups without a lot of chances for fellowship outside of their department.
“If you are not careful, people can see you as your role but not as more than one role in the college,” Shockley said. “Unscripted events like this give us a chance to socialize, which builds community and improves quality.”
SCC Education Foundation Executive Director Marion Venable said often faculty does not get to get together and just chat.
“We thought this would be a good idea to get our faculty and staff energized and celebrate this special event.” said Venable. “We are planning to have our website out by the end of January.” She explained faculty, alumni and community partners are being asked to share stories, video and photos of the college’s impact on their families, industry or business.
She said the singer “Lea,” a featured performer in an upcoming Black History Month event, was a SCC student 10 years ago and will return to sing civil rights songs and songs from the 60s. The school is also asking volunteers to share their “SCC story” by calling 336-386-3459, 336-386-3260 or email@example.com to schedule an interview for an ongoing college oral history program.
Marion said they are hoping alumni and others will share their college highlights and memories of classes, events, friends, memorable instructors, accomplishments and the value of their education. She said a summer concert for students and alumni is also being planned as well.
Bobby Brown of SCC’s maintenance department said he and his coworkers enjoyed a chance to visit and share memories brought back as they watched images on two computer monitors in the Shelton-Badgett Center. Brown said he had been with the school for 13 years.
“It doesn’t seem that long,” said Brown as he remarked the cafeteria tables in a picture were still in use today. Brown and his colleagues agreed the nature of their work involved a lot of “putting out spot fires” which keeps them from visiting much with other faculty.
Math instructor Bobby Maples said he had seen changes at the college during his seven-year tenure at the school.
“Oh yeah, we like it when they feed us,” Maples said. “I think the school is really being progressive. I think they have a good vision of things to come and have added new programs as well to meet the needs of industry that is here as well as prospective industry.” He said one of the most notable changes for him was an increase in older students returning to improve their skills. He said they were willing to “really go at at” while some of their younger classmates were not so driven.
Reach David Broyles at firstname.lastname@example.org or 336-719-1952.