50 for 50

Sherrill Matthews – Securing Strong Support for Sandhills

Sherrill Matthews

While it’s never easy to ask for contributions, it helps if you’re passionate about your cause. That’s what Sherrill Boyte Matthews found in her 22 years in the Sandhills Development office, retiring in 2010 as Senior Director of Foundation Operations and the Foundation Scholarship Coordinator after a total of 31 years of service.

“This college changes lives, and not just the lives of the students,” she says. “Having Sandhills graduates in health care facilities, recreation venues, as EMT people and in so many more positions helps everyone in this fine community. That makes it easier to ask for help in supporting our school.”

The community has certainly responded to Mrs. Matthews, President John Dempsey and all the others working to bring educational opportunities to those who live in the Sandhills area and beyond. When Mrs. Matthews started in the Development Office in 1988, there were 12 endowments and 25 annual scholarships. By the time she left, the totals were 88 endowments and 150 annual scholarships.

“I’m proud of the work we did and so grateful to community members who appreciate their own success and want to give back to others,” she says. “It’s amazing how people move here from all over and so quickly realize the importance of the work Sandhills does.”

Mrs. Matthews attended Sandhills and began as an employee in 1979. Her first job was as faculty secretary to 33 instructors and then in the Student Services department. In 1988 President Raymond Stone asked her to join the Development Office. Dr. Dempsey became President the following year and Mrs. Matthews continued advancing until retirement.

“Both of these men are outstanding leaders, making sure employees have rich opportunities,” she says.

Mrs. Matthews remembers one of her best achievements: introducing a data management system to the office in 1992. “We converted from index cards to an actual computer system,” she says. “That was a challenge!”

Upon her retirement, Sandhills named an annual scholarship and the Foundation Conference Room in her honor.


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