The East Mississippi Community College Board of Trustees invites you to attend a dedication ceremony for the new F.R. Young Student Union during Homecoming 2012. Board Chairman Dennis Morgan said the building is being named in honor of Dr. Young in honor and appreciation of his outstanding leadership and dedication to EMCC.
Dr. Rick Young has been an educator for more than 39 years, and a member of the East Mississippi Community College team for 37 years. Actually, for Dr. Young, working for school systems goes back even further – he drove the school bus as a 17-year-old senior at Mathiston High School.
An alumnus of Wood Junior College, the University of Southern Mississippi and Mississippi State University, Dr. Young holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing, a master’s degree in technology education and a doctorate in educational leadership with a special emphasis in the administration of higher education.
Dr. Young began his professional career at Harrison Central High School in 1972, where he established a distributive education program. In 1974, he accepted a position at EMCC’s Golden Triangle campus, where he implemented a distribution and marketing technology program, while also working in public relations, evening extension classes and workforce training.
In 1987, Dr. Young was named chief administrative officer, and later vice president, of EMCC’s Golden Triangle campus. Under his leadership, the Golden Triangle campus posted a 454 percent enrollment increase between 1996 and 2003. Dr. Young was also instrumental in establishing the first Center for Manufacturing Technology Excellence in the state. A model then and now, the EMCC workforce team leads the state’s 15 community colleges in delivery of workforce training.
In the eight years since Dr. Young was named president of EMCC, the college has worked to make education more accessible to the people in its six-county district. Dr. Young is dedicated to knocking down the barriers that stand between people and opportunity – whether it’s creating better programs, offering classes in more locations, making education affordable, scheduling evening classes for students who are holding down jobs or improving the quality of EMCC’s facilities. It’s a commitment shared by everyone in the EMCC family.
In October 2008, EMCC and its partners – the Clay County Board of Supervisors and the CREATE Foundation of Tupelo – announced a tuition guarantee program for Clay County residents. With the help of a corporate partner, the tuition guarantee program was extended to Lowndes County residents in January 2009. Dr. Young surprised attendees at the Industry Appreciation Luncheon in April of the same year with the announcement that EMCC’s tuition guarantee program would be available district-wide.
Since that time, the combination of a down economy, expanded course offerings, facility improvements and the tuition guarantee program has resulted in steady enrollment increases.
Dr. Young’s tenure has also seen a number of infrastructure and curriculum improvements. This includes the start-up of many new programs, the most recent an Associate Degree Nursing program which accepted its first class in January 2009. A new Student Union and a Regional Corporate Service and Allied Health Center, which will house EMCC’s health care programs, are in the planning stages for the Golden Triangle.
At the Scooba campus, the new Sullivan-Windham Field opened in 2011. An addition to the Chapel in the Pines, the Buster and Jeanie Orr Center for Christian Activity, was completed in April 2011. And, at the heart of the Scooba campus, a new Student Union opened this fall.
Dr. Young has aggressive plans for more improvements in the near future, enabling EMCC to better serve the people in Clay, Kemper, Lauderdale, Lowndes, Noxubee and Oktibbeha counties – and driving the college along an “ever upward” path.