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Mar 27
Former MPCC interim president dies

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The man who served as the interim president of Mid-Plains Community College from 2002-03 has died. Dr. Carlton Williams was 81.

MPCC President Ryan Purdy notified college employees of the news Monday morning via email. 

"I am saddened to report that Dr. Carlton Williams passed away last Thursday," said Purdy. "Carlton served as our interim president after Dr. George Mihel and before Dr. Michael Chipps. He and his wife, Margaret, became deeply connected into the community in the short time that they were here."

Williams was hired as the interim vice president of North Platte Community College (NPCC) in March of 2002, replacing Dr. Steve Hoyle. He was subsequently promoted to interim president of MPCC in June of 2002. 

Although his time in the position was short-lived, Williams played an important role in several large projects.  

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The McCook Community College and NPCC names as they exist today were changed during his leadership. 

Willliams also provided assistance with a series of construction projects at the college during his tenure. Those included the Welcome Centers at both MCC and the NPCC South Campus as well as new construction of student housing on South Campus. 

Additionally, Williams is credited with supporting automotive technology instructor Bryan Herrick's classic car restoration idea, which resulted in the college's raffle car program. Proceeds from the annual raffle car have generated thousands of dollars for student scholarships over the years. 

Williams left the college in May of 2003, after Chipps officially took over as president following commencement exercises. However, his influence on postsecondary education did not end.  

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Williams spent one year as president of The National Council of Instructional Administrators and continued to facilitate Great Teacher Seminars for college faculty and administrators for 15 years after his retirement. 

Over the course of his lifetime, Williams served as the academic vice president of three community colleges and taught history at both the high school and collegiate levels. 

The native Kentuckian is remembered in his obituary for being a "people person." For eight summers, he was a seasonal interpreter ranger on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia and North Carolina. In that capacity, he manned the Mabry Mill Visitor Center, led nature walks and entertained visitors at the evening fire circle with stories of the Appalachian people. 

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Williams enjoyed camping and fishing with his sons and friends. He loved being on the water, reminiscing and debating problems of the world. 

Williams was also a strong Christian with a love of music. From the time he was a teenager, he could always be found either singing in or directing his church choir. 

His life will be celebrated at 11 a.m. (EDT) Friday at the First United Methodist Church of Panama City, Fla. Williams' full obituary can be found at:

Heather Johnson
Area Communications Specialist

Heather produces and distributes press releases for the college. She began work at MPCC in 2014. Prior to that, she spent five years as the news director/web manager for Eagle Radio in North Platte. From 2009-2014 she worked as a reporter/photographer for The North Platte Telegraph. Heather has a bachelor's degree in journalism from Chadron State College.

Brent L. Cobb
McCook Community College News Bureau Coordinator​​​