Western Nebraska Community College President Dr. Todd Holcomb is one of 18 community college presidents in the nation to receive the Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction this year.
The award is given to college presidents who have shown strong support of student success by recognizing academic achievement, leadership, and service among high-achieving students. Holcomb will receive the award at the Phi Theta Kappa annual convention in Orlando in April.
“I’m deeply honored to receive this award,” Holcomb said. “Phi Theta Kappa is a tremendous organization and I can’t support its efforts enough. The work being done by WNCC staff including Amy Winters, Norman Coley, and Patsy Yeager for our PTK chapters is remarkable and will have a lasting influence on our students and our institution.”
Holcomb, the only award recipient from Nebraska this year, meets frequently with WNCC’s PTK chapters Lambda Pi and Rho Alpha Omnicron to provide encouragement and support for the organization’s goals. He also routinely attends PTK events on campus, including the Lambda Pi chapter’s Commit to Complete challenge and bone marrow drive, which were both held this academic year.
Throughout the year, Dr. Holcomb also speaks candidly with students involved in PTK, often referencing his experience as a first-generation student and the benefits of consistently taking advantage of the resources and organizations available to WNCC students, such as PTK.
“Students cite his personalized approach make the biggest difference for them,” a portion of Dr. Holcomb’s nomination letter read.
“President Holcomb inspires students to dream big and never give up on what they believe in,” Lambda Pi Chapter faculty adviser Amy Winters said. “Students can relate to his experiences and his message inspires students to keep moving forward.”
Phi Theta Kappa is the premier honor society recognizing the academic achievement of students at associate degree-granting colleges. The Shirley B. Gordon Award is Phi Theta Kappa’s most prestigious award for community college presidents and is named in honor of the late Dr. Shirley B. Gordon, Phi Theta Kappa’s longest-serving Board of Directors Chair and a founder and long-time president of Highline Community College in Washington.