Jackson, MS – Dr. Walter G. Bumphus, President and CEO of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Board of Directors, will be named an International Honorary Member of Phi Theta Kappa during the Society’s 2014 Annual Convention in Orlando, April 24-26.
This recognition is considered the highest honor provided a non-member by Phi Theta Kappa. Nomination is provided by the Executive Director for consideration by the Society’s International Officers. This award is not given every year, but only when an individual has been identified who has over time provided extraordinary support to Phi Theta Kappa. During the 96 years of the Society’s existence, only 37 recipients have been named.
Some past recipients of the award include J. Mark Davis, President of the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation; Dr. George Boggs, former president of the AACC; and Dr. Douglas W. Foard, former secretary of Phi Beta Kappa. Davis and Boggs are also now members of the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation Board of Trustees.
Prior to being selected as President and CEO 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 also held the A.M. Aikin Regents Endowed Chair in Junior and Community College Education Leadership. A long-time 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.
Phi Theta Kappa Executive Director and CEO Dr. Rod Risley said Dr. Bumphus was instrumental in establishing the All-Louisiana Community College Academic Team and his support for Phi Theta Kappa has never wavered.
“He has made a point to ensure that Phi Theta Kappa has been represented during AACC meetings and invited me to make presentations to numerous national prestigious education groups with him and on his behalf,” Dr. Risley said. “Phi Theta Kappa has found a strong partner at AACC in Walter Bumphus. His experience is unmatched. He has a passion for community colleges, and he is a champion for credential completion.”
Dr. Bumphus also made sure Phi Theta Kappa had a voice in shaping the future of America’s community colleges, appointing Dr. Risley as a member of the 21st Century Commission on the Future of America’s Community Colleges, as co-chair of the Faculty Engagement and Leadership Development Implementation Team, and as a member of the College Completion Implementation Team.
AACC has been a longtime partner of Phi Theta Kappa in the New Century Scholar program, the All-USA Community College Academic Team program and the Frank Lanza Scholarship program, and it most recently supported the Oberndorf Lifeline to Completion Endowment with a $5,000 gift.
Dr. Risley added that AACC has led the Community College Completion Challenge, and Dr. Bumphus gave Phi Theta Kappa, representing the student voice, a seat at the table to formulate a global plan. He has also been a strong advocate of Phi Theta Kappa’s Community College Completion Corps (C4), the student-led completion effort.
“When I see the Community College Completion Corps events Phi Theta Kappa chapters and regions are doing, I am more than impressed. I’ve read about their efforts, and it’s remarkable to see their energy and commitment,” Dr. Bumphus said. “This effort is reaching all over the country. It makes me proud to see the wonderful things that are happening.”
Dr. Bumphus currently serves on the Phi Theta Kappa Board of Directors and participates in the presentation of the New Century Scholars and the All-USA Community College Academic Team at the AACC Convention.
Dr. Bumphus holds the distinction of being one of the few educational leaders to receive the National CEO of the Year Award, to chair the AACC Board of Directors, and to receive the AACC National Leadership Award. In 1997, he served as the Chair of the Board of Directors of the American Association of Community Colleges, and was a member of the Board of Directors of the American Council on Education. In 2005, Dr. Bumphus was selected as the ACCT Marie Y. Martin CEO of the Year. He has been recognized as a distinguished graduate from Murray State University and the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Bumphus is also the author of numerous publications.
Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi, is the largest honor society in higher education with 1,285 chapters on college campuses in all 50 of the United States, plus Canada, Germany, the Republic of Palau, Peru, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the British Virgin Islands, the United Arab Emirates and U.S. territorial possessions. More than 2.5 million students have been inducted since its founding in 1918, with approximately 135,000 students inducted annually.