College News

Joyner led CCCC into millennium

Joyner led CCCC into millennium

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Central Carolina Community College is celebrating its 50th anniversary during the 2011-2012 academ ... (more)

Joyner led CCCC into millennium

click to enlarge ⊗

Central Carolina Community College is celebrating its 50th anniversary during the 2011-2012 academ ... (more)

Joyner led CCCC into millennium

click to enlarge ⊗

Central Carolina Community College is celebrating its 50th anniversary during the 2011-2012 academ ... (more)

01.03.2012Admin, Faculty & StaffCollege General

SANFORD - For 21 of Central Carolina Community College's 50-year history, Dr. Marvin R. Joyner served as its dynamic president.

CCCC was called Central Carolina Technical College and had one campus when he took the reins in 1983. He led the institution as it became a full-fledged regional college with campuses and centers in Lee, Harnett and Chatham counties.

"By our 25th celebration, we had the genesis established of our being a regional college," Joyner said. "The emphasis looking forward was to really develop the campuses, going after brick and mortar and equipment to serve the people in all three counties with state-of-the-art. We were always fighting to be state-of-the-art. That was always a big part of my job."

Joyner was an educator with an industrial background. As such, he strengthened the college's vocational programs and oversaw the establishment of more unique programs than any other community college had, including laser and photonics, auto restoration, and telecommunications.

Facilities completed during Joyner's long tenure were the N.C. School of Telecommunications, Classroom and Fitness Center, new Science Building, Health Building, Dennis A. Wicker Civic Center, Guided Studies Building, and Vocational Building. In 2005, the Vocational Building was renamed Marvin R. Joyner Hall.

Funding was obtained for other facilities, but Joyner retired in 2004, before they were built: Emergency Services Training Center building in Lee County, Siler City Center in Chatham County, and Harnett Cosmetology Building in Harnett County.

When he came, the college had no associate of arts or associate of science degree programs. CCCC matured under Joyner to become an institution where students could earn A.A. or A.S. degrees and advance to universities. When they did so, they performed as well as students who had begun their post-secondary education at those institutions.

Joyner understood the importance of small businesses as job creators, so he oversaw the creation of the first community college Small Business Assistance Center in the state.

"I'm very proud that, in 1984, CCCC had the first SBAC in the state," Joyner said. " That was before state money was available to fund them."

CCCC started its distance education program in 1997, before the prevalence of the Internet. High-density telephone lines that carried both audio and video linked the Lee, Chatham and Harnett campuses. An instructor could teach in any one of the counties and reach all three.

"Distance Education was my major final hoorah," Joyner said. "What surprised me was how fast it caught on to people taking both classes on a campus and via distance education."

Joyner had never intended to be an educator, yet, between his tenure at Wilson Technical Community College and at CCCC, he had a 41-year career in education.

"I backed into my career," he said with a smile. "I graduated from Wilson Technical Community College, worked in industry two years, and then was invited back to Wilson to teach. I went, not intending to stay, but I fell in love with education."

He stayed at WTCC, rising from an engineering instructor to vice president of instruction. Along the way, he earned a bachelor's degree from Atlantic Christian College, master's in industrial education, and a doctorate in occupational education from North Carolina State University. He had been at Wilson for 20 years when, in 1983, he saw that CCCC, then called Central Carolina Technical College, was advertising for a president.

"Lee County was highly industrialized with 11 percent unemployment," Joyner said. "It was a good fit with my background in industrial training and experience in industry."

The college's board of trustees thought so too and Joyner became president on Dec. 1, 1983. He retired July 31, 2004, after almost 21 years of impressive leadership and growth of the college.

In 1985, the State Board of Community Colleges designated CCTC as the sole provider of community college services for Chatham, Harnett and Lee counties. At that time, the college had few programs in Chatham and continuing education classes, primarily, in Harnett.

Joyner credits Samuel Miriello and Bob Etheridge for winning support in Harnett County to establish a branch of CCTC. Miriello, a former Erwin Mills union steward, had a strong commitment to industrial education. Etheridge, then serving in the N.C. House of Representatives, helped Joyner work with the county commissioners, obtained state money to help build the facility, and got Harnett representation on the CCTC board. Buildings on the Harnett County Campus are named after these two men in recognition of their efforts to establish the college in Harnett.

"Without that help, a CCTC branch in Harnett wouldn't have happened," Joyner said.

Bob Garrett worked 24 years as the college's administrator in Harnett County, from 1979-2003. He retired as CCCC's Harnett County provost.

"Most of that time was served under Dr Joyner's presidency," Garrett said. "Two things stand out in my mind about him: first, he was the smartest man I've ever known - a brilliant mind; second, Harnett County got its fair share of him. He wasn't just president at and for Lee County but was heavily involved in Harnett County with our Harnett County Campus, industrial development, government leaders, etc. The college was so blessed to have him as our president!"

Chatham was sparsely populated, but Joyner and the college's trustees and administrators knew that it would grow and the college needed a campus there. Pittsboro residents Thomas and Jean Reeves owned the property where the college wanted to locate its Chatham Campus.

"We didn't have enough to buy it, but county commissioner Earl Thompson asked them to help the college," Joyner said. "They sold us what we could buy with the money we had and gave us the rest as a gift. That campus would not exist without them."

In 2001, Joyner was named as the Sanford Herald Citizen of the Year. After retiring from CCCC, he served for a time as the interim president of Nash Community College. He has continued to serve with the N.C. Community College System in various capacities, as needed.

Joyner still resides in Sanford. He has been very involved in community service, having just finished a term as Lions Club president. He's president of Highway to Healing and helps with vision screening in Lee County Schools. At First Baptist Church, he teaches Sunday School and is chair of the Personnel Committee. He also enjoys working on old cars.

"What an honor it was to serve the people of Lee, Chatham and Harnett counties, and work with wonderful trustees, faculty, staff, and people of those counties; the civic and political leaders; and great legislators, particularly Wicker and Etheridge," Joyner said. "I was fortunate to have people who shared the vision and made it happen.