State Dedicates New ‘Wake Forest Ferry’

North Carolina’s newest ferry, painted in Wake Forest University’s black and gold colors, was dedicated Friday, May 1, at an eastern North Carolina ceremony on the Neuse River at Cherry Branch.

Wake Forest president Thomas K. Hearn Jr. joined state and local officials, as well as Wake Forest alumni and friends, at the afternoon ceremony to christen the newly built, $5.3 million ferry. Informally called the Wake Forest ferry, the M/V Neuse will transport passengers and motor vehicles from Cherry Branch to Minnesott Beach on the Neuse River, near Morehead City.

“We’re excited to spotlight the M/V Neuse and Wake Forest University,” the transportation secretary said. “Founded in 1834, Wake Forest University has a long history and is highly regarded nationally for its challenging academics, individualized teaching, small classes and state-of-the-art resources.”

The ferry is painted in Wake Forest colors as part of the state ferry division’s university paint scheme program. The program was established in 1994 to paint ferries in the school colors of the 16 public universities and the largest private universities. The M/V Neuse is the first ferry to sport Wake Forest colors and its Demon Deacon mascot.

The double-ended ferry is 180 feet long and 44 feet wide. The M/V Neuse can transport up to 300 passengers and 42 motor vehicles across the river.

The Cherry Branch to Minnesott Beach ferry route was started in 1973. Originally, the ferry shuttled Pamlico County resident to jobs at the Cherry Point Marine Air Base and provided a link to Highway 306. By 1994, the route became the second busiest in the North Carolina Ferry System. Each year, more than 475,000 passengers travel on the Cherry Branch route.

Categories: University Announcement