Wake Tech Celebrates 50 Years of Excellence
January 17th, 2013
College Launches Year-Long Anniversary Celebration
RALEIGH, N.C. (January 16, 2013) — When 1963 dawned, JFK was in the White House, gasoline was 29 cents a gallon, and the Beatles were becoming a worldwide phenomenon. Here in Raleigh, a new kind of higher education facility was opening its doors – one designed to train a new generation in the technical skills needed for the region’s emerging industries. Fifty years later, Wake Tech is still leading the way in state-of-the-art training and education, with a scope that has expanded to include multiple campuses and more than 66,000 students. As 2013 begins, Wake Tech is launching a year-long series of special events and projects to celebrate its 50 years of service to the community.
Wake Tech officially opened its doors on October 7, 1963, as the W.W. Holding Industrial Education Center. It began with 34 full-time students in automobile mechanics, radio and TV repair, electrical installation and maintenance, and drafting. An additional 270 students took classes at community sites around Wake County, including many in the college’s nursing program at Memorial Hospital (now WakeMed) in Raleigh.
Celebratory events are planned throughout this year, leading up to the October anniversary date. The first annual “Road Scholars” 5K Run/Walk will take place in March, the annual Culinary Arts Showcase (this year’s theme: “Golden Moments”) in April, a Health Fair, community service projects, a “Wobble” dance-off, open house events at various Wake Tech campuses, and much more.
Wake Tech has created a special website (http://50years.waketech.edu) for the anniversary and has connected with alumni from each of its past five decades. Videos on the site include some of the first Wake Tech graduates and all three college presidents. The site also features historical information, a timeline, and a calendar of the special events planned for the coming year.
Also marking Wake Tech’s 50th anniversary is the launch of a new brand identity for the college, developed over the past year in partnership with VisionPoint Marketing in Raleigh. The new college logo features a torch, symbolizing the role Wake Tech plays in helping students find their way along the truly life-changing path of higher education. The new tagline, “Lead the way,” speaks to students’ ability to take charge of their lives as they learn and grow, as well as to lead and inspire others. It also alludes to the innovation and future focus that have been a hallmark of Wake Tech programs and services for 50 years.
The 50th anniversary coincides with Wake Tech’s major gifts campaign, called “The Ripple Effect.” The campaign, which currently has a goal of $12 million, is raising funds to support student success, staff and faculty innovation and technology. The college hopes to build community awareness and support for the campaign throughout the anniversary year. To learn more, visit http://therippleeffectcampaign.org.