Don Cameron

Published on January 2, 2004

Don Cameron
Guilford Technical Community College

Did you ever wonder how a small community college can grow in difficult economic times? Just ask Don Cameron, President of Guilford Technical Community College (GTCC) in North Carolina. Don has seen his share of tough times. The long gas lines in the early 70’s, the recessions of 1981/’82. 1991/’92 and the tough economic times of post 9/11.

In tough economic times like these, states normally cut budgets. In fact, when Don became President of GTCC, he had to revert a half million dollars back to the state. So how does a college continue to grow, raise more funds and provide its students with the services they need when there is no money?

Don Cameron claims you can do this if you carry out the following three principles: Keep a positive attitude, think outside of the box and look at ways you can be more efficient and effective.

Don wanted GTCC to be a place of higher education for students to learn and get jobs. Or, if they wish, to transfer to a 4 year school. But to do this, he needed the support of the community.

He turned to a colleague of mine, Nido Qubein. Together, they produced presidential seminars designed to provide ideas and skills to the leaders of industry in the community. These seminars helped GTCC gain awareness as a quality institution. They were able to raise additional funds including money, equipment and buildings. The results have been so staggering that GTCC has just embarked with confidence on a $6 Million Legacy Campaign.

These partnerships have allowed GTCC to flourish in times that have dealt serious blows to other institutions. This success story is so significant that even the Wall Street Journal found out about it and ran a front page story detailing the incredible journey of this small community college.

Thank you, Don Cameron, our Titan Profile of the month. You have shown us that circumstances by themselves cannot hold us down if we do not allow them to.

Posted in