The Wilkes Community College Board of Trustees met on Wednesday, May 12, at the John A. Walker Center.

Prior to the start of the business session, the board honored trustee A. Gerald Lankford. With the impact of COVID-19, meetings and special events at the college were delayed until restrictions were modified to allow in-person meetings, and this was the first opportunity for the board to meet in person to honor Mr. Lankford for his many years of service as a trustee.

l-r: Terry Bumgarner, Dr. Jeff Cox, Gerald Lankford, and wife Linda, Marcella Lankford Greer, Ted Lankford, and wife Amy, and Fran Lankford York.

Mr. Lankford served as a trustee for a total of 24 years. Dr. Cox spoke of Mr. Lankford’s dedication to the board and the valuable contributions made by him while serving as secretary to the board and chair of the Personnel Committee.

Mr. Lankford addressed the board and college staff speaking of his passion for the college and how proud he was of the accomplishments made by the institution. He spoke of the relationship between his family and Wilkes Community College. His sons Ted and Arthur are both graduates of Wilkes Community College. Mr. Lankford was thankful to have present some of his family with the exception of his son Arthur, and wife Jennifer who reside in Sydney, Australia.

Wilkes Community College is grateful for the unparalleled service that was given by Mr. Lankford during his 24-year tenure as a board member.

The business session began with the approval of the minutes from the April 8, 2021 Board of Trustees meeting.

College President’s Report

Skills USA

Dr. Cox provided the trustees with an update on Skills USA stating that Wilkes Community College was one of the leading schools in the state in overall medal counts at the 56th Annual SkillsUSA North Carolina Leadership and Skills Conference. The conference was held on April 12-23, 2021 and was conducted virtually with the awards ceremony held on April 26, 2021.

Wilkes Community College’s 35 student competitors, including six Career & College Promise high school students, brought home 30 medals: 20 first-place gold medals, five second-place silver medals, four third-place bronze medals, and one fourth-place finish. Of the 35 WCC competitors, 30 placed in the top five, and everyone placed in the top 10 in the state. WCC was named as part of the North Carolina SkillsUSA Elite 100 Club, which means WCC has had over 100 students competing for the last five years.

Program and Planning Committee       

The board approved a new Attendance Policy and Procedure, a new Withdrawal Policy, and a new Curriculum Grading System Policy as presented by WCC Administration.

The board of trustees approved an agreement between the University of North Carolina-Wilmington and Wilkes Community College. This is a new guaranteed admission agreement signed between WCC and UNC-Wilmington and is very similar to the ASPIRE agreement signed with Appalachian State University.  In this agreement, students who complete their associate degrees at WCC and meet the GPA and other basic requirements will be guaranteed admission to UNC-Wilmington.

Finance Committee

The board approved the transfer of the Shepherd Scholarship funds from WCC to the WCC Foundation to support the new WCC Education Promise scholarship program.