SCC Dedicates Children's Literature Center to Cole
BY JOHN KRAHNERT III
Sandhills Community College has dedicated a new children's literature center to one of its most beloved professors.
The center, located in the college's Boyd Library, was dedicated Tuesday to Barbara H. Cole, a professor of English and humanities at the college for 43 years. Cole, who also authored several acclaimed children's books of her own, retired last year.
Cole is admired by both students and faculty alike, which was reflected in the large crowd that gathered in the library to take part in the ceremony.
An emotional SCC President John Dempsey spoke about what Cole has meant to the college.
"I look at the icons of the faculty who are here, past as well as present," he said, "and I think about this college and what it has meant to so many people. And I think that there's not a soul who means as much to it as [Cole does]. There's not a person whose life and whose contributions have been a greater part of this institution than Barbara's."
The center took a year to complete. It offers a large collection of books for children and young adults, including all Caldecott and Newbery medal books, plus several hundred books selected by past and present faculty in the Early Childhood Education program at the college. Naturally, Cole's will be there as well.
College art students under the tutelage of professor Denise Baker decorated the walls with colorful illustrations.
Cole's publishers, Deborah and Ian Shine, of Star Bright Books, were on hand for the ceremony. Star Bright has published two of Cole's books, "Wash Day" and "Anna & Natalie." The latter received the Henry Bergh Children's Book Award from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Cole also received a special proclamation from the N.C. General Assembly congratulating her for her work, accompanied by a letter from state Sen. Harris Blake.
Cole said, "I don't know how to tell you from the depths of my being how much this means to me."
Contact John Krahnert III by e-mail at jkrahnert@thepilot. -com.
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