LCC honors Briley, eight other retirees at ceremony

LCC honors Briley, eight other retirees at ceremony

Lenoir Community College and school president Dr. Rusty Hunt, front row center, honored nine retirees during a ceremony Tuesday in the school’s Waller Building. Those being honored were, front row, from left, Susan Gale, Linda Whittington, Dr. Brantley Briley and Dr. Patricia Wright; back row, Linda Taylor, Bobby Merritt, Kelly Statum and Preston Wooten. Pamala Parker-Ingram was not able to attend the ceremony. Photo by Bryan Hanks / Neuse N

Laughs were shared and stories swapped Tuesday afternoon at Lenoir Community College as the school honored nine long-time employees who retired in the past year or so.

One of the retirees honored was Dr. Brantley Briley, who left LCC in October 2016 as the sixth president of the college where he spent 12½ years in the position. Randy Smith, chairman of the LCC Board of Trustees, praised Briley in his remarks before presenting him with a pyramid-shaped trophy.

“Did he refuse to never take no for an answer? Did he push the envelope? Yes,” Smith said of Briley, who worked at LCC for more than 37 years. “Did he go to the edge of the cliff? Yes. Could he be controversial? Yes. But I’m thankful that he surrounded himself with good people. … I thank (Briley) for everything (he) did for this school.”

Briley said he “absolutely loved” working at LCC, although he was thoroughly enjoying his retirement.

“Even on the worst days, it was a better job than most people had on their best days,” he said. “This job meant the world to me – it was what I lived for. But I love being retired.”

The other eight retirees honored at the ceremony were Linda Whittington, Robert Merritt, Susan Gale, Linda Taylor, Preston Wooten, Pamala Parker-Ingram, Kelly Statum and Dr. Patricia Wright. All but Parker-Ingram were able to attend the ceremony, which was held in the Waller Building’s Culinary Department dining room.

Merritt, who retired as the school’s director of workforce development, was recognized by Dr. Jay Carraway, LCC’s vice president of continuing education.

“Bobby is one of those individuals who is as comfortable in the board room as he is on the shop floor,” Carraway said of Merritt. “Regardless of who he is talking with, he is comfortable. That was perfect for what he was asked to do at LCC.”

Dr. Rusty Hunt, who replaced Briley as LCC president, honored Whittington, who served both as their administrative assistant. Whittington worked at LCC for more than 23 years.

“She stayed for the transition because of the goodness of her heart to stay on to help the new guy,” Hunt said of Whittington, a former Kinston-Lenoir County Chamber of Commerce Administrative Assistant of the Year. “She helped me learn the ropes. She is a fantastic human being and a funny human being, which made my life a lot easier here.

“I learned more from her in my first year here than I could’ve ever learned on my own. She was an inspiration to me and to everyone who worked with her.”

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