For Dean Lloyd Hammonds, the most rewarding part of running the Page campus for Coconino Community College is working with students.
"The thing that stands out is working with students and seeing students graduate with associate degrees and certificates, and watching many of those transfer to four-year universities," Hammonds said. "Working with students from different cultures in the community was also something beneficial."
After 14 years in Page, Hammonds recently announced that he is set to retire in October. Before coming to northern Arizona, Hammonds was Vice President at Ranken Technical College in St. Louis.
"The opportunity to run a campus attracted him to the CCC job," he said.
Hammonds' connection to Page and the students runs deep, he was not just a "behind the scenes" administrator, but made it a point to teach a history or political science class at least once a year. "It was really important for me to get to know the students and their interests," said Hammonds.
The Dean also felt it was important to get to know the community, forging important relationships with local businesses, community organizations, K-12 school administrators and local government.
Known for his intellect, Hammonds is respected by his peers as a deep thinker that always seemed to be the voice of reason when looking at the College's challenges. When the Higher Learning Commission self-study and visit were nearing, Hammonds was the obvious choice to lead the steering committee, guiding the College flawlessly through the process which took more than two years to complete.
During his 14-year tenure at CCC, Hammonds said that his most significant contribution as Dean was the expansion of programs and services at the Page/Lake Powell Campus. His biggest challenge has been in balancing the demand and needs for programs and services from the community in the face of budget cuts from the state.
As with any successful career, there is often an encore, and Hammonds is planning his as he prepares for retirement on October 31. Hammonds will stay active as a Higher Learning Commission consultant and said he is entertaining the idea of running for the District Governing Board (DGB) position that will be vacated by current DGB member Val Gleave in November.
Hammonds said he is excited about the possibility of becoming a DGB member.
"It would be fun, challenging, and a great way to stay connected to higher learning and CCC," he said.
Of course, as a retiree, Hammonds also wants to take advantage of his freedom by traveling and spending more time with friends and family.
No matter which path Hammonds chooses in retirement, the CCC faculty, staff and students wish him well, and thank him for his many years of service to the College and the Page community.