Officials from Craven Community College came together last week to acknowledge gifts and celebrate the opening of a new military affairs center at the Havelock campus.
CCC Chancellor Catherine Chew thanked donors who recently gave a helicopter for the students at the Institute of Aeronautical Technology and two outdoor art sculptures for the campus. Chew also recognized the importance of the new military affairs center located in the Redd building.
“It is gifts like this that enrich the learning experience of our students,” said Judy Eurich, CCC executive director of institutional advancement.
The helicopter, a Rotorway Exec 162F, a $60,000 aircraft, was donated to the college by Stephen Dalrymple, a New Bern neurosurgeon.
“It was a project of mine that I completed a couple of years back and I wasn’t able to fly it as much as I‘d like, and I’m a big supporter of the aviation program at the college and I thought that this would be a great way to demonstrate that support,” said Dalrymple.
Greg Purvis, director of aviation programs, said the purpose of the IAT is to provide students the training they need to obtain Federal Aviation Administration certificates to work on aircraft and engines in the aerospace industry at Cherry Point and in jobs across the country.
“Because of the support from the community and Dr. Dalrymple, we’re able to offer our students access to some of the newest technology, and this helicopter has the newest technology,” Purvis said.
Dalrymple said that having Cherry Point and Fleet Readiness Center East so close benefits the aviation technology program at the campus.
“There is a lot of technology that can be learned either starting from square one, or you can take advantage of the expertise that’s right across the street and you are that much further ahead by doing so,” he said. “It’s a great way to partner with a fantastic institution in Marine aviation right here in Havelock. I think it’s great for the students.”
Aviation student Patrick Kirk said the school’s fleet of airplanes and helicopters was aging, but the donation provided a new intact aircraft.
“This school to me is a Godsend,” Kirk said. “God created mechanics so that pilots would have heroes.”
CCC vice president Layne Harpine said the opening of the military affairs center would help students.
“Our Havelock students come to us with a lot of challenges and obstacles,” he said.
He called the students a diverse group that includes single mothers, former military personnel, recent high school graduates and older residents looking for a second career.
“We decided we needed to address the unique needs of these students,” Harpine said. “We recognize the military is a very important piece of our community. We’re very proud of what we’re doing here in Havelock.”
Sculpture artists Becky Badger and Jim Bisbey were recognized for two large sculptures that have been place in front of and behind the Redd Building at the campus.