Shortly after celebrating the opening of Weatherford College’s latest building, the Board of Trustees voted on naming the old Allied Health Building and other classrooms in honor of a past graduate and Medal of Honor recipient and a couple of longtime supporters.
Frank Martin, WC Board Chairman, recommended that First Lt. Jack L. Knight, a WC graduate and Medal of Honor recipient, be honored for his bravery by having his name attached to a building, later determined to be the old Allied Health Building. In his request, Martin highlighted Knight’s actions during World War II as a member of the U.S. Army, 124th Cavalry Regiment, when Knight destroyed two Japanese pill boxes while protecting his troops from heavy concentrations of artillery and small-arms fire. Knight was fatally wounded during the battle and, at age 27, was buried in Cool. Four months later, Knight’s father accepted his son’s Medal of Honor.
“I think it would greatly behoove our community and college to name this building after Jack Knight,” Martin said.
Board members agreed and voted for the name change for the facility, which is being renovated to include WC’s Testing Center, Police Academy and a lecture hall. A ceremony is in the works for the college’s Veteran’s Day celebration in November.
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Brent Baker, Vice President of Institutional Advancement, presented the board the recommendation of naming the lecture hall in the Don Allen Health Science Building the “Dr. Sumant and Sheela Kumar Lecture Hall,” two supporters who have contributed more than $80,000 to support WC scholarships. Additionally, he recommened the respiratory therapy classroom the “Gail Wright Respiratory Therapy Classroom,” as Wright has given more than $35,000 since 2002 to support scholarships for WC’s Respiratory Therapy program.
Finally, Baker asked that the library/academic research center at the Wise County campus be named the “Roy and Jeannine Eaton Library and Research Center.” The Decatur couple has contributed more than $50,000 since 2003 to support scholarships for WC Wise County students.
The board also approved those names.
During his President’s Report, WC President Dr. Kevin Eaton said there had been a seven-student increase in Summer I enrollment as compared to 2013 and that while that didn’t sound like a lot, contact hours were up about 12 percent to 12,362.
The board also heard about the status on the 2014-15 budget which is being revised and refined before it’s final approval in August.