CPCC celebrates President Dr. Tony Zeiss’s 20 years of service

last modified Jan 23, 2012 11:53 AM

Charlotte community leaders and Central Piedmont Community College (CPCC) employees gathered at the Charlotte Country Club on Jan. 20 to celebrate Dr. Tony Zeiss’s 20th year of service and leadership as president of CPCC. During the event, hosted by the CPCC Foundation, attendees honored Zeiss’s illustrious career at CPCC, a tenure that has spanned more than a third of the College’s 49-year history.

Since becoming CPCC’s third president in December 1992, Zeiss has grown CPCC into a flourishing, multi-campus institution that provides more than 300 innovative curriculum and job-training programs to Mecklenburg County residents. When Zeiss came to the College, it had one downtown campus. Today, CPCC is accessible to all Mecklenburg residents with six campuses spread out across the county and dozens of online programs.

Over the past 20 years, CPCC has become a vital community partner to Mecklenburg County residents and business and industry. Under Zeiss’s leadership, the College’s operating budget has grown exponentially from $47.6 million to $176.1 million, and CPCC currently contributes more than $918 million each year to the county’s economy.

“Tony Zeiss has provided 20 years of extraordinary leadership to CPCC and our community. We all have benefitted from Tony's vision, his commitment to education and his fundamental belief in community colleges as tools to fuel economic growth,” said Ralph Pitts, chairman of the CPCC Board of Trustees. “His enormous energy and passion have inspired thousands to enroll in and to support CPCC and have elevated the College to a level of national prominence.”

Zeiss’s interest in education began at a young age; he earned a bachelor’s degree in speech education and a master’s degree in speech from Indiana State University, and a doctorate in community college administration from Nova Southeastern University. The N.C. Community College System recognized his passion for education and leadership abilities in 2002, when it named him “President of the Year.” That same year, CPCC drew national attention when it was named the “2002 Community College of the Year” by the National Alliance of Business. In 2004, the Association of Community College Trustees named Zeiss the National Community College President of the Year.

Zeiss has served as the Board Chair for the League for Innovation and Chair of the Board of the American Association of Community Colleges. He frequently discusses fundraising and recruiting, developing and retaining peak performers in the workplace as the keynote speaker for companies and colleges across the country, and enjoys writing books. His publications discuss topics such as economic development, national workforce development, adult literacy and American history.

While the Jan. 20 event recognized Zeiss for his many accomplishments and contributions to the Charlotte community, it also helped build momentum for the institution as it prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary in Mecklenburg County in 2013.

Dr. Zeiss and his wife, Beth, have two grown sons and two grandchildren.

To learn more about CPCC and Dr.Tony Zeiss, visit www.cpcc.edu.

Central Piedmont Community College is the largest community college in North Carolina, offering close to 300 degree and certification programs, customized corporate training, market-focused continuing education, and special interest classes. CPCC is academically, financially and geographically accessible to all citizens of Mecklenburg County. In 2002, the National Alliance of Business named CPCC the Community College of the Year for its response to the workforce and technology needs of local employers and job seekers through innovative educational and training strategies.