SALISBURY, N.C. – Rowan-Cabarrus Community College has named its state-of-the-art Advanced Technology Center the Dr. Carol S. Spalding Advanced Technology Center. Spalding, who is in her 14th year as president, was honored by the Rowan-Cabarrus Board of Trustees at an official unveiling ceremony Thursday, April 28, surrounded by College and community leaders, friends and her family.
The facility, located at the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis, is a technology training hub with equipment, classroom and lab space designed to meet industry needs for the next 50 years. Since the building opened in 2019, the College has welcomed local students pursuing degrees and certifications and formed partnerships with global companies to provide ongoing training programs for their employees.
“Dr. Carol Spalding is a courageous, visionary leader unlike any I have ever met, and there is no one more deserving of this honor,” said Rowan-Cabarrus Trustees Board Chair Carl Short, Jr. “This building would not exist without her optimistic, forward-thinking and strategic leadership. She is dedicated to supporting students, employees, and our entire region, and I look forward to continuing to work with her as she leads Rowan-Cabarrus to the next level.”
The 55,000-square-foot Dr. Carol S. Spalding Advanced Technology Center offers training to prepare students for the high-tech, high-demand careers of today and tomorrow, with program areas such as engineering, mechatronics, robotics, computer-aided design, hydraulics and pneumatics. Students benefit from hands-on training with modern equipment that companies currently use in the workplace, preparing them for competitive jobs in advanced technology fields.
The building exists thanks to the support of Cabarrus County voters, who passed a bond referendum in 2014 to support the facility, as well as additional support from the Cabarrus County Board of Commissioners, a federal Economic Development Administration grant, and private funding raised through the Rowan-Cabarrus Foundation. The facility is located adjacent to the College’s biotechnology and nursing facility and was built on nearly three acres of land donated by David H. Murdock, chairman, CEO and president of Castle & Cooke, Inc., and founder of the North Carolina Research Campus.
Under Spalding’s leadership, Rowan-Cabarrus worked alongside the City of Kannapolis and Castle & Cooke to facilitate the building’s construction. Spalding was named North Carolina Community College President of the Year in 2019 in honor of her accomplishments, and the State Board of Community Colleges also awarded the 2019 Distinguished Partner in Excellence Award to the College, the City of Kannapolis and Castle & Cooke in recognition of this unique collaboration.
The announcement continues the tradition of naming campus buildings after outstanding leaders who have contributed significantly to the growth and success of Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. The Dr. Carol S. Spalding Advanced Technology Center joins the C. Merrill Hamilton Building and the Dr. Richard L. Brownell Building on North Campus in tribute to these influential presidents.
“I am especially delighted that, of the many buildings that Rowan-Cabarrus owns, the Board of Trustees chose this building to carry my name,” Spalding said. “This building sends a clear message that Rowan-Cabarrus is committed to serving the region’s economic development needs and is an important part of the future. I hope that, when people see the full name – Dr. Carol S. Spalding – on the Advanced Technology Center, they will see it as an intentional message meant to inspire and encourage women and girls to continue their education, perhaps in STEM, perhaps as an educator, or perhaps as a college president.”