BCCC bids farewell to its president

Published 7:09 pm Monday, May 29, 2017

After five years, Beaufort County Community College is saying goodbye to President Dr. Barbara Tansey.

Tansey’s official last day is Wednesday, when she will pass the torch to Dr. David Loope. Upon announcing her retirement in August 2016, Tansey cited personal reasons and her responsibilities as a caregiver, calling it a “very tough decision.”

Tansey served as the college’s fifth president in 50 years, and was the sole female to hold the position.

During her time at BCCC, she expanded services to surrounding counties and brought new technology to the institution, according to a press release.

“Tansey led the charge to develop a public safety complex on the Beaufort County campus. The college purchased 13 acres of land that now houses a new state-of-the-art fire training facility and led to the creation of a fire academy, along with the Public Safety Weekend training series,” the release states. “New programs were started, including an agribusiness program and a culinary program. The welding, mechatronics, mechanical engineering and automotive shops were remodeled and updated with new technology.”

BCCC faculty and staff, city and county officials, friends and family gathered Thursday night to celebrate Tansey’s tenure as president, as part of a retirement reception.

“When Dr. Tansey arrived, the college was a minimum of 10 years behind in … information technology, and there was no clear path to remedying that,” Dr. Laura Staton, chairman of the BCCC Board of Trustees, recalled. “Dr. Tansey put BCCC on the map, quite literally with our new electronic sign. That too seemed impossible at times, but you know, I think when someone says something is impossible, she takes it as a challenge, and it motivates her to do even more.”

Staton said the Board of Trustees would miss Tansey’s inspiration and leadership, but board members would also miss her as a friend.

Dr. Crystal Ange, vice president of academics, said Tansey was known for pushing the faculty out of their comfort zones, and this helped the college grow and improve.

“Dr. Tansey did three things for us: she pushed us as a faculty; she pushed us as a faculty; she pushed us as a faculty. She pushed us so hard,” Ange said.

During Tansey’s time at the helm, BCCC also debuted online registration, a Learning Enhancement Center, the 1-mile IM-FITT trail and updated technology in the classrooms, according to the release.

Tansey said Thursday night’s reception was a bittersweet occasion for her, calling those in attendance “treasures in my life.”

“There is no way to thank all the people that are here tonight. When you talk about my inspiration, my energy, it’s not within me. It’s the people I work with. They’re the ones that inspire me to do whatever needs to be done and to work harder to make sure we make a difference for students,” she said. “Although there have been tough times, there have been most amazing times, and I couldn’t leave a more proud mama than as I leave here.”

ROOM OF SUPPORTERS: There was a full house in BCCC’s Building 10 multipurpose room Thursday night. BCCC faculty and staff, city and county officials, friends and family honored Dr. Barbara Tansey for five years of service at BCCC.