Mrs. Hilda Kendrick and Mrs. Nancy Church made a gift to Wilkes Community College to support the purchase and renovation of the Beacon Building. At the time of their donation, the building housed Allied Health programs, Dental Clinic, Early Childhood Education and the WCC childcare facility. Their history of philanthropy and advocacy has had a lasting impact on the community, the college, and the lives touched by their generosity. A dedication ceremony was held on March 12, 2019.  

Allison Phillips, WCC Foundation executive director, welcomed the guests and thanked them for being there.

Dr. Jeff Cox, WCC president, thanked everyone for coming and especially extended his gratitude to the Kendrick and Church families, extended family, and friends that were in attendance.  Dr. Cox stated, “This building is the home of WCC’s Workforce Development and Community Education division. And as I look around the room, I see folks from the community that share in Wilkes Community College’s commitment to improving the economic mobility of our citizens by giving them the skills, talents, and credentials necessary to earn a living wage that will support themselves and their families.” 

 “B” Townes, former WCC VP of Development, expressed his gratitude to Drs. Tom and Karolen Bowman, the Church family and the Kendrick family for their support in the purchase and renovation of the building.  Townes stated, “Hilda Kendrick and Nancy Church believed in the college, but neither woman wanted any recognition during their lifetime. We are here today to remember these two remarkable women who made a difference in this community.”

Dr. Karolen Bowman, daughter, explained why the dedication was not held sooner, “Mrs. Hilda Kendrick and Mrs. Nancy Church were born about a century ago at a time when women were pushing to have a say in their communities; however, these ladies did not want attention, they preferred to work behind the scenes. It’s after their passing that we are able to honor them today, and to my knowledge this is the only building in Wilkes County that recognizes women.”

Mr.  Terry Bumgarner, Chairman of the WCC Board of Trustees, dedicated Kendrick/Church Hall in memory of Mrs. Hilda Kendrick and Mrs. Nancy Church.  Mr. Jim Smoak, WCC vice president of WCC Foundation, cut the ribbon.

L-R: “B” Townes, former WCC VP of development; Dr. Tom Bowman; Dr. Karolyn Bowman; Terry Bumgarner, WCC Board president; Jim Smoak, WCC Foundation vice-president; Dr. Jeff Cox, WCC president; and Allison Phillips, WCC Foundation executive director; Kathren Lundy, David Neil Bowman, and Paul Thomas Bowman.


Bowman family