Dr. Jack Bagwell Awarded 2024 NC State Board of Community Colleges President of the Year

Dr. Jack Bagwell. (Courtesy College of The Albemarle)

In an exciting announcement for College of The Albemarle (COA), Dr. Jack Bagwell, the President of COA, has been named the 2024 President of the Year by the North Carolina State Board of Community Colleges. This prestigious award recognizes Dr. Bagwell’s exceptional leadership qualities, steadfast commitment to the community college mission, and achievements in furthering higher education within North Carolina.

Mr. David Harris, Chair of the COA Board of Trustees, expressed his pride in Dr. Bagwell’s accomplishments, stating, “Dr. Bagwell’s leadership has been transformative for College of The Albemarle and the communities we serve. His innovative approach and dedication to excellence have advanced our institution and set a standard for community colleges nationwide. This award is a well-deserved acknowledgment of his outstanding contributions.”

Bagwell began his tenure as the 11th President of College of The Albemarle on December 2, 2019. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology from Winthrop University and his doctorate in educational studies with a specialization in educational leadership and higher education at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In addition to his earned degrees, Dr. Bagwell has participated in the Executive Leadership Institute offered through the League for Innovation in Community Colleges and the South Carolina Technical College System’s Leadership Academy.

Reflecting on the award, Dr. Bagwell shared, “I am deeply honored to receive this recognition, which I contribute to the COA team’s efforts and commitment. Our achievements are the result of the hard work, innovation, and spirit of collaboration that defines our college community. I am grateful for this opportunity to lead an institution that truly makes a difference in our students’ lives and the broader community.”

Bagwell’s career in community colleges began over 33 years ago at York Technical College in South Carolina, where he served 23 years in various roles, including biology instructor, instructional specialist, dean of learning resources, culminating in associate vice president of academic affairs and interim vice president for development. He transitioned to Piedmont Technical College (PTC) in South Carolina, serving from 2014 until he accepted the position at COA. He served as vice president of academic affairs during his tenure at PTC.

Dr. Bagwell developed expertise in accreditation-related issues during his career by serving on many Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges accreditation committees. He has also worked in his local communities by serving on committees and taskforces, primarily focusing on education, quality of life, and economic development issues. Dr. Bagwell is an ex-officio board member on the Elizabeth City Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, the Elizabeth City-Pasquotank County Economic Development Commission, and the Edenton-Chowan Partnership. Dr. Bagwell also serves on the College of The Albemarle Foundation Board and is an Elizabeth City Rotary Club member. In addition to his community-based service, Dr. Bagwell is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Coastal Studies Institute, a multi-institutional research partnership located in Wanchese, NC.

The President of the Year Award, presented by the NC State Board of Community Colleges and sponsored by the John M. Belk Endowment, exemplifies the importance of visionary leadership in promoting the community college mission. 

The NC State Board of Community Colleges issued a press release today announcing Bagwell’s award; to read more, please visit https://www.nccommunitycolleges.edu/news/state-board-of-community-colleges-announces-winners-of-prestigious-faculty-and-staff-awards/. 

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