College confers first honorary degree to Wilton L. Parr
On May 12, Dr. Deitemeyer, president of Central Piedmont, conferred the college’s first honorary degree to Mr. Wilton L. Parr, during the college’s 2 p.m., commencement ceremony.
Mr. Parr received an Honorary Associate Degree in Arts in recognition of his long-time engagement as a Central Piedmont student, volunteer, and donor.
A native of Danville, Virginia, Wilton L. Parr graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute (now Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University) in 1951 with a bachelor of science degree in engineering. In 1967, he moved to Charlotte to begin a long, distinguished career in senior leadership positions with Piedmont Natural Gas. He and his wife Mary raised their two sons in Charlotte and continue to reside here.
Upon retiring from the company at the age of 65, Mr. Parr began a second career as a student at Central Piedmont Community College. Over the span of 12 years, he enrolled in more than 100 courses. All these courses were in arts and humanities disciplines, ranging from English
literature to studio arts courses. Through this process of ongoing education, he became an accomplished painter and sculptor. He is the personification and embodiment of the term “lifelong learner.” In addition to taking classes, Mr. Parr volunteered as a tutor and mentor to students in the college’s adult literacy program.
As a student and volunteer, Mr. Parr developed a lasting appreciation for the quality of Central Piedmont’s range of academic offerings and classroom instruction and its importance to the Charlotte community. This appreciation is underscored by his remarkable generosity to the college over the past 25 years, which includes support for faculty, instruction, and programming in the arts and sciences, as well as scholarships. This remarkable record of philanthropy has been acknowledged with the naming of prominent college facilities in honor of Wilton and Mary Parr. He stands as the largest individual benefactor in college history. The transformational impact of his philanthropy cannot be overstated.
Central Piedmont Community College contributes nearly $1 billion to Mecklenburg economy
The results of an economic impact study conducted for Central Piedmont Community College found the institution contributes $827.7 million annually to the Mecklenburg County economy, an amount equal to 0.7 percent of the county’s gross regional product.
Central Piedmont’s measured annual $827.7 million economic impact includes $139.9 million in operations spending, $35.6 million in construction spending, $30.8 million in student spending, and a $621.4-million impact made by college alumni who live and work in Mecklenburg County.
Expressed in terms of jobs, Central Piedmont’s $827.7 million impact supports 11,274 jobs, or about one out of 85 jobs in Mecklenburg County.
“For almost 60 years, Central Piedmont Community College has established a solid record and reputation for making a positive impact in Mecklenburg County,” said Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer, Central Piedmont president. “We know generations of students and hundreds of employers have been benefitted from having a comprehensive college and workforce development partner such as Central Piedmont serving Charlotte-Mecklenburg. We also know Central Piedmont makes a significant impact as an economic engine, boosting the county’s economy and generating an excellent return on the investment made by students and taxpayers.”
The economic modeling firm Emsi conducted the study, looking at college data from the 2019-20 fiscal year. The study found that for every dollar students invest in their Central Piedmont education they receive $3.80 in future earnings for an annual rate of return of 17 percent. For every dollar of public money invested in the college, taxpayers receive $1.40 for an average rate of return of 2.5 percent. From a societal perspective, for every dollar invested in Central Piedmont, residents in North Carolina receive $6.40 in return from the contributions made by Central Piedmont graduates in the state’s workforce.
For more details about the economic impact study, please read the full Executive Summary of the Economic Value of Central Piedmont or view the Central Piedmont economic impact fact sheet. Both documents are accessible on the college’s Reports and Publications Web page.
“Central Piedmont creates value and helps power the Charlotte-Mecklenburg economic engine in many ways. The college helps students increase their employability and achieve their individual potential. The college helps keep students in the county, generating new dollars and opportunities for Mecklenburg County. Central Piedmont provides students with the education, training, and skills they need to have fulfilling and prosperous careers that provide real economic mobility,” Deitemeyer said.
“The college supports the vast variety of industries in Mecklenburg County, serves county businesses, and benefits society as a whole in North Carolina from an expanded economy and improved quality of life. Additionally, the benefits created by Central Piedmont extend to the state and local government through increased tax revenues and public sector savings. Now, more than ever, as Mecklenburg County emerges from the weight of the COVID-19 pandemic, Central Piedmont is a sound investment and critical community partner,” Deitemeyer added.
Central Piedmont Selects Artists to Design Mural for New Student Union
Central Piedmont Community College has selected two local artists, Rosalia Torres-Weiner and Felicia Sky Sutton, to create a large-scale mural honoring the past history of the college, documenting the present, and reflecting the aspirations of Central Piedmont students for the future.
Torres-Weiner and Sutton, former Central Piedmont students, were chosen from a highly skilled pool of applicants to work collaboratively with students, faculty, and staff to create an interactive mural. The art work will be located in the dining area of the college’s new student union, a part of Central Piedmont’s new Parr Center complex, located on the Central Campus. The Parr Center will serve as the student services hub and include a new campus library, a 430-seat theater, a rooftop terrace, a 1,100- square-foot art gallery, and a maker’s space for students to explore careers and creativity. The Parr Center will open to students and the public later this year.
According to the project’s request for proposal, the mural’s graphic design will span an 8-foot by 90-foot wall on the first floor of the 184,000-square-foot building. Its placement will benefit from the nearby dining space, which is flooded with natural light thanks to the floor-to-ceiling glass windows that overlook the Charlotte city skyline. The mural will demonstrate the college’s commitment to the fine arts and its support for the creative culture of its surrounding community.
Rosalia Torres-Weiner is an artist, activist and community leader in Charlotte. Her art captures the themes, colors and rich symbolism of her native home of Mexico. She took her first steps toward a creative career by taking graphic design courses at Central Piedmont. After operating a successful interior arts business, Torres-Weiner shifted the focus of her work from commercial art to art activism in 2010, by using her art to document social conditions and to raise awareness about issues affecting immigrant communities such as family separation, access to public education, racism, and moving beyond common stereotypes. Her work is featured in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Anacostia Museum and has been exhibited in a variety of venues, including the McColl Center for Arts and Innovation, Levine Museum of the New South, the City of Raleigh Museum, the Latin American Center for Arts Gallery, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, and the Mexican Cultural Institute at the Mexican Embassy in Washington D.C. Her story “The Magic Kite” was adapted by The Children’s Theatre of Charlotte.
Felicia Sky Sutton is an educator, muralist, and multimedia artist who believes art creation and art education are an important pathway to self-empowerment. Working with paint, video, digital illustration, and most recently animation, She captures the essence of her subjects and tells stories through colorful portraiture, symbolism, and visual metaphors. Sutton is passionate about the use of public art to empower, build, and strengthen communities, and to bring new life to forgotten spaces. She attended Central Piedmont’s dual enrollment program before transferring to and graduating from Appalachian State University with a bachelor’s degree in art and visual culture. Her work has been in a number of group and solo exhibitions in Boone, N.C.; Charlotte and, most recently, in Philadelphia. In addition, she has been published in multiple publications and magazines.
2020-2021 Annual Report Now Available Online
The Central Piedmont Annual Report is ready to view online at cpccfoundation.org/annualreport.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic during 2020-2021, the college continued to serve as the community’s college, providing the support services, courses, and career training its students needed to stay on track, within an environment that fostered a culture of care.
We are grateful for the continued support of our donors, industry partners, and friends who believe in our vision of providing learning experiences that transform lives and strengthen the local community.
Please enjoy this interactive reading experience, while learning more about our 2020-2021 accomplishments and celebrating our many successes with us through videos, photos, and more.
Alumnus competing in Tokyo Olympics
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.
Photo credit: AP
2021 Hagemeyer Educational Advancement and Young Alumni Award of Excellence recipients named
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.
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 the Foundation's website.
Wells Fargo announces significant grants focused on advancing economic mobility and racial equity in Charlotte
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) will deliver more than $3.2 million in grants to address a range of critical community needs across Charlotte, including advancing economic mobility, improving racial equity, supporting minority-owned small businesses and advancing entrepreneurship for the next generation of business leaders.
Wells Fargo CEO Charlie Scharf announced the grants earlier today at a special event held in Biddle Hall and Auditorium, on the campus of Johnson C. Smith University, a Historically Black College and University (HBCU). Johnson C. Smith University and United Way of Central Carolinas will each receive grants for $1 million, while Central Piedmont Community College’s Small Business Resource Center will receive an Open For Business grant from Wells Fargo for $625,000. Other organizations receiving grants include Aspire Community Capital, Charlotte is Creative, City Start-Up Labs, the Latin American Chamber of Commerce, Prospera, and the Women’s Business Center.
“While we are seeing signs of economic improvement, we also realize that not all of our communities are benefiting equally in this recovery,” said Scharf. “That is why Wells Fargo is being intentional about supporting a more inclusive economic recovery, with a focus on racial and social equity, economic mobility and investments in low and moderate income communities. We are pleased to announce these grants for the Charlotte area and will continue to focus on ways we can support positive change.”
The announcements coincide with and help celebrate the return of the Wells Fargo Championship to Charlotte. The PGA TOUR event, which was canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19, has raised more than $24 million for charitable organizations since 2003. The Wells Fargo Championship provides significant economic impact to the Charlotte-area economy – estimated at more than $50 million annually.
Wells Fargo recently announced equity investments in 11 African American Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs) as part of its March 10, 2020, pledge to invest up to $50 million in Black-owned banks. The investments are part of Wells Fargo’s commitment to supporting economic growth in African American communities where MDIs, often community based banks, provide mortgage credit, small business lending, and other banking services. Self Help Credit Union and M&F Bank, two of the MDIs that are receiving funding from Wells Fargo, have branches on Beatties Ford Road.
Making an impact in Charlotte and North Carolina
Wells Fargo has been a longstanding community supporter in Charlotte and across North Carolina. Over the last 10 years, Wells Fargo and the Wells Fargo Foundation have provided nonprofit organizations in North Carolina with more than $190 million in grants. The $3.2 million in grants announced today will support key organizations in their efforts to address critical community needs across Charlotte, including:
- Johnson C. Smith University: Funding will focus on minority student scholarships, experiential learning supporting entrepreneurship and small business ownership, student financial health education and credit score development.
- United Way of Central Carolinas: The grant from the Wells Fargo Community Impact Fund will support economic mobility for low income neighborhoods and advancing racial equity via Unite Charlotte.
- Central Piedmont Community College – Small Business Resource Center: The grant from Wells Fargo’s Open For Business (OFB) fund will be focused on supporting underrepresented small business owners in the Charlotte region. OFB is a roughly $420-million small business recovery effort Wells Fargo created by donating all of the gross processing fees received from participating in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) in 2020. The OFB Fund provides grants to nonprofits serving small businesses hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly racially and ethnically diverse and women-owned small businesses.
- Aspire Community Capital: The grant will support entrepreneurs from low- and moderate-income (LMI) communities in Charlotte.
- Charlotte is Creative: The grant will impact creatives as entrepreneurs by supporting them with funding, mentorship, business skills training and social capital connections.
- City Start-Up Labs: The grant will focus on helping bridge the entrepreneurial divide where under-represented populations of African American millennials and returning citizens (previously incarcerated) are not adequately and proportionally able to participate in startup activity and business building.
- Latin American Chamber of Commerce of Charlotte: The grant will help fund a business and entrepreneurship hub supporting Hispanic/Latino entrepreneurs and business owners in Charlotte.
- Prospera: The funds will provide bilingual (English/Spanish) assistance to Hispanic small business owners and entrepreneurs in Charlotte.
- Women’s Business Center: The funds will help women-owned businesses in Charlotte start and grow.
About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company is a leading financial services company that has approximately $1.9 trillion in assets and proudly serves one in three U.S. households and more than 10% of all middle market companies and small businesses in the U.S. We provide a diversified set of banking, investment and mortgage products and services, as well as consumer and commercial finance, through our four reportable operating segments: Consumer Banking and Lending, Commercial Banking, Corporate and Investment Banking, and Wealth and Investment Management. Wells Fargo ranked No. 30 on Fortune’s 2020 rankings of America’s largest corporations. In the communities we serve, the company focuses its social impact on building a sustainable, inclusive future for all by supporting housing affordability, small business growth, financial health and a low-carbon economy. News, insights and perspectives from Wells Fargo are also available at Wells Fargo Stories.
Additional information may be found at www.wellsfargo.com | Twitter: @WellsFargo.
2021 Hagemeyer Educational Advancement Award and Young Alumni Award of Excellence Nominations Being Accepted
Do you know a Central Piedmont Community College graduate who is making a tremendous difference in the community? Nominations are currently being sought for the 2021 Richard H. Hagemeyer Educational Advancement Award and the 2021 Young Alumni Award of Excellence. These awards recognize Central Piedmont graduates who have significantly benefited from their experiences at Central Piedmont and whose efforts have helped the community.
Nominations are being sought for individuals who have:
- demonstrated community involvement/professional involvement, social responsibility and impact
- acquired scholastic and learning skills that have led to continued personal and educational growth
- improved his or her economic status and social capital as a result of attending Central Piedmont
- invested in the lives of others and is seen as a role model
- graduated within the last 10 years (Young Alumni Award of Excellence only)
Individuals interested in applying should note:
- attendance at graduation is preferred
- political candidates may not be selected or honored in a year in which they are actively pursuing election or re-election
The college will present the award to this year’s winners virtually or at Central Piedmont’s commencement ceremony, depending on the status of the global pandemic. In addition, a one-year scholarship will be granted to a Central Piedmont student in an area of study reflective of the winner’s background.
Nomination forms are available on the Central Piedmont website.
Completed nomination forms should be submitted online; or mailed to Christa Newkirk, Office of Alumni Relations, P.O. Box 35009, Charlotte, NC, 28235. The deadline for nominations is Feb. 12, 2021, at 6 p.m. For more information, email Christa Newkirk or call 704.330.6808.
Central Piedmont’s Inaugural Year Up Class Graduates
Central Piedmont Community College announces its inaugural Year Up Charlotte class of 40 students graduated on July 23 during a virtual commencement ceremony, hosted by Year Up Charlotte and its long-term partner, Bank of America.
The college began partnering with the national nonprofit Year Up in August 2019, when the organization launched its Charlotte location with generous support from Bank of America, the John M. Belk Endowment, and the Duke Endowment. The intensive, yearlong program prepares students (ages 18–26) for entry-level technology and customer-facing roles in fields such as business operations, information technology, and software development and support.
Trinity Simpson, one of the students graduating from Year Up Charlotte’s first class, delivered the keynote speech at the July 23 commencement ceremony. Simpson feared that if he stayed in his small town in North Carolina, he would “be working a minimum wage job with no opportunity and become another statistic.” He has completed his Year Up internship at Bank of America in cyber security and has accepted an offer as an operations control analyst at the bank.
The students enrolled in Central Piedmont’s Year Up program at the beginning of the 2019 fall semester. Participants spent their first semester taking technical and professional skills classes taught by Central Piedmont and Year Up staff, and then participated in a full-time, credit-bearing internship at a corporate partner firm during the spring term, learning the real-world skills they would need to excel in the workforce.
“The Year Up Program provides a challenging and nurturing space for students to get the skills they need to succeed in today’s workforce,” said JJ McEachern, dean of enrollment management at Central Piedmont. “As a result, it’s one of the most successful partnerships in higher education. It not only supports students during their educational journey, but also through the career phases of their life.”
The program is provided to students at no cost. Throughout the year-long program, students earn college credits and receive access to a robust offering of services and supports from Year Up to promote their success, including an educational stipend. They also have access to Central Piedmont’s many services, including the college’s library and tutoring resources,
Nationwide, 90% of Year Up graduates are employed or attending college within four months of completing Year Up, with average starting salaries of $42,000/year. Because of the program’s ability to help move the economic mobility needle, it has garnered the support of multiple community partners across the Charlotte region, including the John M. Belk Endowment, the Duke Endowment, Bank of America, and Leading on Opportunity.
Drive-Thru Graduation Ceremonies Celebrate Class of 2020
In celebration of its Class of 2020, Central Piedmont hosted drive-thru graduation ceremonies July 29 and 30 on its Cato Campus, located in northeast Charlotte. More than 440 Central Piedmont 2020 graduates participated in the two-day event, which included ceremonies for the college’s traditional undergraduate programs, as well as its College and Career Readiness programs (high school completion, Accelerated Career Training, and NCWorks Next Gen).
Central Piedmont’s graduation committee designed the college’s drive-thru graduation ceremonies with the health and well-being of its faculty/staff, students, and their family and friends in mind. As a result, all event volunteers and graduates were asked to wear face coverings, and social distancing and state guidelines were followed during the ceremonies.
“It was important we recognize our 2020 graduates’ accomplishments, especially during this unprecedented time, when so many of them had to overcome multiple obstacles to achieve their educational goals this year,” said Kandi Deitemeyer, president of Central Piedmont, who was on-site both days to personally congratulate graduates. “The Class of 2020 is a resilient group of individuals. I look forward to hearing their many success stories and wish them all the best in their future endeavors.”
The college offers nearly 300 programs to get students real-world ready. Affordable and flexible Central Piedmont classes can help students earn the skills to fast track into a career pathway or lay the foundation for a four-year degree. Registration for the fall 2020 term is open. The college looks forward to welcoming new and returning students on Aug. 10.