Dr. Martha A. Smith, president of AACC from 1994 to 2012, was awarded the status of president emeritus by unanimous vote from the college’s board of trustees in November.
During her 18 years at the college, Smith touched the lives of thousands of county residents through her work as a visionary leader and as a driving force that made AACC one of the most respected and outstanding community colleges in the nation. “It means a great deal to me, and I'm so thrilled,” she said. “For me, it symbolizes the extraordinary collaboration among all of the college's constituents and stakeholders.”
Under Smith’s leadership, AACC saw unprecedented growth. The college’s annual credit and noncredit headcount grew from around 40,000 to 53,000, and the number of degree and certificate programs doubled. The Class of 2012 saw nearly twice the number of students – close to 2,000 – graduate with a degree or certificate as the Class of 1996, when 1,030 students crossed the stage.
“She led the college in truly making us the community’s college, promoting student success and meeting the needs of the community through shared governance,” said Dr. Dawn Lindsay, who succeeded Smith as the college’s president. “She created a dynamic workforce and high expectations that really set the foundation for what we’re doing now and plan to do in the future.”
Smith also secured county and state funding for the construction and/or major renovation of 13 capital projects, changing the face of the Arnold campus and expanding the college’s presence in Arundel Mills and Glen Burnie.
To be eligible for president emeritus status, a candidate must have served at least 10 years as president and exhibited a record of excellence in leadership, professional growth and development, student success, and contributions to the college community deemed to have a lasting, positive impact on the institution.