Achieving the Dream Names Odessa College President to Board of Directors

SILVER SPRING, MD (March 7, 2018) - Dr. Karen A. Stout, president and CEO of Achieving the Dream (ATD), announced the appointment of Dr. Gregory D. Williams, president of Odessa College, to the organization’s board of directors. Achieving the Dream (ATD) is a national organization that is leading the largest reform effort in the country in student success, working with more than 220 colleges across the country.

“President Williams embodies the definition of student success,” said Dr. Stout. “He began his educational journey at a community college—at Odessa College, in fact. From there, he earned a bachelor’s degree with teaching certification, and two master’s degrees from the University of Texas Permian Basin, and continued on to earn a doctorate in higher education administration from Baylor University. We are fortunate to have someone join the board who has a first-hand understanding of the life and journey of community college students.”

Since becoming President in 2007, Dr. Williams has led Odessa College through a major transformation, launching and completing a $78-million campus wide new building and renovation program and initiating a number of innovative programs designed to enhance community and student engagement. Odessa offers 110 degrees and certificates on the college’s main campus in Odessa, TX, and in extension centers in Andrews, Monahans, and Pecos, Texas. Odessa College enrolls over 8,200 students in lifelong learning and enrichment annually.

“President Williams is a visionary,” said Dr. Pam Y. Eddinger, chair of the Achieving the Dream Board of Directors and president of Bunker Hill Community College. “His work at Odessa has been inspiring, and we are truly lucky to have him on board to help other leaders follow in his footsteps.”

Under his leadership, the college has broken every major record in enrollment, retention, and fundraising. In 2018, Odessa was named a co-winner of the Leah Meyer Austin Award, Achieving the Dream’s highest honor given to a Network institution in recognition of its outstanding work to improve student success. The college was named an Aspen Institute Top 10 Community College in 2017, then received the Rising Star Award for Community College Excellence, and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s 2017 Star Award for the program presentation Eight Week Terms: A Pathway to 60x30TX.

“I am very excited to join the Achieving the Dream board. Being a member of this board will give me the chance to give back to ATD,” said Dr. Williams.  “ATD has helped Odessa College to completely change and enhance the functionality and future of our institution and community.”

Dr. Williams serves or has served on a number of local, state, and national boards including the ECISD Education Foundation Board, Prosperity Bank’s Advisory Board, the Permian Basin Workforce Development Board, and Odessa’s Comprehensive Master Plan Advisory Committee. On the statelevel, he serves or has recently served as Chair of the Texas Association of Community Colleges, and on the TACC Executive Committee, TACC Rural College Committee, and TACC Rural College Transfer Sub-Committee.  He is a former member of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s Formula Funding Committee, Community College Advisory Group, P-16, and the Academic Achievement Distinction Committee. On the national level, he recently served on the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) Board of Directors and Executive Board.  He also served  as Chair of AACC’s Committee on Community College Advancement and on the 21st Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges’ Developmental Education Redesign Committee.  Additionally, he serves on the Aspen Institute Change Management Task Force and the JFF Policy Leadership Trust for Student Success.

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Achieving the Dream (ATD) leads a growing network of more than 220 community colleges committed to helping their students, particularly low-income students and students of color, achieve their goals for academic success, personal growth, and economic opportunity. ATD is making progress in closing academic achievement gaps and accelerating student success through a unique change process that builds each college’s institutional capacities in seven essential areas. ATD, along with more than 100 experienced coaches and advisors, works closely with Network colleges in 40 states and the District of Columbia to reach more than 4 million community college students.

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