Trident Technical College’s Main Campus in North Charleston became the Thornley Campus July 24 after the college’s Area Commission voted to rename the campus to honor Dr. Mary Thornley, the college’s longtime president.
The idea to honor Thornley by renaming the campus came from Trident Technical College Foundation board members Bobby Collins and Chris Fraser. Collins made the formal request to the Area Commission on behalf of the TTC Foundation board.
“Over the years, it has been our privilege to work alongside Dr. Thornley as she consistently finds ways to ensure that progress and innovation create new opportunities for our students and meet the ever-growing workforce needs of our community,” said Collins in making the request to the commissioners. “She is an outstanding leader, and we look forward to working alongside her for years to come. Too often, recognition for outstanding leadership comes at the conclusion of a career. As a foundation board, we wanted to make a recommendation to honor Dr. Thornley now, while she remains actively engaged as president of Trident Technical College.”
Thornley has worked at the college for 45 years. She was hired as an adjunct instructor in 1973 and became a full-time instructor the next year. Over time she moved up the ranks and held positions including department head, dean, and vice president for academic affairs. She was named president in 1991.
“This is a recognition of the unwavering dedication, commitment and leadership that Dr. Thornley has provided over the past four and a half decades,” said Dr. Yvonne Barnes, chair of TTC’s Area Commission. “As a champion of students, Dr. Thornley works tirelessly to ensure their success. She is the longest-serving president of the college and is one of the most respected leaders in the Lowcountry. She is certainly deserving of the honor.”
In conjunction with the campus name change, the TTC Foundation has established the Thornley Leadership Fund and is working toward a $1 million fundraising goal. “The Thornley Leadership Fund recognizes the outstanding accomplishments of Dr. Thornley and will serve as a ‘greatest needs’ fund, providing additional support for Dr. Thornley to ensure that all opportunities to advance the college and to assist students can be considered,” said Lisa Piccolo, TTC Foundation executive director and vice president for development.
Trident Tech has three other campuses in the region: Palmer Campus in downtown Charleston, Berkeley Campus in Moncks Corner, and Mount Pleasant Campus in Mount Pleasant. The college also provides services at two sites, one in Hollywood and the other in St. George.
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