Wesleyan celebrates Founder's Day

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Joan Maxwell


Staff Writer

Saturday, October 21, 2017

N.C. Wesleyan College celebrated the 61st anniversary of its founding on Thursday.

The Founder’s Day event took place at the Dunn Center for the Performing Arts on the college’s campus. During his opening speech, Wesleyan President Dr. Dewey Clark talked about the success of the college throughout the years. 

Some of the things Clark highlighted included that almost 15,000 students have graduated from Wesleyan since it was chartered. Clark also said the college has been recognized as the fastest growing private college in North Carolina for three years in a row and by U.S. News and World Report as the 45th best regional college in the Southeast. 

N.C. Wesleyan has also added four buildings and finished renovations on almost every building on campus in the past three years, Clark added.

“We’ve made a huge impact in this city, region, state and around the world,” Clark said. “We all should be proud, and God has blessed us in a mighty way. We’ve had two of the best years ever in the history of the college, but I still believe our best days are ahead. I see a day where we will have 2,000 students.”

Businesswoman Joan Maxwell, co-owner of Regulator Marine, a boat manufacturer in Edenton, was the guest speaker for the event. Maxwell runs the boat business with her husband Owen. During her speech, Maxwell talked about how the 2008 recession almost caused their business to go under.

“When the country went into a recession, it didn’t declined slowly, but it was like falling down the side of a cliff,” Maxwell said. “In April 2008, Regulator had 160 people working and by December, we were down to 11. The layoffs were painful because we had employees that did nothing wrong, but we had to tell them their positions had been eliminated.”

During the hard times, Maxwell said she leaned on her faith in God to help her stay positive, and the business has now recovered and is in a position for growth.

“Today, Regulator employs more than 165 people and is producing more revenue than it has at any point in history,” Maxwell said. “We didn’t know we were coming back, but we did know that God was in charge. He presents us intellect and gives us opportunity in life to use the gifts that have been given us. If we’re faithful to him and listen, he will show us what way to go.”

She also encouraged the Wesleyan students to continue to uphold the high standards set by the college throughout its existence.

“We’re here to celebrate 61 years since the state of North Carolina chartered Wesleyan College,” Maxwell said. “You’re sitting here under that good name, and it’s up to you to keep it.”