Fayetteville Technical Community College unveiled the presidential portrait of Dr. J. Larry Keen on Monday in a ceremony in the lobby of the Thomas McLean Administration Building.
The portrait was commissioned by FTCC Foundation in anticipation of Keen’s retirement at the end of December.
Brad Hurley, chair of the Foundation’s Board of Directors, said he spent the day with Keen at the Foundation’s annual golf tournament fundraiser earlier this month.
“I got to see his heart in a different way than ever before,” Hurley said. “And I’m just very proud to be a part of this.”
Keen’s portrait joins those of other significant figures in FTCC’s history, including the College’s first three presidents: Howard E. Boudreau, who served from 1964-1983; Dr. R. Craig Allen, 1983-1996; and Dr. Larry B. Norris, 1997-2007. Like his predecessors, Keen is depicted in his academic regalia.
FTCC’s Vice President for Academic and Student Services Dr. Mark Sorrells will succeed Keen as President on Jan. 1. Sorrells delivered remarks on behalf of Keen, who was unable to attend the unveiling due to mild illness.
“This is a special event for Dr. Keen in honor of his service of 15 years at the College but also for the Keen family and what they’ve contributed to our community,” Sorrells said.
The portrait was painted by Todd Carignan, a Wilmington artist who works in many mediums, including oils, watercolors and charcoal, and whose subjects range from portraits to landscapes to architecture to pop culture icons.
Carignan has won multiple awards for his art, including an Oil Painters of America Award of Excellence, and his art is included in collections throughout the United States and internationally. He teaches at the Museum School at Cameron Art Museum in Wilmington and at DREAMS of Wilmington, a nonprofit after-school arts education program for children. He received his BFA in Sequential Art and minored in Art History at the Savannah College of Art and Design. His work can be found at www.toddcarignan.com/.
Other portraits in the lobby of the McLean administration building depict building namesake Thomas R. McLean, who served on the College’s Board of Trustees for 13 years; his wife, Elizabeth E. McLean, namesake of an FTCC student terrace donated in her honor by her husband; and Paul H. Thompson, the first chairman of the College’s Board of Trustees and the first president of the N.C. Association of the Community College Trustees.
FTCC was founded in 1961 as a job-training institution and became a community college in 1963 when the statewide Community College System was created. The College serves more than 28,000 students a year with occupational, technical, general education, college transfer and continuing education programs leading to more than 280 degrees, diplomas and certificates.