WCI, Inc
June 16, 2022

NC School of Science & Math

WCI, Inc., an employer-based membership organization headquartered in Western North Carolina, is excited to announce a financial commitment of $250,000 to the North Carolina School of Science and Math (NCSSM) in Morganton. NCSSM is a publicly funded residential STEM high school available to talented North Carolina high school juniors and seniors. This gift is to be funded through WCI’s ability to raise funds from regional sources that share a similar commitment to advancing STEM high school education in the region.

Fredrick Reese, President of WCI, stated that “Western Carolina Industries, or WCI, as it’s known today, has been an active supporter of the NCSSM campus in Morganton from the very early stages, originating when it was still just a dream for Western North Carolina.” That dream will become a reality when the school opens its doors to students for the first time this fall. WCI is a regional non-profit, focused on helping employers build a workplace culture that engages their employees in the organization’s purpose; a culture that builds sustainable harmony among the employees.

Louis Bissette is Chairman of the Board of WCI and Of Counsel at the McGuire Wood & Bissette Law Firm, based in Asheville. Chairman Bissette stated that “WCI has been a strong supporter of advanced education from its early years; going back to 1959. WCI member companies have been funding multiple partial scholarships for deserving high school students from Western North Carolina to attend universities and community colleges for the past thirty years. The WCI Board felt that the School of Science and Math – Morganton Campus, provides an opportunity for WCI to take an active role in advancing the importance of STEM education in Western North Carolina”

In recognition of the gift to the NCSSM-Morganton, the leadership of NCSSM has decided to name the Executive Boardroom on the Morganton campus, the WCI Board Room. The signage will read, “Made possible by the generous support of the members and management of WCI, Inc.”

Fredrick Reese appointed to NCSSM board

Fredrick Reese, President of WCI, has been appointed by the North Carolina General Assembly to serve on the Board of Trustees for the North Carolina School of Science and Math.  Fredrick will serve a four-year term effective July 1, 2021, ending June 30, 2025.

Unique in the UNC System, North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics is a world-class public high school with statewide reach, empowering students with the skills and knowledge to design their own future. Specializing in science, technology, engineering, and math — and with a robust humanities and arts program — NCSSM challenges talented high school juniors and seniors from across NC through a residential program on its historic campus in Durham and, soon, on a second campus being built in Morganton. The extensive online program and summer offerings extend the school’s impact to every corner of North Carolina. Founded in 1980 as the first of its kind, NCSSM has become the model for 18 such specialized schools around the globe.

Fredrick stated: “It’s truly an honor to serve the people of our state as a trustee for this iconic educational institution.  I’m humbled and grateful for the confidence placed in me by the leadership of the school as well as our elected representatives.  I will do my best to earn the honor bestowed on me by this nomination.” Along with other key leaders in WNC, Fredrick and WCI have been actively involved in bringing NCSSM's second campus to our area and seeing its development become a reality.

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