Celebrating 50 Years of Investments
“A Challenge to the People of Gaston County”
. . . was the call to action presented by the Gaston College board of trustees in the winter of 1968 when the College launched its first official fundraising drive to raise capital for new building additions to the Dallas campus of the then three-year-old institution. Chaired by Mr. J. T. Comer and under the direction of college president, Dr. W. B. Sugg, the drive’s goal was to generate $2.4 million from local businesses and charitable individuals. As quoted by a local newspaper reporting on the drive,
“The college is striving to persuade Gaston County residents and industrialists to donate the money over a three-year period for construction of three buildings and a boiler plant. College officials assert the facilities are directly needed to enable the 2,500-student institution to keep pace with its burgeoning enrollment and educational demands.”
Campaign materials stated,
“Every effort is made to help each student realize his potential – the adult who cannot read or write, the high school dropout who wants a second chance, the boy or girl who wants a chance at a college education, the boy or girl who wants to take his place in the many vocational opportunities of Gaston County, the young man who seeks to become a highly skilled technical workder, and to the many adults who wish to upgrade their technical or vocational skills or take advantage of the many courses that are offered which add enrichment to their lives.”
Today – Gaston College has grown into an institution serving nearly 19,000 curriculum and continuing education students each year. The college’s stated goals of “assisting everyone who applies to improve or expand his education or training that he may live a more fruitful and satisfying life, and to help meet the special and unique training needs of community institutions – business, industry, and government” rang true in 1968 and still do so today.
The Gaston College Foundation has been the College’s primary vehicle for garnering and stewarding philanthropic support from the community we serve. Names of original donors such as Comer, Beam and Myers grace our buildings and serve as a reminder that we are able to continue to grow and serve our community because of the foresight and generosity of those we were willing to invest in our future many years ago.