Congressman David Price receives honorary degree from Durham Tech

Former Congressman David. E. Price received an honorary degree from Durham Tech at the College’s May 7, 2024, Commencement ceremony in recognition of his dedication to education and his longtime support for Durham Tech. 

Price represented North Carolina’s Fourth District, the Research Triangle region, in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1987-94 and 1997-2022. He is a Polis Distinguished Fellow at the Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University, and a Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Duke. He currently serves on the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board and the state board of N.C. Community Colleges. 

Price’s dedication to Durham Tech goes back to when Phail Wynn was President of the College. Price worked with Wynn on the establishment of the Advanced Technology bill as one of his first initiatives on the science committee during his second term in Congress. 

My bill established the Advanced Technological Education grant program at the National Science Foundation, which previously had done almost nothing at the community college level. The bill supports the education of technicians for the high-technology fields that drive our nation's economy I worked over the years to maintain a healthy appropriation (about $75 million), and the state system and numerous individual campuses, including Durham Tech, have applied successfully,” Price said. “The idea was not so much to benefit any school as to provide opportunities and incentives to all to develop innovative curricula, teaching methods, and partnerships that could be funded and then replicated. My relationship with Durham Tech began here.” 

Price’s relationship continued with Durham Tech and his work with current Durham Tech President, J.B. Buxton, helped secure Durham Tech’s grant from the Economic Development Administration for aseptic training equipment as it built its biotechnology programming, and just before his retirement from Congress he championed a community project grant that paved the way for Wake Tech and Durham Tech to launch RTPBio, a collaborative effort to support faculty and development, apprenticeships, community awareness, and students scholarships related to the life sciences sector. 

“I am so pleased we had the opportunity to honor Congressman Price for his years of public service, and particularly for his stalwart support of Durham Tech throughout the years,” Durham Tech President J.B. Buxton said. “He has been a champion for education and for this community for decades, and I am so proud the College had this opportunity to honor his work and dedication.” 

Price grew up in Erwin, Tennessee, and was educated at Mars Hill College and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he held a Morehead-Cain scholarship. He obtained a Bachelor of Divinity degree and a Ph.D. in political science at Yale University. He taught four years at Yale before coming to Duke in 1973, where he held a joint appointment in political science and public policy. He is the author of four books and numerous articles on American politics and institutions, political thought, ethics, and foreign affairs, including The Congressional Experience which he has taken through four editions.