Dalton named Isothermal president-elect

Takes over leadership at college May 1
Mar. 16, 2013 @ 05:00 AM

Walter Dalton, former North Carolina Lt. Gov., was chosen Friday as the president-elect of Isothermal Community College. Pending approval by the State Board of Community College, Dalton will become the new president on May 1, filling the position of retiring president, Myra Johnson.

The Board of Trustees voted unanimously during a special meeting Friday morning to name Dalton as Johnson's successor. 

Trustees conducted a 45-minute closed session before voting publicly to name Dalton. Then board members walked to the library auditorium where Dalton was waiting behind closed doors to greet the public after the formal announcement by Board of Trustees Chair Grady Franklin.

"This is a Lifelong Learning Center and I've got a lot to learn," Dalton told Isothermal staff, trustees as he briefly addressed the audience.

"Isothermal Community College is one of the greatest assets in Rutherford County," Dalton said.

"It's a privilege to be a part of one of the strongest links in the North Carolina Community College System."

He said in these days of students graduating with college with high college debt, Isothermal provides the first two years of college which helps them financially.

"Some people get their job training, some their education here."

He thanked his wife Lucille Dalton and their son Brian Dalton — who were in the audience — and everyone who made the opportunity possible. 

Dalton will earn $149,468 annually during his three-year contract.

Franklin told the audience, "the committee was looking for a leader who could be effective and could help Isothermal Community College move forward and to provide a good education for students in Rutherford and Polk counties."

Franklin also said Dalton was recommended for the position by two former North Carolina governors from different political parties. He said Dalton has been instrumental in the past to help people in Rutherford and Polk counties and in North Carolina.

Dalton, 63, lives in Rutherfordton and since January has been teaching classes at Gardner-Webb University and working as a special assistant to the president there. He ran for the office of Governor in 2012 and was defeated by former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory.

Dalton is an attorney who served in the North Carolina Senate from 1996 to 2007. He has served on the State Board of Education, the State Board of Community Colleges and the North Carolina Economic Development Board. He chaired the Senate Education and Appropriations committees. He is a former chair of the Isothermal Community College Board of Trustees. He earned his Juris Doctorate and a B.S. in business adminstration from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.