Chartered in 1963, Sandhills Community College is a member of the North Carolina Community College System. Mary Luman Meyer donated 240 acres on Airport Road for the college. The property sits on the dividing line between Southern Pines and Pinehurst. SCC was the first comprehensive community college in North Carolina and the first to offer a college transfer program. The College began classes in 1966.
Dr. Raymond Stone was named the first president of the college. He served for 25 years. Dr. John Dempsey was appointed president of the college in 1989 and served until 2022. In 2023 Dr. Alexander “Sandy” Stewart was appointed as the third president of the college.
Sandhills Community College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate degrees, diplomas and certificates. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Sandhills Community College.
The College has begun an intensive SCC Archives Project in 2020 to capture elements of the past and preserve them for the future. The first such attempt occurred under Rick Smith, Dean of the Foundation with this two-part Historical Video of Sandhills Community College:
2021 SCC Campus Dedications to Pioneer African American Women
The short videos below capture the spirit of two dedication ceremonies—one on the SCC Hoke Campus and the other on the Pinehurst Cabin. The events honor two intrepid champions of diversity and inclusiveness: Dr. Mary Kemp Thomas and Dr. Cynthia Ann McDonald.
Dr. Thomas was the first GED graduate at SCC and, as her academic title suggests, was a woman who embraced lifelong learning—a key element in the SCC Mission. A plaque and statue now stand at the entry circle to Upchurch Hall on the Sandhills Hoke Campus.
Dr. McDonald was conferred an honorary doctorate at the May 15th SCC graduation. Professor McDonald was the first black female full time faculty member, teaching in the area of English and Humanities for over 30 years.
Click the link below to see the ceremonies honoring these pioneers of inclusion on the SCC campus.
Chairing the Board of Trustees: George Little
The Board of Trustees serves a vital role in the vitality and growth of a community college, and SCC is blessed to have had fifty years of strong leaders whose number one concern is the welfare of students, faculty, staff, and community at large. For four decades, George Little has served as SCC Board of Trustee Chair, rising to prominence on the national level. It is hard to believe, but over half of the buildings on this campus did not exist before his time in that office. In this half-hour episode, Trustee Chair George Little sheds light on the functions and successes of a strong Board of Trustees.
The Constant Gardeners of SCC: The Sandhills Horticulture Program
Early in Dr. Stone’s career at SCC, he saw the opportunity to showcase a unique and distinguished college to the larger world. The result was his tapping Professor Fred Garrett to join the faculty as the architect of a Horticultural Program borne of some of the world’s greatest gardens. In this chapter of SCC’s history, Professor Garrett chronicles the icy start to a distinguished career and the inspirational forces that allowed SCC to provide the world with perhaps the most spectacular horticultural center and immersive teaching laboratory on any community college campus in the U.S.
The Second President: Navigating the Horizons
SCC President Dr. John R. Dempsey succeeded Dr. Raymond Stone to become only the second president in SCC’s history. This interview is an attempt to provide a snapshot of Dr. Dempsey’s 30+ years of service to the flagship community college in NC. It is appropriate that a Navy Vietnam Veteran has commanded that ship for over three decades. The interview highlights a period of constant growth and one man’s passion for his task.
The Story Begins: Dr. Raymond Stone, Our First President
SCC was fortunate to interview our only two presidents. Dr. Raymond Stone led the statewide effort to establish community colleges, only to find himself offered the chance to lead the first chartered college out of the 1960s and into the 1980s. He reflects on the legislative measures that led to the establishment of NCCCS and Sandhills Community College.
A Preview of Chapters to Come
In the Summer of 2018, the College developed an expanded video history that included members of past and present faculty, staff, board members, and foundation donors whose memories bear witness to the impact of educational pioneers and dreamers who have made SCC the College in the Pines. In January 2020, that video became part of our public record here. Look first at the overview chapter of the History of Sandhills Community College. Then follow the succession of links to learn about SCC’s faculty, its staff, the Foundation, our Board of Trustees, our athletes, our community partners, and—most notably—the two men who have served as the presidents for a combined half century of service
Learn more about Sandhills Community College by following the links to the left and above.