2003 Distinguished Service Award

Dr. Larry K. Linker

Dr. Larry K. LinkerDr. Larry K. Linker was named the second president to succeed Merton H. Branson in July 1988. Linker, a native of Cabarrus County, N.C., was hired as Agricultural Technology coordinator on July 17, 1963, and served in various administrative capacities over the next 37+ years. Linker obtained his B.S. in Agricultural Education from North Carolina State University, his M.A. in Administration from Appalachian State University, and his Ed.D from Nova University. Thirty-seven of Larry Linker’s 43 years with the state were spent with Randolph Community College. Dr. Linker was hired as Agricultural Technology coordinator in July 1963 and was promoted to director, Vocational-Technical Programs from 1964-1971, director of instruction from 1971-1972, assistant to the president for fiscal affairs from 1972-1973, vice president and business manager from 1973-1975, and executive vice president for administrative services from 1975-1988. He grew with the College, held several positions of responsibility and ended up leading the College as president the last 12 years of his career from 1988-2000. He then served as President Emeritus/Foundation consultant from 2000-2001. During Dr. Linker’s RCC career, the name of the College changed three times, program offerings increased tremendously, nine new buildings were constructed and there were four expansions to existing buildings.

As a former high school agriculture teacher and assistant principal, Linker came to his position with a great deal of experience in education and 25 years of service to RCC when he became the second president of the College. One of Dr. Linker’s major accomplishments while at RCC was the creation of a Foundation to support the College and its programs. Dr. Linker wrote his doctoral dissertation about the creation of a Foundation and used his research to create the Randolph Community College Foundation Inc. in 1979. The Foundation’s assets total almost $7 million as of 2003. These assets provide scholarships for students, support to program areas and provide a “margin of excellence” for the College that is greatly needed in these budget crisis times. Linker worked diligently to secure funds to establish the Associate Degree Nursing program and helped lead the Foundation to the prominence it holds today. During Linker's tenure, the college opened a Computer Technology Center, an Archdale Center, a Photography Imaging Center, a Health and Science Center, Campus Store, addition to the Design Center, and Emergency Services Training Center.

Several new curriculum programs were added during Linker's tenure including Criminal Justice Technology, Information Systems, Spanish Interpreter Education, Archaeological and Historical Preservation Technology, Microcomputer Systems Technology, Early Childhood Education, the College's own College Transfer program (Associate in Arts degree) and a host of cooperative programs with other community colleges across the state. Curriculum programs were also initiated at the Archdale Center during Linker’s tenure. Between the years 1995-1997, Linker steered the College through a statewide reengineering process that converted the school from the quarter to the semester system and led the College through a reaccreditation process by the Southern Associate of Colleges and Schools in 1989 and 1999.

Linker retired in June 2000, yet continued to work until 2002 as President Emeritus/Foundation consultant on a part-time basis to assist with the campaign for the construction of a Foundation Conference Center and the JB Davis Bell and Clock Tower. He was named Director Emeritus of the RCC Foundation Board and also was the recipient of the RCC Board of Trustees' Distinguished Service Award in 2003. Linker came out of retirement to become the chief operating officer/interim president of the College from March 2006-December 2006. He currently holds the record for years of full-time service to the college with 37 years.