Wilkes Community College held a dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony for Messer Hall on the Ashe Campus on Tuesday, March 15, 2022.

Ashe County native, Martin (Marty) Messer, Vice President of Customer Care at Elastic made a generous donation in support of WCC’s Ashe Campus Expansion campaign. In recognition and in honor of Mr. Messer’s generosity, the original Ashe Campus facility was named Messer Hall.

WCC President, Dr. Jeff Cox, welcomed the guests and students from the Ashe Early College to the dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Messer stated, “I want to thank my parents, Ed Messer and Judy Davis; they have given me unconditional love and support throughout my entire life. Much of who I am is because of them. I thank my entire family–those who are here and those who aren’t. They were my inspiration to give back to this place–the place that made me part of who I am. I believe that there is no shortage of aspirations and intelligence and potential in this world, but I think there is a lack of equal opportunity of getting access to the opportunities; that’s why I hope my small gift will help in some way to give you as much access and opportunity as I had.”

“During my 20 plus years at this facility, we have seen doctors, lawyers, dentists, teachers, bankers, people from all walks of life come through these doors that obtained at least a portion of their education at WCC,” stated Chris Robinson, WCC VP of WDCE and Ashe Campus. He added, “Equally important, we have had machinists, industrial maintenance, nurses, pharmacy techs, real estate agents, carpenters, and farmers that all have come through these doors to be educated. This is part of the foundation of what Wilkes Community College stands for in this community. This facility has housed the early college since its inception; however, this academic year, we have been able to expand the early college. We appreciate the students in the early college–their intelligence, their enthusiasm. It houses our academic support center and the bookstore. We are proud that we are able to continue. On behalf of faculty, staff and students of the Ashe Campus–both past, present, and future–I thank you for your generosity. and your name on this building serves as a welcome reminder of the possibilities and potential of each student that enters the door of Wilkes Community College.”

WCC VP of Institutional Advancement, Allison Phillips stated, “This project was part of the Ashe Campus Expansion campaign. The foundation was challenged to raise $1 million for this campaign that included a gift from MerleFest.” Phillips added, “I am pleased to say that with the help of our generous corporations, individual donors, and our faculty and staff, we raised over $2.1 million for this project. Thank you for your generosity!”

Front row l-r: Todd McNeill, Ashe County commissioner; Kelly Vannoy, WCC board of trustee member; Chris Robinson, WCC of workforce development and community education; Indiana Messer, Everest Messer, Miette Messer, Sidonia Messer, Jake Messer, Jay Vannoy, WCC board of trustee chair; Marty Messer, Arnold Lakey, WCC foundation board president; Ed Messer, Faye Messer, Dr. Jeff Cox, WCC president; and Allison Phillips, VP of institutional advancement.                      Back row l-r: Josh Roten, WCC board of trustee member, Brad Messer, Amy Messer, Judy Davis, and Wyatt Messer