On Thursday I attended the unveiling of Northeast Community College’s new mathematics, science and engineering technology (MSET) building.

As I walked through the doors for the first time the only word that came to mind was, “Wow.” That word gets thrown around fairly liberally sometimes.

This was not one of those times.

What Dr. David Campbell has done at NACC is nothing short of remarkable. I overheard someone say to him yesterday, “You just keep on dreaming.” That person was right. Dr. Campbell does keep dreaming.

The difference between him and most of the rest of us is Dr. Campbell makes his dreams a reality.

The new MSET building is an incredible asset to all of northeast Alabama. The technology available to students is as good as any four-year institution in this state. The labs and instructional areas are second to none – not to mention it houses a 700-person capacity storm shelter in the basement.

Further, it’s a tremendous recruiting tool for both DeKalb and Jackson County. I guarantee Rick Roden, of the Greater Jackson County Chamber of Commerce and Dus Rogers, of the Jackson County Economic Development Authority, are both thrilled with this project.

It’s just one more weapon in their arsenal when trying to attract new businesses.

The entire team at NACC deserves to be commended for making this project a reality. Their efforts, along with Dr. Campbell’s leadership, are why NACC is consistently ranked among the best community colleges in the nation. 

Northeast is a gem – and it’s one I think we often take for granted. I’m not sure people realize how lucky we are to have such a fine institution of higher learning right in our backyard.

As I listened to Dr. Campbell speak for close to 20 minutes something struck me. Not once in his remarks did he refer to himself. He never said “I.” He was gracious and humble, and he thanked everyone involved with this project.

In light of that I wish you’d all join me in thanking Dr. Campbell. While this was certainly a team effort, it was his vision and leadership that helped make it a reality.

And, Jackson County is better for it.

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