The man who has led East Mississippi Community College forward in the 21st century has announced his retirement.
Dr. Rick Young has served as EMCC’s president since 2004. He is credited with helping lead EMCC to prominence among Mississippi’s community colleges and expanding the school’s capacity to educate people throughout the region. He will officially retire on June 30.
Young has been with EMCC for 40 years. He started as a marketing professor and rose to vice president of EMCC’s Golden Triangle campus, a position he held for many years before becoming president.
“His aggressive pursuit of excellence in all areas of the college has brought EMCC into the national spotlight, enhancing the value and quality of academic, vocational, workforce training and athletics provided by the Mississippi community college system,” EMCC board of trustees chairman Kathy Dyess said.
The expansion of EMCC under Young came during an era when community colleges have risen in prominence, necessity and national recognition. In last night’s State of the Union address, President Barack Obama asked that the first two years of community college should be free of charge. Under Young, EMCC has already made great strides for local students to receive educations they can afford without incurring debt.
“EMCC will always be a part of my life because of the many special people who have made our college what it is today. It has been my privilege to have had a career that enabled me to work with many dedicated individuals who work tirelessly every day to make a positive difference in the lives of others,” Young said.
EMCC will begin their search for Young’s successor Feb. 2.