SANFORD - Central Carolina Community College celebrated the naming of the current Classroom & Fitness Center in honor of Louis W. "Bobby" Powell and Linda Conner Powell of Sanford on Thursday, May 20, on the CCCC Lee Main Campus in Sanford.
The Powells have been an integral part of the Sanford-Lee County community for more than 50 years. Their community involvement has included strong support and commitment to Central Carolina Community College. Mr. Powell has been a long-time member of the CCCC Board of Trustees and the CCCC Foundation Board of Directors.
Construction for the 23,348-square-foot facility was completed in 1996. The facility includes classrooms and the college's gymnasium.
An invocation was delivered by Dr. Matt Garrett, CCCC President from 2004-2008. Garrett said he was glad to see the college honoring the Powells and showing appreciation to them for their many contributions for so many years and so many ways to the college. "I really enjoyed the years I had the opportunity to work with Bobby," said Garrett.
Lynda Turbeville, CCCC Foundation Board Chair, provided welcoming remarks. She said that Bobby Powell had been a mentor to her "and is one of the people responsible for my joining the Foundation Board, which is the most rewarding community work that I have ever done." Turbeville added that she has had the pleasure of knowing Linda Powell for many years and greatly admires her dedication to the community.
Speakers for the event included Dr. Donny Hunter, President Emeritus of the N.C. Association of Community College Trustees; Jan Hayes, CCCC Trustee; and Julian Philpott, CCCC Board of Trustees Chair.
Hunter was Superintendent of the Lee County Schools when Powell served on the school board. "Bobby was the person who had the courage to say the things when things needed to be said about education in this county," said Hunter. "I respect him greatly and I appreciate what you did when I was in that job."
"I know that Bobby loves this institution, as does Linda," said Hunter.
"Over a period spanning more than a quarter of a century, Linda and Bobby Powell have given their time, expertise, leadership, love and dedication to Central Carolina Community College," said Hayes. "Always looking to the future, the Linda and Bobby team have been and continue to be a cogent force in our community ... always working to improve Lee County. This is evidenced by Linda allowing and encouraging Bobby to serve eight years on the Lee County Board of Education and more than a quarter of a century on the Central Carolina Community College Board of Trustees."
Hayes concluded: "With a lifelong commitment to health, wellness, education and community, it seems so appropriate that the Classroom and Fitness Center Building bear the Powell name ... a couple that truly takes this college and community to heart."
"We're bestowing this honor upon Bobby and Linda for their outstanding volunteer service to CCCC and its service area, and for their generous gifts to the CCCC Foundation," said Philpott. "They have also helped secure financial gifts from others for the Foundation, and these gifts have benefitted countless students who needed financial assistance to attend this nationally ranked college."
Philpott noted that Bobby Powell has been an outstanding mentor and friend. "He is the living example of a trustee who prioritizes the students at CCCC and he is dedicated to providing them the absolute best educational experience that CCCC can possibly provide," said Philpott. "Linda has been with Bobby every step of this journey and has been the person who helped spur Bobby's drive to help others. ... Bobby and Linda Powell exhibit daily the character of true public servants - they have deep commitment to care for and help others, and they act on that commitment."
Philpott also shared remarks from State Sen. Jim Burgin, who also serves as Vice Chair of the CCCC Board of Trustees. "Please accept my genuine gratitude for all that you have done for Central Carolina Community College and the integral role you have played in the Sanford-Lee community over many years," said Burgin.
"Your dedication and many life achievements are something that you and your family should be extremely proud of," said Burgin. "You are a true champion for the community colleges. I am proud of everything you both represent and am truly grateful to know you."
Bobby Powell told the audience, "Linda and I are honored to be here on this special occasion for the dedication of Powell Hall. We thank the CCCC Board of Trustees and the Foundation Board for this great honor, and to all of you who were involved in making this event happen - a big, big thank you!
"The college has meant a lot to me over the last 26 years, and I know it will continue to grow under the great leadership of President Dr. Lisa Chapman and Chair of the Board Julian Philpott, along with guidance from a Board of Trustees who truly believes in its mission and works together to make it happen," said Powell.
"Also, the CCCC Foundation is strong with Chairman Linda Turbeville and Executive Director Dr. Emily Hare at the helm," said Powell. "Keep up the good work!
"I would hope each of you here today would continue to support this fine institution," said Powell. "Last, but not least, to the persons who have always supported me and had my back - the love of my life, Linda; and our two sons, Todd and his wife Leisa and Brian and his wife Deanna - and they have blessed us with three terrific grandchildren - Tyler, Sydney, and Griffin."
CCCC President Dr. Lisa M. Chapman, in her closing remarks, shared several of the college's success stories - and credited Mr. Powell with the leadership he has provided on the CCCC Board of Trustees. "I thank you for everything you have taught me," said Chapman, before leading a round of applause for Bobby and Linda Powell.
For more information on Central Carolina Community College - which is dedicated to providing pathways to achievable dreams, visit www.cccc.edu.
BOBBY AND LINDA POWELL BIOGRAPHY
Louis W. "Bobby" Powell and Linda Conner Powell have been an integral part of the Sanford-Lee County community for more than 50 years. Their community involvement has included strong support and commitment to Central Carolina Community College.
Mr. Powell has served as a member of the CCCC Board of Trustees for more than 25 years. He was first appointed to the board in 1992 by the Lee County Board of Education to finish the term of trustee Helen Holder, who had passed away. He served from February 1992 to June 1993. In 1996, Gov. Jim Hunt appointed him to the board and he has served since that time. His service includes four years as Chairman (2006-2010). Mr. Powell, who also serves on the CCCC Foundation Board of Directors, has seen tremendous growth of CCCC facilities and programs in the College's three-county area. During his tenure, he has served with four of the College's six presidents - Dr. Marvin Joyner, Dr. Matt Garrett, Dr. Bud Marchant, and Dr. Lisa Chapman. He served on the Lee County Board of Education from 1980-1992.
Mr. Powell, from Northampton County, and Mrs. Powell, from Buncombe County, were married in 1962 and came to Sanford as Mr. Powell was with the N.C. Department of Corrections. He later was the first Lee County coordinator of Community Action Programs, and directed the first Lee County Head Start program.
Golf has played a major role in the lives of Mr. and Mrs. Powell.
From 1967 to 1998, Mr. Powell was head PGA professional, club manager, and course superintendent at the Sanford Golf Course and a City of Sanford department head. He oversaw expansion of the course from nine to 18 holes, started the first Brick Capital Tournament, and began the local junior golf program.
He is a life member of the Professional Golfers Association of America, member of the Carolinas Golf Course Superintendents Association, and has served on the Campbell University Advisory Board of its Golf Management Program. The Louis W. "Bobby" Powell Golf Management Scholarship Fund at Campbell was established in his honor.
Mrs. Powell held several administrative assistant positions in her career, then maintained the records during her husband's tenure at the Sanford Golf Course.
She began playing tournament golf, participating in the N.C. Women's Amateur 25 times, and has served on the N.C. Women's Golf Association board. She served as president of the statewide organization from 1999-2001. In addition, she is a long-time member of the Sanford Ladies Golf League - serving as president numerous times. Mrs. Powell is an accomplished golfer, having won 14 club championships and four tri-club (Sanford, Quail Ridge, Carolina Trace) championships.
Mr. Powell, who served on three aircraft carriers while in the U.S. Navy (1956-1960), was a three-sport athlete at Gaston High School. He attended East Carolina University for two years. His hobbies include golf, hunting, fishing, travel, yardwork, gardening, reading, and community service.
In 2007, he was awarded The Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the highest honor the governor of North Carolina can bestow on a citizen of the state. It is given only to those who have a long record of extraordinary service to the state or their community.
Mr. Powell is a member of the Sanford ABC Board. In addition, he was a member of the Sanford Exchange Club for 37 years and was named Exchangite of the Year for 2006. He has served on the Sanford Area Chamber of Commerce, Lee County Committee of 100, the Lee County Airport Authority, and the Capital Bank local board of directors. He also is a 32nd Degree Mason and Shriner.
Mrs. Powell participated in basketball and track - and was a majorette - at Owen High School. She attended Gardner-Webb University. Mrs. Powell is a member of the Daughters of American Revolution and has been involved with Meals on Wheels. Her hobbies include golf, two bridge clubs, walking, bird watching, orchids, and coloring.
The Powells have two sons - Dr. Todd Powell, who is a retired city government administrator, and Brian Powell, who is Director of Golf Course Management at Old Chatham Golf Club. Todd's wife Leisa is Associate System Director of Hospital Compliance at UNC Health. Brian's wife Deanna is ViiV Healthcare Contract Finance Manager.
Mr. and Mrs. Powell have three grandchildren - Dr. Tyler Elizabeth Powell, Sydney Powell, and Griffin Powell. Tyler is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, where she was a member of three field hockey teams that played for national championships. She was a National Field Hockey Coaches Association Academic All-American for two years. She attended medical school at East Carolina University and will do her medical residency at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Sydney is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill and is working on her Master's degree in Counseling at Wake Forest University. Griffin is a senior at UNC-Chapel Hill.
The Powells are active members of St. Luke United Methodist Church, where Mr. Powell serves on the Board of Trustees.
Bobby and Linda Powell stand in front of Powell Hall on the Central Carolina Community College Lee Main Campus in Sanford.
The Bobby and Linda Powell family stands in front of Powell Hall on the Central Carolina Community College Lee Main Campus in Sanford.