A donor who wishes to remain anonymous has made a $10-million gift commitment to Central Piedmont Community College. The gift is the single-largest individual donation in Central Piedmont's 58-year history and among the largest gifts ever made to a community college nationwide.
Central Piedmont will use the gift to transform its role as a community resource for arts and humanities programming and learning. Plans for the gift include:
- establishing an endowment that provides resources to attract and retain outstanding arts and humanities faculty members;
- creating a scholarship endowment to provide Opportunity Scholarships for students who are pursuing degrees in arts and humanities;
- creating and launching an arts and humanities series which will bring renowned authors, artists, and performers to Central Piedmont for the benefit of students, faculty, staff and the greater Charlotte-Mecklenburg community;
- establishing a public art fund, which will provide resources to commission public art for the enhancement of outdoor spaces at the college, enriching the lives of students, faculty, staff and visitors on a daily basis;
- enhancing instruction in the visual arts; and
- creating an endowment to support and expand instruction and learning in the arts and humanities at the college.
"This magnanimous gift will strengthen Central Piedmont's capacity to educate, train, and empower well-rounded individuals who will understand, appreciate, and participate in the rich and diverse cultural traditions that strengthen the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community," said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president. "The generous donor believes regardless of students' academic background and desired education and career pathway, their perspectives should include experiences in the arts and humanities to achieve a better comprehension of the past, a better analysis of the present, and a better view of the future. Through our conversations, it's clear the donor believes Central Piedmont is a critical community resource for Mecklenburg County residents beginning their higher education journey, seeking skills to build a family-sustaining career, or needing additional credentials for career growth.
"A gift of this magnitude will be transformative for the college and the community. As a result of this gift, Central Piedmont students will gain a greatly enhanced appreciation of the arts and humanities, aiding them as they build productive lives of meaning and service. At the same time, Central Piedmont will be able to establish itself as a national leader in arts and humanities education among community colleges," Deitemeyer added.
The $10-million gift commitment comes to the college as part of its ongoing "Powering a Stronger Future campaign." Powering a Stronger Future is an ambitious, five-year, comprehensive, fundraising effort focused on providing students with greater access to outstanding educational and career-preparation opportunities, addressing the workforce needs of business and industry in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. The campaign will conclude on June 30, 2022.
In recognition of a $2.5-million grant from The Leon Levine Foundation to support health sciences education and health careers preparation at Central Piedmont Community College, the college is naming its new health programs facility on its Central Campus the Leon Levine Health Sciences Center.
Located at the corner of Charlottetowne Avenue and Elizabeth Avenue, the Leon Levine Health Sciences Center opened in August 2020. While many Central Piedmont students still were taking classes remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, students in a number of health careers programs that require in-person instruction began taking classes and labs in the new facility immediately.
Covering approximately 74,450 square-feet of space, the Leon Levine Health Sciences Center provides a home base for multiple health professions programs, including dental assisting, biomedical equipment technology, surgical technology, and polysomnography, and hosts a state-of-the-art virtual-anatomy classroom. In addition, the facility provides students with a number of hospital simulation rooms, including, trauma, mother and child, pediatric, typical patient rooms, an operating room, clinical laboratory, and pharmacy. The building is also home to the geomatics and civil engineering programs and provides several general use classrooms.
"The Leon Levine Health Sciences Center has already made a significant and positive impact on the learning experience of our health professions students," said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president. "The center is a state-of-the-art, cutting edge facility, in which the college can prepare its students well for the professional work environments they will enter and the equipment they will use.
"We thank The Leon Levine Foundation for its generous grant, which will help Central Piedmont continue to provide a comprehensive offering of health careers programs that are among the best in North Carolina. Students in our nursing and allied health programs will continue to thrive at Central Piedmont and enter the workforce well-prepared to provide superb care."
The Leon Levine Foundation grant comes to the college as part of its ongoing "Powering a Stronger Future Campaign," which seeks to raise $40 million to support students, programs and faculty development. Central Piedmont will use the grant to support programs aimed at providing health careers training and help ensure a broad range of students have access to these programs.
"We are honored to be part of investing in Central Piedmont Community College's ability to offer top-notch academic healthcare instruction and a career pathway for generations of students to come," explained Tom Lawrence, president of The Leon Levine Foundation. "The new facility will also help promote access to quality medical care by creating a pipeline of professionals for the region's healthcare sector and by providing valuable medical resources to both students and the community."
The Leon Levine Health Sciences Center at a glance:
- Construction began September 2017
- Facility opened to students August 2020
- Square footage 74,450
- Source of funding 2013 Mecklenburg County bond referendum
- Architects Creech & Associates working with Morris-Berg Architects
- Project manager Rodgers Builders
About The Leon Levine Foundation
Established in 1980 by Leon Levine (Founder and Chairman Emeritus of Family Dollar Stores, Inc.), The Leon Levine Foundation supports programs and organizations that improve the human condition through investments in education, healthcare, human services and Jewish values. Based in Charlotte, N.C., the Foundation invests in nonprofits across North Carolina and South Carolina with strong leadership, a track record of success, and a plan for financial sustainability. Through its investments, the Foundation intends to create pathways to self-sufficiency, champion strategies for permanent change, and facilitate opportunities for growth. Learn more online at https://www.leonlevinefoundation.org/ or follow on Twitter and Facebook @LeonLevineFdn.
For the third-consecutive year, Central Piedmont Community College was selected to participate in the Metallica Scholars Initiative and receive $25,000 in funding to support its career and technical education programs.
Funded by Metallica's All Within My Hands (AWMH) and led by the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), the Metallica Scholars Initiative was created in 2018 to fundamentally improve the earning potential for students who become Metallica Scholars.
Central Piedmont will continue to use the grant funds to provide direct support for students enrolled in its healthcare career programs but who need financial assistance to complete their studies and become licensed healthcare professionals. These programs include: nursing, physical therapy assistant, and occupational therapy assistant. The goal of the initiative is to ensure students receive relevant jobs skills that will make them competitive in the healthcare field.
"We are proud to work with Metallica to advance the career and technical education provided by the nation's community colleges," said Walter G. Bumphus, AACC's president and CEO. "Colleges across the country provide pathways to well-paying jobs through programs, services, and training that lead to in-demand skills, certificates and degrees for students. These programs are responsive to the needs of local businesses and provide a pipeline of qualified workers to local industry. It's a win-win for our students and the local economy. For Metallica to continue to invest in these students and communities is a testament to the power of the workforce education community colleges provide and we are proud to do this work with them."Read more
Central Piedmont alumnus Zach Lokken '21 will represent Team USA in the Tokyo Olympics, July 23 August 8. The Associate in Arts graduate will compete in the MC-1 Canoe Slalom event during his first Olympics appearance.
Born in Durango, Colo., Zach has won several awards in the sport of American Canoe, including third place in C1 and C2 during the 2015 U.S. National Team Trials.
When he's not hitting the rapids, he enjoys skiing and longboarding.Read more
Janet LaBar, president and CEO of the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance, has been appointed to the Central Piedmont Community College Board of Trustees by N.C. Governor Roy Cooper. LaBar's four-year term begins July 1.
Charlotte attorney Michael Hawley has been reappointed to the Central Piedmont board by Gov. Cooper for another four-year term. Hawley has been a college trustee since 2017.
Caldwell Rose, president of NAI Southern Real Estate in Charlotte, has been appointed to the Central Piedmont board by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education to a four-year term beginning July 1. This is a continuation of Rose's service as a trustee. He has been a board member since 2015, when he was appointed first by Gov. Pat McCroy.
"The college is excited to welcome Janet LaBar to the Board of Trustees. Janet's background and experience in workforce development and economic development makes her a great addition to the board," said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president. "At the same time, we are grateful Mike Hawley and Caldwell Rose will continue as trustees. They have been highly engaged and have provided insightful counsel and leadership. We will rely on our 2021-22 board members heavily as the college welcomes more students back to campus and helps Mecklenburg residents find a post-pandemic path to career growth and greater economic mobility."
LaBar has led the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance since 2019. Prior to coming to Charlotte, she served as president and CEO of Greater Portland Inc., a regional economic development organization. Her other career positions include chief performance officer of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, and research and communications manager for the Center for Workforce Development, a part of the Maricopa County Community Colleges District in the Phoenix metropolitan area.
Hawley has practiced tax and business law in Charlotte since 1983, with the global firm K&L Gates and its predecessor Kennedy Covington Lobell & Hickman. He also worked as a visiting professor of law for the University of Florida College of Law, and as a vice president with First National Bank of Tampa.
Rose is a native of Charlotte, and joined NAI Southern Real Estate in 1988. He has served in a leadership role on the Central Piedmont Board of Trustees, chairing the Finance, Facilities and Audit committee since 2018. He holds real estate brokerage licenses in North and South Carolina.
Central Piedmont Community College hosted multiple commencement ceremonies outdoors on its Overcash Lawn, located in front of Overcash Center on Central Campus, on May 12 and 13, to ensure the celebration of its 2021 graduates was conducted safely and in accordance with NCDHHS and CDC guidelines amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The following outdoor commencement ceremonies were held:
- Wednesday, May 12, 2021
- 11 a.m.: Health Science programs
- 2 p.m.: Skilled Trades, College and Career Readiness
- Thursday, May 13, 2021
- 9 a.m.: Business, Engineering, and Technology
- 11 a.m.: Transfer Degree Programs
- 2 p.m.: Transfer Degree Programs
More than 800 students from the 2021 spring semester, as well as the 2020 summer and fall semesters, "marched" and received their college degrees during the first outdoor commencement ceremony the college has hosted in 35 years. (The last outdoor ceremony was held in 1986, on the Central Campus Quad.) More than 2,430 students were eligible to graduate this year.
During the May 12 festivities, Mr. Marco Gallardo Cuervo, who graduated from Central Piedmont with an Associate in Applied Science in Welding Technology degree, addressed his fellow graduates. Ms. Emma Hoff, an Associate in Arts student delivered the May 13 commencement address to her peers.This is the fourth consecutive year Central Piedmont has had student keynote speakers at graduation.
Central Piedmont Community College has named Lynne Tatum Little, RDH, owner of LTL Consulting, the 2021 Richard H. Hagemeyer Educational Advancement Award recipient, and James "Dan" Bailey, president and CEO of Steele's Mechanical, the 2021 Young Alumni Award of Excellence recipient. The awards recognize former Central Piedmont students who have benefited significantly from experiences at Central Piedmont and whose efforts have helped the community.
Lynne Tatum Little, RDH '88 (Associate in Applied Science, Dental Hygiene)
A successful consultant and business owner, Lynne Tatum Little attributes her leadership abilities to her experience at Central Piedmont and the discipline required in her coursework. Lynne owns LTL Consulting and has been active within the dental hygiene profession, serving as commissioner of the American Dental Hygienists' Association, board member of the North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners, and past president of the North Carolina Dental Hygienists' Association. Additionally, she has served on the Central Piedmont Community College Foundation Board since 2016, committing herself to the mission and success of the college as a dedicated volunteer and donor.
James "Dan" Bailey '12 (Associate in Arts)
As a U.S. Army military veteran who served as a construction engineer and paratrooper, Dan Bailey has acquired skills that would last him a lifetime. He considers Central Piedmont his home and the place where he gained invaluable leadership skills not to only lead, but also to follow. Today, Dan serves as president and CEO of Steele's Mechanical, where he has grown the 49-year old HVAC company from a local business to one of the fastest-growing mechanical contractors in the region. He's accomplished this all while continuing to serve the community as a tutor, coach, and supporter of organizations throughout the Carolinas.
Watch the videos below of Lynne's acceptance speech for the Richard H. Hagemeyer Educational Advancement Award and Dan's acceptance speech for the Young Alumni Award of Excellence.
The Richard H. Hagemeyer Educational Advancement Award is named after the college's first president who served in the position for 23 years. The Young Alumni Award of Excellence was introduced in 2019 to recognize graduates who have completed in the last 10 years and who have made significant contributions to the community in their short time away from Central Piedmont. To learn more about the awards and past recipients, visit cpccfoundation.org/awards.
The Mecklenburg County Pre-K initiative, the Foundation for the Carolinas, the Comprehensive Early Learning Center, and the Central Piedmont Foundation have awarded Central Piedmont's early childhood education program a $4 million grant to create the STRIVE Scholars program.
The program provides full tuition, fees, books, and materials funding to academically qualified students preparing to become educators of young children in Mecklenburg County.
According to research conducted by Mecklenburg County, Charlotte's workforce lacks the postsecondary education necessary to assure the quality of its lead and assistant Pre-K teachers in the classroom.
The college's STRIVE Scholars program seeks to address this workforce need by providing students who are pursuing an Associate in Applied Science or certificate in early childhood education with better access to a higher education and need-based support services, including:
- child care
In addition, the program will provide Scholars with comprehensive support services, such as academic advising, mentoring, and more, to ensure their academic success.
The early childhood education program is grateful and excited to be a part of this important initiative to bring universal pre-kindergarten to Mecklenburg County.
Learn more about the STRIVE Scholarship.
Today, leadership for Johnson C. Smith University and Central Piedmont Community College announced "JCSU Connect" a new bachelor's degree pathway that will expand college access to more students in Charlotte-Mecklenburg and beyond. This new collaboration is part of JCSU President Clarence D. Armbrister's mission to help address the lack of economic upward mobility in Charlotte by providing local students a guided pathway to earn bachelor's degrees from JCSU.
"For more than 150 years, JCSU has been a leader in providing educational access," said Armbrister. "As the University continues to focus on providing opportunities to address economic upward mobility in Charlotte, we look forward to this new partnership with Central Piedmont Community College to assist those seeking bachelor's degrees and experience Charlotte's HBCU, the only HBCU in partnership with Central Piedmont."
JCSU Connect is a "2+2" program, meaning participating students will complete an associate degree at Central Piedmont and a bachelor's degree at JCSU. During the first two years of study, students in the JCSU Connect Program will take classes at Central Piedmont and engage in intentional career and academic workshops at JCSU. During the third-year, students will enroll at JCSU and be placed in an on-campus paid internship (via federal work study) at JCSU that correlates with their field of study. During the final year of study, participants will complete their academic program at JCSU and engage in experiential learning, including internships and undergraduate research.
"We are excited to partner with Johnson C. Smith University and thrilled to offer this pathway to our students," said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president. "JCSU Connect will be a wonderful program for our students who want to earn a four-year degree. We know they will flourish at JCSU. At the same time, this transfer program is another great example of the higher education community in Charlotte working together to build more avenues to opportunity and enhance our community's economic mobility."Read more
Central Piedmont Community College and Bank of America today hosted a virtual event featuring Dr. Tim Renick, executive director of Georgia State University's National Institute for Student Success, who presented, "Georgia State's Journey to Eliminating the Racial Equity Gap." Attendees included Central Piedmont employees, board members and student leaders; Bank of America executives, and Charlotte city and county government officials. Also participating were local higher education partners and community nonprofit leaders in education, workforce development and college and career readiness.
For more than a decade, Dr. Renick has used Georgia State's data to drive sustainable change and eliminate the racial equity gap at his institution. As a result of his work, Georgia State - which is also home to Perimeter College, a major provider of associate degrees and student transfer opportunities in Georgia - annually graduates more African-American students than any other public or nonprofit higher education institution in the country and ranks ninth in the nation for advancing social mobility. Dr. Renick has emerged as a national expert on how colleges and universities can decrease disparities in their graduation rates and achievements based on race, ethnicity, and income.
"At Georgia State, we're motivated by a desire to make an impact, not only in the lives of our own students, but also in the lives of students across the country," said Dr. Renick. "That's why our team at Georgia State University has made such a conscious and significant commitment to dedicating our time and resources to sharing with others the important lessons we have learned."
Dr. Renick's accomplishments at Georgia State complement the equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) goals established and continuously reviewed and enhanced at both Central Piedmont and Bank of America.
Over the past year, Central Piedmont has accelerated its EDI work, hosting a number of events and training sessions for employees and students to attend that support EDI awareness, drive culture change, and reinforce EDI initiatives at all six of its campuses. In addition, the college has looked closely at its talent acquisition and hiring processes to ensure equity and diversity is embedded across all of its areas and departments.
"All of the EDI work Central Piedmont is doing is supported by the college's shared values and strategic goals," explained Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president. "In 2019, the college adopted a new set of guiding values and strategic goals; the desire to reach a greater level of equity throughout the college is found in both.
"Dr. Renick's presentation and the experience of Georgia State provide a path and a set of best practices Central Piedmont can work to incorporate. We want to do all we can to ensure our students achieve success and our faculty and staff feel valued and appreciated."
Similarly, Bank of America has turned its attention toward advancing EDI initiatives within the communities it serves. Last summer, it announced a $1 billion, four-year commitment of support to address economic and racial inequalities that had been accelerated by the global pandemic. As part of that commitment, it pledged $25 million to support career reskilling programs through partnerships with higher education institutions, including community colleges like Central Piedmont.
"Acquiring an education and jobs skills not only improves an employed individual's quality of life but also contributes to the health of our local economy and community. Access to quality, affordable education and job skills training is key to removing economic barriers facing minority individuals and communities," said Charles Bowman, Bank of America's Charlotte Market president. "Central Piedmont has a proven track record of offering courses and training for roles in the fields most in demand within our community. Bank of America supports the college's focus on helping students of color complete the education and training necessary for entering the workforce and earning a sustainable living wage."
Following his formal presentation to Central Piedmont, Bank of America, and city and county representatives, Dr. Renick individually met with:
- Central Piedmont's leadership team to discuss how the college could best advance racial equality, and
- Bank of America's market presidents, located across the country, to discuss what other partnership possibilities may exist to help colleges nationwide create sustainable change on their campuses.
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