BCCC honors ‘father’ of community college systemPublished 7:48pm Saturday, April 13, 2013
Beaufort County Community College on Wednesday, March 6, honored W. Dallas Herring, considered to be the “father” of the state’s community college system, during a brief ceremony held on the college campus.
BCCC President Barbara Tansey, Board of Trustee Chairman Russell Smith, Vice President of Continuing Education Chet Jarman and Vice President of Academics Crystal Ange were among those who unveiled a portrait of Dr. Herring marking “Dr. W. Dallas Herring Day” in honor of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the state’s community colleges.
“Dallas Herring was a visionary who understood that education could be a defining factor in a person’s life,” said Smith. “As a community college graduate, I am just one of the thousands who have benefited from Dr. Herring’s belief in education as the gateway for opportunity for the people of North Carolina.”
Herring, as the chairman of the State Board of Education in 1963, was instrumental in the creation of the N.C. Community College System.
In May of that year, the N.C. General Assembly approved legislation that brought together 20 industrial education centers, six junior colleges and five extension units under the umbrella of a statewide community college system.
Under Herring’s leadership, the Community College Advisory Council was established to advise the State Board of Education on community college operations.
A native of Duplin County, Herring was appointed by Gov. Luther Hodges to chair the State Board of Education and served on that board for over 20 years.
Herring may be best-known for his belief that education should be available to all and that community colleges should “take people from where they are, as far as they can go.”
BCCC is one of 58 community colleges that, along with the Community College System office in Raleigh, held events honoring Herring. A portrait of Herring, sponsored by Duplin Winery and the North Carolina Community Colleges Foundation, was provided to all community colleges in the state.
At BCCC, Herring’s portrait will be on display in the conference room of the Graham Elliott Building next to the charter establishing Beaufort County Technical Institute, now BCCC, in 1967.