Hinds Community College Board of Trustees Vice President Dale Sullivan of Wesson was recently recognized as the longest serving member of the board with 45 years of continuous service.
But that’s not the only distinction he has had over his long career in education. In 1973, at the age of 27, Sullivan became the youngest-ever trustee when he was elected Copiah County schools superintendent, which automatically made him a member of the Hinds Community College board as well.
Sullivan also has served simultaneously on two community college boards, the other being the Co-Lin Community College board. After he retired as school superintendent, Sullivan was selected to stay on the Hinds Board of Trustees representing Copiah County.
“Hinds Community College offers so much help and so many opportunities to the students in Mississippi and to older adults who need to be retrained for new employment,” Sullivan said. “It is an honor to have the opportunity to serve on the Board of Trustees at Hinds and an even greater honor to be selected by my fellow board members to serve as vice president of this board.”
Dr. Clyde Muse became Hinds president in 1978, five years after Sullivan became a trustee.
“He is one of the most faithful board members we’ve got. He now serves as the chairman of the finance committee of the board, which is a major responsibility,” said Muse, noting that Sullivan works closely with Vice President for Business Services Russell Shaw in reviewing claim dockets, architect estimates and other financial information.
“That’s a major role, and it takes a lot of time. He’s got an acute mind for finances,” Muse said. “He’s really just a great resource. He’s dedicated to the college and he’s a firm believer in our mission.”
Sullivan said he has always taken care to keep in mind what he’s there for as a Hinds Community College trustee.
“I’ve always, since day 1, have tried to represent the people I serve, the people in the Copiah County district that I serve. I just feel like as a board member, you’re not representing yourself; you’re representing them,” he said. “I try to keep that in mind when I’m considering issues. Also I try to support the administration. We’re here one day a month; they’re here 24/7 everyday of the month. We’re not here to be administrators. We’re here to be policymakers.”
Sullivan said without the proximity of Co-Lin, he may have never gone to college. After graduating from Co- Lin, he received a bachelor’s degree from Delta State University, a master’s degree from Mississippi College and completed doctoral work at the University of Mississippi.
As Mississippi’s largest community college, Hinds Community College is a comprehensive institution offering quality, affordable educational opportunities with academic programs of study leading to seamless university transfer and career and technical programs teaching job-ready skills. With six locations in central Mississippi, Hinds enrolls about 12,000 students each fall semester. To learn more, visit www.hindscc.edu or call 1.800.HindsCC.
Editor’s Note: This story was originally published in the fall 2018 issue of Hindsight alumni magazine.