BCCC mourns Blanton

Published 8:44 pm Saturday, October 13, 2012

Beaufort County Community College mourned the loss of former president James P. Blanton this week. Blanton was 84.
Russell Smith, chairman of the BCCC Board of Trustees, was a student at BCCC during Blanton’s tenure.
“Mr. Blanton served faithfully as its president from 1972 to 1990 and was the longest-serving leader of the institution to date,” Smith said. “He was loved by his students and all the faculty and staff who served under him.”
Blanton led Beaufort County Technical Institute and later, Beaufort County Community College, to full accreditation from the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the construction of four new buildings on campus, the addition of a College Transfer Program to its curriculum and the approval of a bond referendum to fund additional construction at the college.
“Beaufort County Community College would not be the vibrant place it is today without the hard work and dedication of Mr. Blanton,” Smith said. “Today, the community college has lowered its flag in Mr. Blanton’s memory.”
Blanton was born in Duplin County on June 22, 1928.  He was the son of the late Johnny James Blanton and Fannie Wadsworth Blanton.
Blanton served his country as a Medic in the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Navy during the Korean Conflict.  He taught at Bath High School for two years and Washington High School for 20 years.
At BCCC, Blanton served as dean before being appointed president.
Blanton was a member of the First Presbyterian Church and was past president of the Men of the Church.  He had served on the Board of Directors of Brown Library. Blanton was a former member of the Washington Kiwanis Club and the Washington Rotary Club where he served as president.  He enjoyed his retirement at Hawkins Beach on the Pamlico River.
In 1955, Blanton married the former Betty Hawkins, who survives. A daughter, son, four grandchildren, brother and extended family also survive him. The family received friends at Paul Funeral Home and Crematory Friday night.
Flowers are appreciated or memorials may be made to the Beaufort County Community College Foundation, P.O. Box 1069, Washington, N.C. 27889.
Online condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.paulfuneralhome.com.