Edgecombe Community College received $1 million gift, largest in college’s history

TARBORO, N.C. (WITN) – A community college in Eastern Carolina received the largest gift in its 42-year history and recognizes the men who made it possible.

Edgecombe Community College says a $1 million donation came from Robert Barnhill Jr., chairman of Barnhill Contracting Company, and Benjamin Hardy, trustee of the John R. Jenkins Trust.

The college says the two men are carrying the legacy of those who started their respective organizations.

ECC says their gift will go to expanding funds for the John R. and Yantus S. Jenkins Memorial Endowment Scholarship, establish the Barnhill-Jenkins Quasi-Endowment program, and endow the Barnhill-Jenkins Quasi-Endowment to Support SkillUSA.

Because of the gift, ECC will name its newest facility the Barnhill-Jenkins Center for Innovation. The center is a training site for high school and college students.

“The generosity of Mr. Jenkins and the Barnhills will forever stand as a living legacy to both Mr. Jenkins and Mr. Robert E. Barnhill Sr.,” says Jean Bailey, president of the ECC Foundation. “The Foundation has enjoyed many generous gifts during my many years of involvement, but I can’t recall such an extraordinary gift, not only in the magnitude of the amount, but in how it will be used to move the college forward.”