CPCC inaugurated Dr. Kandi Deitemeyer as the college's fourth president today at a ceremony held on the Central Campus. Featuring the pageantry of an academic procession down Elizabeth Avenue, it was first presidential inauguration at the college in 30 years.
Deitemeyer became the fourth president of CPCC on Jan. 2, 2017. It's an academic tradition that an institution hold an
inauguration or installment event at some point during a new president's first year. Deitemeyer's predecessor, Dr. Tony Zeiss, chose to not have an inauguration when he joined CPCC in 1992. His predecessor, Dr. Ruth Shaw, was inaugurated on Jan. 30, 1987.
Deitemeyer came to CPCC with an extensive and diverse background in community college administration. Her career has spanned 25 years in higher education, with 23 of those serving in community college systems in North Carolina, Kentucky and Florida. Just prior to CPCC, she served six years as the president of the College of the Albemarle, based in Elizabeth City, N.C.
During the inauguration ceremony, Deitemeyer took the oath of office, received the college medallion and gave an address in which she spoke on the social and economic necessity of education.
"Education is the answer that will bring us together in our differences and bridge the economic divide both in Charlotte and in our country," Deitemeyer said.
"This is a community with global aspirations. We seek a larger presence on the global economic stage. We must connect these aspirations with efforts across the community to enhance the economic mobility of our citizens by preparing a globally competitive workforce," Deitemeyer added. "So as we make the name of Charlotte more respected across the globe and see our prosperity multiply, we leave no one behind and lift everyone up."
An academic procession of about 200 college trustees, faculty members and administrators and visiting delegates from other institutions of higher education, all in caps and gowns, signaled the start of the event. The procession began at the Worrell Building and moved down Elizabeth Avenue to the Overcash Building and its Halton Theater, were the inauguration ceremony was held.
Participating in the ceremony were CPCC trustees Edwin Dalrymple and Judith Allison; Ella Scarborough, chair of the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners; Rev. Clint Pressley of Hickory Grove Baptist Church; student Spencer Jones; alumna Lynne Tatum Little; faculty member Carolyn Jacobs; staff member Heather Napier; CPCC Foundation board member Gary LaBrosse; acting president of the North Carolina Community College System Jennifer Haygood; and Dr. David Johnson, president of the N.C. Association of Community College Presidents. The Carolina Brass Quintet and the CPCC Chorus performed during the ceremony.
Deitemeyer's pathway to success began at Polk Community College in Florida, where she graduated with an associate of arts degree. From there, she went on to earn a bachelor's degree in mass communications and public relations, a master's degree in counselor education and a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of South Florida.
She serves on the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges Board of Trustees and is an active member of the North Carolina Association of Community College Presidents. She is a Rotarian and serves on many community and philanthropic boards, including the Charlotte Chamber, Charlotte Regional Collaborative for a Global Economy, Charlotte Regional Partnership, Charlotte Will, Leading on Opportunity Council, and the League for Innovation.
The inauguration and college-wide luncheon that followed culminated a week of activities, which included events and drives to support Project Life, Urban Ministries and Loaves and Fishes. The college also broke ground at a Nov. 1, ceremony for the new North Classroom Building on Central Campus. The 154,100 square-foot facility will be the largest building ever constructed by the college. It will be open for classes in January 2020.