Lawson State president announces retirement

Local News

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Lawson State Community College’s president announced his retirement, effective August 31, 2020.

Dr. Perry W. Ward served as president for 33 years and is the college’s fourth president.

In a letter to the Lawson State family, Dr. Ward acknowledged that this has been a deferred yet still difficult decision. “I wanted to share with you that after several years of saying that I was going to see what the next chapter of my life would look like, I have decided to actually explore the opportunities that may exist in Chapter II; and will retire from the College August 31, 2020. For me, it’s been a real struggle to make the decision to leave one of my true loves in life.”

During Ward’s presidency, he broadened the college’s network of programs, services and resources and made significant progress on many new initiatives.

Under his leadership, the college’s prominence rose to national and international levels. In 2013, Lawson State was the #5 Best Community College in the nation (Washington Monthly), rising previously from #39. Also, in 2011, Dr. Ward was recognized at the White House as a ‘Champion of Change’ for the college’s impact on the community and the approaches and solutions in advancing educational and workforce opportunities.

In recognition of these notable achievements, President Barack Obama visited Lawson State in 2015 where he held a small round table discussion, in which Dr. Ward was a participant, and then addressed his topic on financial literacy and the economy in a speech that was also delivered nationwide.

“Lawson State has been a part of my life, as well as that of my wife Ann and family, for the last thirtythree years. Not a day has gone by that I have not thought about what I could do to improve the institution and make it better for students,” Ward said. “I have thoroughly enjoyed working with you, and I will miss the opportunity to interact with you as you continue to make Lawson State an even better place.”


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