The President's Award is among the highest distinctions given to an individual or organization that has made extraordinary contributions to the community college movement on a regional or national basis, particularly in the areas of marketing and public relations. Established in 2000, the award is presented by the board of directors at the national conference. It is not given every year.
Dr. Walter G. Bumphus
President and CEO
American Association of Community Colleges
As the president and chief executive officer for the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), Dr. Walter G. Bumphus is elevating the national status of community colleges and leading the advancement of two-year institutions for the next generation. He works tirelessly with federal and state leaders to inform and affect educational policy and raise the visibility of community colleges at the local, regional and national levels.
With a distinguished career covering more than 40 years, Dr. Bumphus is an effectual communicator and natural leader. Well known for his leadership and knowledge of community colleges, Dr. Bumphus served on several White House commissions under President Barack Obama. He currently represents the nation’s community colleges on President Donald Trump’s Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion.
Far from being a figurehead, Dr. Bumphus is keenly aware of the issues facing today’s community colleges, particularly the need to enhance student achievement and college completion rates. In 2011, he launched a new 21st Century Initiative aimed at awarding degrees, certificates or other credentials to an additional 5 million students by 2020. In 2012, he spearheaded the national 21st Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges, recognizing the need for two-year colleges to reimagine their institutions for upcoming generations of students. Putting theory into action, Dr. Bumphus developed nine implementation teams to identify strategies and resources to help college’s implement the commission’s recommendations. Due to his efforts, the nation’s community colleges are working to redesign education experiences, reinvent institutional roles, and reset the community college systems in support of better learning outcomes.
Prior to assuming the presidency of AACC, Dr. Bumphus served as a professor in the Community College Leadership Program and as chair of the Department of Educational Administration at The University of Texas at Austin. He has served in numerous other key advisory and leadership roles, including the Homeland Security Academic Advisory Council; the A.M. Aiken Regents Endowed Chair in Junior and Community College Education Leadership; the board of directors of the American Council on Education; the National Advisory Board for the Education Commission of the States; and the Advisory Committee for the League for Innovation in the Community College Kellogg Minority Leadership Project.
A longtime educator, he served as president of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System; chancellor of Baton Rouge Community College System; president of the Higher Education Division of Voyager Expanded Learning; and president of Brookhaven College in the Dallas County Community College District. In the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Dr. Bumphus led an arduous recovery effort that began with the development of a call center to re-establish critical internal and external communications. Working with his leadership team, he set up channels to ensure that both students and displaced employees received assistance after the storms.
“I know of no one who has served better the promotion and recognition of our community colleges than Dr. Bumphus,” says Dr. John E. Roueche, president of the Roueche Graduate Center at National American University and former director of the Community College Leadership Program at The University of Texas at Austin. “NCMPR could not honor a more worthy recipient.”