Blue Ridge Community College Celebrates 50 Years, Hosts 50th Anniversary Luncheon for Community


BRCC News | Published October 1, 2019

Portrait of Mike Massimino

In celebration of its 50th anniversary, Blue Ridge Community College will host a 50th Anniversary Luncheon on November 15 featuring keynote speaker Mike Massimino (pictured), former NASA astronaut, professor at Columbia University, and best-selling author. All members of the community are invited to attend this ticketed event. 

“Coincidentally, Blue Ridge’s launch occurred the day after Neil Armstrong became the first person to walk on the moon, and his famous words – ‘That’s one small step for man, and one giant leap for mankind’ – inspired our 50th Anniversary Luncheon theme,” said Laura B. Leatherwood, president of Blue Ridge Community College. 

During the 50th Anniversary Luncheon, “From One Small Step to One Giant Leap,” Massimino will discuss innovation, problem solving, and rising to unforeseen challenges. Attendees will hear about his second spaceflight to the Hubble Space Telescope and the most complicated spacewalk ever attempted where he, fellow astronauts, and the ground control team came up with an inventive solution to a major miscue that saved the mission. 

“Mike’s talk will take you on an inspirational journey where seemingly unreachable dreams are achieved and obstacles are overcome – similar themes to Blue Ridge’s journey in supporting our students and community for 50 years,” added Leatherwood. “We have come a long way since our days as a small technical institute on Church Street. Despite the growth of infrastructure, curriculum, technology, staffing, and partnerships over the decades, our students and community have remained the focal points at Blue Ridge on our path forward together.” 

Today, Blue Ridge is a forward-thinking, comprehensive community college that elevates the educational experience for more than 11,000 students each year. The College offers more than 200 degrees, diplomas, and certificates; more than 200 online courses; hundreds of continuing education courses; and hundreds of scholarship opportunities to help students overcome obstacles and pursue their dreams. 

Pardee UNC Health Care and Cooper Construction are gold level sponsors for the 50th Anniversary Luncheon which will be held on November 15 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Technology Education and Development Center’s Blue Ridge Conference Hall on Blue Ridge Community College's Henderson County Campus. 

To learn more about sponsorship opportunities or to purchase tickets, visit Blue Ridge encourages community members to join the anniversary conversation with #BlueRidgeTurns50 on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.