Alexander "Sandy" Stewart, Ph.D., was inaugurated as Sandhills Community College's third president on August 9, 2023. Prior to his role at Sandhills, Dr. Stewart served as the Assistant Commissioner of Agricultural Services at the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The momentous occasion signifies the beginning of a new era of academic excellence, innovation, and community engagement at Sandhills.
The inauguration ceremony was attended by local dignitaries, faculty, staff, members of the community, and esteemed guests, including Senator Tom McInnis, Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, Commissioner of Agriculture Steve Troxler, Chief Justice Paul Newby, former president Dr. John Dempsey, and former interim president Brenda Jackson.
During his address, Dr. Stewart reflected on the college's founders, Cliff Blue, Bob Ewing, Mary Lumen Meyer, and others' motivations. "I wasn't there, so I can only speculate. But, I'll submit that the major motivating factor was as simple and elegant as our mission statement and core values. They saw potential," he says.
This sentiment will guide Dr. Stewart toward the untapped potential of Moore and Hoke Counties. "Think about the potential impact of Sandhills Community College on the individual student, that student's family, and more broadly, future generations of that family." Adding, "That's the impact that sparks big dreams, inspires life-long learning, and changes lives," he said.
As Sandhills Community College enters this exciting new chapter, Dr. Stewart is dedicated to navigating Sandhills through the ever-evolving world. "With new people, new businesses, and advancing technological innovations, Sandhills Community College will grow with it, readying our students and community for the future," said Stewart. He emphasized that there has never been a more crucial time for community colleges as they play a vital role in fostering growth, leading to improved wages, increased career prospects, and greater overall prosperity.
Under President Stewart's leadership, he is committed to the success and growth of Sandhills. "The going will be rough at times. There will be challenges. There will be setbacks. But Sandhills Community College will stay the course and fulfill our simple and elegant mission," says Stewart.
The inauguration of Dr. Sandy Stewart represents a significant milestone for Sandhills Community College and the entire community as he leads the college into a new presidency, the third in its history.