Harris is new COA trustee chair

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File photo Marion Harris Jr. gives the commencement address during the College of the Albemarle Spring Commencement, May 11, 2016.


By Reggie Ponder
Staff Writer

Thursday, June 21, 2018

The College of The Albemarle Board of Trustees has opted for experience in its next chairman, tapping Marion Harris Jr., a former board chairman, to succeed outgoing Chairman Paul O’Neal.

Harris, a resident of Pasquotank County, replaces Currituck resident Paul O’Neal beginning July 1. Doug Gardner, a Pasquotank resident, is finishing his term as vice chairman and will be leaving the board after 11 years.

Arthur “Arty” Tillett of Dare County will be the board’s new vice chairman.

Harris and Tillett were nominated chairman and vice chairman by the trustee board’s nominating committee, which was chaired by Joe Peel. Peel presented the nominations to trustees Tuesday night and Harris and Tillett were elected unanimously.

Trustees noted that Gardner would be missed for his commitment to COA and especially for his expertise in financial matters. Gardner most recently served as chairman of the board’s Finance Committee. He continues to serve as a member of the COA Foundation Board of Directors.

O’Neal presented a certificate of appreciation to Gardner at the meeting and COA President Robert Wynegar presented a gavel to O’Neal.

Gardner said he had enjoyed his 11 years on the board.

O’Neal said he is proud of COA, knows that it has excellent leadership moving forward and believes that great things will continue to happen at the college. He noted some college accomplishments during the past couple of years:

* Hiring Robert Wynegar as president

* Being named the number one community college in the state

* Getting a 100 percent passing rate on the licensing exam by graduates of the nursing program

* Remodeling the Peforming Arts Center Lobby

* Plans to construct a new campus in Dare County

* Plans to expand in Currituck County.

* Donation of The Pines to the COA Foundation

-* Establishment of an agriculture curriculum with a seamless transition to N.C. State University

* Plans developed by the Dare County COA Task Force

* Increased community visibility.