Distinguished Service Award Goes to CPCC President Tony Zeiss

last modified May 30, 2012 01:02 PM

Dr. Tony Zeiss, president of Central Piedmont Community College, is the 2012 recipient of the UNC Charlotte Distinguished Service Award.

Zeiss was honored for his contributions to the community and as a leader in education, in particular his efforts to strengthen ties between Central Piedmont Community College and UNC Charlotte.

UNC Chancellor Philip L. Dubois has known Zeiss since the early 1990s.

“I first came to know Tony well during my tenure as provost of UNC Charlotte,” he said. “As UNC Charlotte took steps to redefine itself as the region’s urban research university, Tony was working tirelessly to raise Central Piedmont Community College to a place of distinction, as a career college focused on workforce preparation and development.”

In the fall of 2010, UNC Charlotte and CPCC launched the Passport Program, a transitional plan for transfer students. Candidates offered admission to the bridge program were identified from UNC Charlotte’s freshman applicant pool as students who would benefit from transitional services prior to their enrollment at the university.

Highlights of the program include dual advising from CPCC and UNC Charlotte. The goal of the program is to assist the transfer students both academically and socially through their first year of study.

“Tony has been key to making sure that higher education has a central role to play in helping the greater Charlotte region address its most critical issues,” said Gene Johnson, chairman of the UNC Charlotte Board of Trustees. “He understands that a strong and engaged public research university and leader in workforce development like CPCC can work together to make a profound difference in a community like Charlotte.”

In addition to his work in education, Zeiss has written four books on the Civil War and one book on the American Revolution, in addition to other books about economic development, adult literacy, and national workforce development. He has personally guided the development of numerous educational and civic initiatives, including the Little Sugar Creek Greenway.

“For two decades Tony has demonstrated a steadfast commitment to the community and a passion for education that has elevated Central Piedmont to among the nation’s best community colleges,” Dubois said.

Zeiss was honored during a special luncheon on Wednesday, May 30. The event, held in the University’s Student Union, was attended by about 200 community leaders. It also included a video tribute that detailed his impact on the region.

The Distinguished Service Award was established in 1987 by the Board of Trustees of UNC Charlotte and the Board of Directors of the University Foundation. It honors those who have provided outstanding leadership and exemplary service to the Charlotte community and to the advancement of UNC Charlotte. Each recipient of the award receives a statue of a gold miner, cast from a sculpture by Lorenzo Ghiglieri.

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