“In 1963 under the leadership of the first president, Dr. Richard Hagemeyer, there were 23 degree and diploma programs; now there are more than 300 degree, diploma, and certificate programs, a college and career readiness program, and corporate and continuing education offerings. In 1963, the College occupied the structures formerly used by Charlotte’s Central High School, Carver (Mecklenburg) College, and the Central Industrial Education Center. The College was fully accredited to award associate degrees, diplomas, and certificates in 1969 by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges."
Many obstacles to overcome upon accepting this new role as president:
Social – Newly combined schools at the height of the Civil Rights movement. In 1963, as part of the North Carolina Community College Act, the predominately African-African Mecklenburg College merged with the predominately-white Central Industrial Education Center to form Central Piedmont Community College.
Political – Property rights of land surrounding campus (legal red tape involved with acquisition of more land for campus expansion).
Financial – The Board of Trustees was not enacted until September 1963, meaning there was a two-month lapse without board and pressing financial challenges to start. (AR.0018, Book 5, page 76.)
Ethical – how would he define the role of newly merged institution? Would it be a trade school or a Community College?
Throughout out the 1960s and 1970s, his cabinet worked to build relationships with area business leaders, such as Southern Bell, Westinghouse (who opened office in Charlotte because of CP), Ford, and the Chamber of Commerce. By 1967, Central Piedmont was part of the Chamber of Commerce “package” that they presented to business leaders interested in moving to Charlotte.
Noteworthy projects/achievements throughout his tenure: