Friday, 22 October 2021 15:10

RichmondCC President: Challenges have made college stronger

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Richmond Community College President Dr. Dale McInnis reflects on the institution's challenges over the past two years during the annual convocation. See photos of those presented with awards at the bottom of this story. Richmond Community College President Dr. Dale McInnis reflects on the institution's challenges over the past two years during the annual convocation. See photos of those presented with awards at the bottom of this story. RichmondCC

HAMLET — The president of Richmond Community College reflected on the challenges of the past two years, from a major cyber attack on the College’s computer network to a worldwide pandemic, and said the College is stronger because of these events.


“We adapted, we evolved, we learned, but through all that time, our doors remained open to the communities that we serve and the students that count on us,” said Dr. Dale McInnis during the 2021 Convocation held at the Cole Auditorium on Wednesday. “As we learn to live in a world where this virus may always be present, we must shift our focus from surviving to thriving.” 

Before the president’s state-of-the-college speech, 28 employees were recognized for their many years of service to the college, and the winners of several awards were recognized.

Dr. Kimberly Goard, philosophy instructor and creator of the RichmondCC Chorus, received the Faculty of the Year award. HVAC and maintenance technician Robert Rutherford, who recently received his state heating and air license, was named Staff of the Year. Ralph Carriker, who has been an adjunct instructor for over 40 years at RichmondCC, received the Adjunct Faculty of the Year award. Dr. Devon Hall, who is the Dean of Applied Sciences & Engineering, was personally selected by McInnis for the President’s Award for his ever-present positive attitude and problem-solving skills.

The RichmondCC Foundation also recognized the 2021 Outstanding Alumni Award winner, Greg Thompson. Thompson graduated from RichmondCC in 1998 with an Associate in Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology. He is the operations support manager for Railroad Friction.

“Education is about changing lives for the better,” Thompson said. “I can honestly say that attending RichmondCC and then UNC Charlotte changed my life for the better, enabling me to experience things that I never would have otherwise.”

McInnis applauded these award winners for their inner strength, determination and optimism and encouraged everyone to be a catalyst for hope for a better future.

“Many of our students lost so much of their high school experience to the pandemic. We have to put in the extra effort for their academic, emotional and psychological recovery,” McInnis said. “The next 24 months will be an exciting and historic time for us. We have so many opportunities now, more than any other time in our history. New programs, funding, resources, spaces, services, and partnerships will continue to reshape our college.”