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March 11, 2013
Dr. W. Dallas Herring Day celebrated at HCC
WELDON, N.C. – Halifax Community College (HCC), along with North Carolina’s other community colleges, celebrated the legacy of Dr. W. Dallas Herring on March 6. The HCC ceremony featured the unveiling of a portrait of Herring.

HCC’s program participants included:
  • Frank V. Avent III - HCC Board of Trustees Chairman
  • Dr. Ervin V. Griffin Sr. - HCC President/CEO
  • Reginald Hux - HCC Computer Information Technology Student
  • Tonya Mason - HCC Associate Degree Nursing Student
  • Phillip Massey - HCC Automotive Systems Technology Instructor
Dr. Herring, a Duplin County native, is considered the philosophical godfather of the state’s community college system. He was born in Rose Hill in 1916. He began his public service career at 23 when the people of Rose Hill named him the youngest mayor in the country. From 1951 to 1955, Herring served as chair of the Duplin County Board of Education. As the chair of the State Board of Education in 1963, Herring was instrumental in the creation of the community college system. He 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."

Herring was appointed by Governor Luther Hodges to chair the State Board of Education, serving from 1955-77. That same year, 1957, the N.C. General Assembly adopted the first Community College Act which established North Carolina’s junior colleges. Also in 1957, at the urging of Herring and Gov. Hodges, the General Assembly established a system of seven industrial education centers to be administered by the State Board of Education. In May of 1963, the General Assembly established the North Carolina Community College System, bringing together 20 industrial education centers, six junior colleges and five extension units. In June 1963, under the leadership of Herring, the Community College Advisory Council was established to advise the State Board of Education.

Herring was a life-long advocate for the state’s community colleges and the System’s "Open Door" philosophy – a result of Herring’s leadership during the System’s early years. During his 20-year tenure as chairman of the State Board of Education, Herring led innovations and improvements in curriculum, class size, salaries, teachers’ aides programs and kindergartens. Herring devoted his life to opening the doors of opportunity and learning for all North Carolinians.

A trustee of James Sprunt Community College from 1971 to 1986, Herring received numerous awards including The North Carolina Award, the highest civilian award in North Carolina, and three honorary doctorates. James Sprunt Community College has a building, a lecture series and a scholarship named in Herring’s honor. North Carolina State University has the W. Dallas Herring Distinguished Professorship and the N.C. Association of Community College Presidents established the Dr. W. Dallas Herring Student Achievement Award in 2010 which is given each year to one community college student who best exemplifies Herring’s philosophy. Herring died Jan. 5, 2007, at the age of 90.

In honor of Herring, all 58 community colleges and the N.C. Community College System office held events on March 6 to honor him. Many unveiled portraits of Herring that were commissioned as part of the System’s 50th Anniversary celebration. The portraits were sponsored by Duplin Winery and by the North Carolina Community Colleges Foundation. At its last meeting, the State Board of Community Colleges also passed a resolution, naming its regular meeting room the Dr. W. Dallas Herring State Board Room.
Dr. W. Dallas Herring Day celebrated at HCC
Program participants for the Dr. W. Dallas Herring Portrait Unveiling were, from left, Frank V. Avent III, Reginald Hux, Phillip Massey, Dr. Ervin V. Griffin Sr. and Tonya Mason.
Halifax Community College’s Mission
Halifax Community College strives to meet the diverse needs of our community by providing high-quality, accessible and affordable education and services for a rapidly changing and globally competitive marketplace.
Primary Media Contact: Melanie Temple, Director of Public Relations and Marketing, templem@halifaxcc.edu, 252-538-4319

Secondary Media Contact: Dr. Dianne Rhoades, Interim Vice President of Institutional Advancement, Halifax Community College and Interim Executive Director of the Halifax Community College Foundation Inc., rhoadesd@halifaxcc.edu, 252-536-7239