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BRCC names new president

Laura Leatherwood Laura Leatherwood

The Board of Trustees for Blue Ridge Community College have formally selected Laura Leatherwood, currently the vice president of student services with Haywood Community College in Clyde, to be the fourth president of Blue Ridge Community College. The board made the decision Monday after a nationwide search.

Dr. Leatherwood will assume the presidency on July 1. Current president Molly A. Parkhill will retire June 30 after serving BRCC for more than 31 years of service, the last 10 as president.

“I am very pleased that Dr. Leatherwood has accepted the presidency of Blue Ridge Community College,” Board Chairman John C. McCormick Jr. said Monday evening. “Her extensive community college experience and involvement with economic development will be great assets at Blue Ridge and to Henderson and Transylvania counties.”

“I have dedicated my career to community college education and it is a true honor and a privilege to have been selected to serve as president of Blue Ridge Community College,“ Leatherwood said. “BRCC is a wonderful college and I look forward to working with everyone to build on the great work that has been done over the years. My husband and I are excited about this opportunity and we look forward to becoming a part of this community.”

Leatherwood was selected after a nationwide search launched earlier this year. More than 60 applications were received. The applicants were screened by a search committee led by McCormick and ultimately chosen by the fifteen-member Board of Trustees. She visited the College last month during a day-long visit with faculty and staff, community members, and the Board of Trustees.

Leatherwood began her career with Haywood Community College in 2000 and was named the first full-time executive director of the Haywood Community College Educational Foundation and Director of Institutional Advancement. In 2007, she was promoted to Executive Director of Continuing and Adult Education. She currently serves as the Vice President of Student Services and has served as Vice President of the College for six years. Major responsibilities included providing senior level leadership and management of student support services, instructional technology, distance learning, learning resource center (library), work-based learning and community outreach. Leatherwood holds a doctorate from Western Carolina University in University and Community College Leadership.

Leatherwood’s appointment is contingent on approval by the North Carolina State Board of Community Colleges on May 19.