Forsyth Tech has honored its longest-serving president by naming a campus building for him.
The community college on Friday formally dedicated the Gary M. Green Building at its Transportation Technology Center. Green retired from the college in 2018 after 17 years as the college's president and 42 years in higher education.
Several speakers at Friday's dedication ceremony credited Green with expanding the college to several new locations in Forsyth and Stokes counties and building programs that attracted campus visits from two U.S. presidents.
Using proceeds from a 2006 Forsyth County bond issue, Green led the effort to buy and renovate the former Pinebrook Shopping Center on North Patterson Avenue in 2008. The Transportation Technology Center opened in 2012 to house the college's automotive programs, which had been scattered among several buildings on its main campus on Silas Creek Parkway.
The college says the 139,000-square-foot facility is the largest of its kind in the Southeast. The center houses six automotive offerings, including North Carolina's only Toyota-certified technician training program and the state's only two-year degree program in motorsports technology.
The center also has a bookstore, academic and financial aid support staff and the International Center, which serves immigrants, refugees and other new arrivals to the area who are still learning to speak English.
"(College trustees) thought this building here at the transportation center was without a doubt the best way to honor you because of your history and your family and your vision and the impact this center is having on the community," said Ann Bennett Phillips, chairwoman of the college's Board of Trustees.
Phillips and others spoke at a ceremony that was held in person and streamed live online. The event also featured the unveiling of both the building's new sign and a portrait of Green that will hang in the lobby.
Green said he was "truly humbled and honored" by the recognition and told the audience that the transportation center represents a couple of key themes of his tenure at Forsyth Tech: the college's commitment to provide technology-based training programs that lead to good-paying careers, and the college's desire to help people throughout the region regardless of their background or language.
Green grew up around cars. His late father repaired car and truck bodies for 30 years, and Green said the smell of Bondo — the putty used to repair vehicle dents and dings — reminded him of his childhood and his first encounter with a workplace.
"The naming of this facility, this place, means so much to me," Green said.
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