NEW BERN – Craven Community College (Craven CC) has renamed one of its buildings in honor of the late philanthropist Harold H. Bate for his outstanding generosity and the unwavering commitment to education his legacy has provided the college for nearly 30 years. The newly named Harold H. Bate Hall, formerly known as the Business and Information Technology (BIT) building, earned its new name through a resolution adopted by the Craven CC Board of Trustees on Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2023.

The Harold H. Bate Foundation, a nonprofit organization deeply rooted in supporting education and community development across Craven, Pamlico, and Jones counties, has played a pivotal role in enhancing the college's resources and educational programs. Beginning with a charitable donation of more than $95K in 1996, two years before the Foundation was formed, Bate’s dedication to fostering educational excellence has left an indelible mark on the college and the community.

To date, the Bate Foundation has donated more than $3.2 million to Craven CC.

Craven CC President Dr. Ray Staats expressed his gratitude for the Foundation's invaluable support, saying, “The renaming of the Business and Information Technology building to Harold H. Bate Hall is a testament to the enduring impact of the Harold H. Bate Foundation on our institution. We are immensely grateful for his generosity, which has allowed us to further our mission of providing high-quality education and training to our community.”

The naming of Craven CC buildings is an honor carefully reserved for individuals and organizations who have made a distinctive, multi-generational impact upon the college and its student body.

“Mr. Bate would have been honored and humbled to see his name added to a Craven Community College classroom building,” said Don Brinkley, Harold H. Bate Foundation chair. “Craven Community College and educational opportunities were both integral components of the Foundation’s mission when it was created, and that legacy continues today with this prestigious honor.”

Bate was born August 21, 1907, raised in New Jersey, and graduated from Cornell University with a bachelor’s degree in forestry. After working in the family business, he moved to North Carolina in 1964 to expand business interests, where he oversaw the operations of multiple sawmills and acquired large tracts of timberland in Eastern North Carolina. He went on to form the Bate Foundation in 1999 to advance and perpetuate his philanthropy and financial support to the communities of Craven, Pamlico, and Jones County, with special consideration of East Carolina University, Craven Community College, and the Twin Rivers YMCA. Since his passing in 2000, the Harold H. Bate Foundation has continued his generous legacy in accordance with his philanthropic vision to administer charitable gifts wisely to enhance education, youth and recreation, and quality of life.

Harold H. Bate Hall is located on Craven CC’s New Bern campus. This building is home to dedicated classroom space, as well as the Center for Teaching and Learning, administrative offices for the University Transfer department, outreach offices for ECU and NC Wesleyan, computer labs, and the campus bookstore.

“Harold H. Bate Hall will continue to serve as a hub of innovation and learning, nurturing the talents of the college’s students,” added Staats. “The college remains committed to providing a dynamic, future-focused educational environment, equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, thanks to the Foundation's enduring partnership.”

A dedication and ribbon-cutting event was held in honor of the renaming on Feb. 20.



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