McNair earns top NC Community College accolade

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Veteran Wayne Community College trustee Veda McNair has been awarded the State Board of Community College’s highest honor - the 2021 I.E. Ready Award.

Created in 1983, the I.E. Ready Award recognizes those who make significant contributions to the establishment, development or enhancement of the community college system. It is named in memory of Isaac Epps Ready, the first director of the NC Community College System.

A WCC trustee since 2005, McNair is just the second community college trustee to receive the honor while serving. She joins Herman Porter, George Fouts and Martin Lancaster - honorees with WCC connections.

McNair is also among an elite group that includes educational luminaries Dallas Herring, William Friday, Terry Sanford, Robert Scott and James Baxter Hunt, Jr.

The NCCCS described McNair as a “crusader for community college education.”

McNair said she was “hopelessly humbled” and added “I will strive to live up to this great honor.”

“I feel I have had an opportunity to impact the 58 community colleges in North Carolina [and] I trust that impact has been positive,” said McNair, a former public school administrator and member of the NC Association of Community College Trustees executive board.

“As an advocate for higher education, I have always believed that the community college is the best kept secret in our communities. From Workforce Continuing Education programs to the Career and College Promise Program and Early Middle College to the conferring of various degrees, diplomas and certificates, community colleges prepare students to be well equipped to enter the workforce as contributing citizens. 

“All of this comes at a very affordable price.”

McNair has chaired WCC’s Board of Trustees and served on many of the board’s committees, including the curriculum committee that she currently chairs.

Her tenure on the board has crossed the administrations of three WCC presidents and she played a role in the installation of two of those presidents.

“Our college is a shining galaxy of starts and Mrs. McNair is one of the brightest of the bright,” said Geoff Hulse, vice chair of the college’s board of trustees. “I love when she shares her passion and experience of both Wayne Community College and the entire North Carolina Community College System. What a fabulous honor for a sensational public servant.”

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