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May 1, 1998     Cape Gazette
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May 1, 1998

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42 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, May 1 - May 7, 1998 Owens earns Hall of Fame honors at Georgetown's Del Tech By Rosanne Pack A man whose reputation is so big that it required small print to tell just some of his accomplish- ments, Dr. Jack F. Owens, was re- cently inducted into the Delaware Tech College Hall of Fame on the campus that bears his name. Only the seventh person to be inducted into the Hall of Fame for the southern-most campus in the Delaware Technical and Commu- nity College system, Owens is the retired director of the campus that he led for 28 years. In ceremonies last week, Owens was praised for launching campaigns that brought new modem buildings and innov- ative programs while the student body grew from 300 to 3,000 credit students and another 15,000 noncredit students. Educators and elected officials shared memories Of the early years when Owens seasoned Sus- sex County chicken dinners with his passion for a new education project that he wanted to inspire local residents to become in- volved in. He was brought to the George- town campus in its formative days by the first president of the Delaware community college sys- tem and another native of South Carolina, Dr. Paul Weatherly. Speakers recalled his zeal for pushing for "just one more build- ing," and they pointed out recent projects that Owens spearheaded, such as serving as chair of the first Delaware Wildlife Art Exposi- tion. Remembering Owen's retire- ment and the naming of the cam- pus, Sen. Thurman Adams, D- Bridgeville, said, "Of all the bills I have sponsored, I can't think of one that I am more proud of than the one that named the Jack Owens Campus." The name was bestowed on the Georgetown campus by a resolu- tion of the 138th General Assem- bly and Gov. Tom Carper on May 22, 1995, in honor of Owen's re- tirement. Lois Studte, chair of the Hall of Fame committee and former di- rector of the nursing department of the college, said that she always thought members of the General Assembly believed that if they gave Owens a new building every few years, he would back off. In his remarks, Adams laughed as he sai d, "I don't recall Jack ever saying, 'Give me one more building, and I'll leave you alone.' He always has plans for more." Studte called Owens a visionary who not only dreamed, but who also implemented his dreams. Officials in the Delaware Tech College system, Dr. James R. Soles, chairman of the board of trustees; Dr. Orlando J. George Jr., president of the colleges; and Dr. William Carter, founding member of the DTCC board of trustees and board chair from 1973-1983, all offered congratula- tions and shared stories of work- ing with Owens over the years. Soles said he felt like he was at a family party along with all those who came to honor Owens. He pointed out that the good works of the educator has already influ- enced generations and that his work will influence generations that are yet unborn. George agreed that there is al- ways a high comfort level when visiting "the house that Jack built" on the Owens Campus. The college president said, "I feel like I learned at your knee, and you have passed a torch to us. "When Jack talks about Delaware Tech, there is a passion. He believes in what the school has done to change lives. His empha- sis has always been on accessibili- ty and opportunity on an equal ba- sis for all. For Jack, it's all about hope." Carter was recently honored with having the higher education building named after him. He re- called the first months Owens spent in Sussex County in 1967 when he was the first administra- tor of the new community college in Georgetown. He joined Owens in many of the chicken dinners as the educator met with civic groups, churches and anyone who would allow him to pitch Delaware Tech. "Jack was and is here for one reason, to serve people," Carter said. "He believed in first impres- sions, and he made it the best. His faith and dedication have seen this school grow to national promi- nence." Dr. Tim Kavel, current campus director, introduced the elected of- ficials present as fathers and mothers of community college ed- ucation in southern Delaware. He reminded those present of the im- portance of the support of General Assembly members as he recog- nized Adams; Pep. George Carey, R-Milford; Rep. Tina Fallon, R- Seaford; Sen. Robert Voshell, D- Milford; and Rep. Charlie West, R-Gumboro. Former Lt. Eugene Bookham- The newest inductee in the Delaware Teeh College Hall of Fame, Jack Owens ex- presses his appreciation for the honor. He was recognized with a ceremony and recep- tion on Friday, April 24, on the Georgetown campus that bears his name. mer said that the next appropriate thing would be to make South Carolina-native Owens an hon- orary native of Sussex County. Bookhammer reminded everyone that Owens had hardly retired from public life since he is now chair of the Beebe Medical Center construction committee. He said that Owens came in when the board of directors needed a capa- ble, knowledgeable person to di- rect building projects. Carey said, with Owen's history for building on the Georgetown campus and his position with Beebe's building projects, he ex- pects the college campus and the hospital campus will soon meet at Nassau. After the Hall of Fame plaque was unveiled, Owens had the last word. Continued on page 43 Sussex Pines Country Clul9 Shareholder Memberships Available for a Limited Time Call 856.6283 ask for Cinda or 856-6071 ask for Bea Life's A HIT IWhen You're Feeling Fit! 7th ANNUM, EVENT FOR OLDER ADUILTS! (50+) Saturday, May 16th featuring Spinning Demo Sit And Be Fit Chair Aerobics Aquatics Demo Line Dancing Demo 12:00 Buffet Luncheon. Call to Registerf Games, Door Prizes and More! All Activities Free Todayf Sussex Family YMCA 105 Church Street, 302-227-8018 Rehoboth Beach Rounne Pack photoa Unveiling the plaque, (l-r) Dr. Orlando George Jr., presi- dent of Delaware Technical and Community Colleges and Dr. James Soles, chairman of the college board of trustee, share the moment of honor with Hall of Fame inductee Jack Owens.