College Rededicates Hope Monument

February 07, 2019

Wayne Community College has rededicated its Hope Monument and revealed a redesigned grid of new tribute bricks.

In welcoming those attending the Feb. 7 ceremony, WCC President Thomas A. Walker said, “I often see folks lingering at the monument. They stand before this modest monolith, their likenesses reflected in its polished surface, and the absorb the words engraved on it. … It speaks to the living and urges them to make the future fuller and brighter.”

The front of the monument bares a quote from Irish poet William Butler Yeats, “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire” and the flame of knowledge.

Walker encouraged the assembled crowd to “stand in front of this monument and read those words, then shift your focus and see yourself. I believe that at that moment, you will feel that power of the Hope Monument.”

Dr. Thomas Walker, Jr., WCC president, (left) and Betsey Pritchett a college retiree (right), unveil one side of the revamped “tribute garden” surrounding the WCC Hope Monument. Pritchett was the assistant to an instructor whose passing inspired the creation of the Hope Monument and was a participant in the original dedication of the monument in 2007.

Although the monument was born out of a student effort to remember Dr. Ed Hogan, a psychology instructor who died in 2004, it became not only a memorial but also a place to honor and encourage the living through both the messages on its faces and the personalized bricks that surrounded it.

Irma Wiggins, Betsey Pritchett, and Melanie Bell (left to right) look for particular engraved bricks while Liz Meador (back to camera) takes a photo following the rededication of the Hope Monument on the WCC campus.

The monument was installed in 2007 in a space that already had a circle of bricks around it. In time it became evident that engraving the mortared-in bricks was not practical and their sandblasted text faded.

The bricks that surround the Hope Monument honor accomplishments of the living and memorialize others who have passed.

The Foundation of Wayne Community College investigated other options and settled on the new arrangement, which allows bricks to be laser engraved off-site and provides permanent messages. Its grid layout includes space for seasonal flowers and stepping stones so people can get closer to the bricks.

All previously existing bricks have been replaced with the new style and a few new ones have been added. There are 140 engraved bricks and 160 blank ones available for purchase.

Foundation of WCC Executive Director Adrienne Northington recognizes members of the colleges grounds crew who worked through adverse weather conditions to prepare and install the new brick layout. The Foundation revealed a brick that it had bought in their honor.

Bricks can be ordered at

Wayne Community College is a public, learning-centered institution with an open-door admission policy located in Goldsboro, N.C. As it works to develop a highly skilled and competitive workforce, the college serves 12,000 individuals annually as well as businesses, industry, and community organizations with high quality, affordable, accessible learning opportunities, including more than 70 college credit programs. WCC’s mission is to meet the educational, training, and cultural needs of the communities it serves.

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