Welcome to the AACC Hall of Fame

AACC President and CEO Walter Bumphus kicks off the 2022 AACC Annual in New York City. (Photo: Adam Auel)
(From top left) Constance Carroll, Gerardo de los Santos, Greg Hamann, Katherine Johnson, Brent Knight and Karen Stout

NEW YORK — The six recipients of the 2022 AACC Leadership Award have a unique distinction: They are also the newest members of the newly created AACC Hall of Fame.

At the opening plenary of the 2022 AACC Annual on Saturday, the American Association of Community Colleges honored and inducted Constance Carroll, Gerardo de los Santos, Greg Hamann, Katherine Johnson, Brent Knight and Karen Stout, all of whom have made impactful contributions to the community college sector over their careers.

AACC President and CEO Walter Bumphus announced that past and future recipients of its Leadership Award, which the association has presented since 1982, will automatically join the AACC Hall of Fame. (Here is a list of previous Leadership Award recipients.)

Deep roots

Dr. Constance M. Carroll served as chancellor of the San Diego Community College District for 17 years before retiring in 2021. She has since founded the California Community College Baccalaureate Association, where she is president and CEO. Carroll has served on numerous boards over her career, including the AACC board of directors, as well as on the prestigious National Council on the Humanities.

Dr. Gerardo E. de los Santos is director for community college partnerships at Western Governors University and previously was a senior fellow for Civitas Learning. Prior to that, de los Santos was president and CEO of the League for Innovation in the Community College for nearly 17 years. He has served on numerous national advisory boards, including the Community College Research Center National Advisory Board and the National Hispanic University Advisory Board. de los Santos’ father, the late Alfredo G. de los Santos, Jr., received the AACC Leadership Award in 2004.

Dr. Greg Hamann served for 10 years as president of Linn-Benton Community College in Oregon before retiring in 2020. Prior to that, he was president at Clatsop Community College in Oregon for seven years. Hamann served on many boards, including the AACC board of directors, the oversight board for AACC’s Voluntary Framework for Accountability, and the President’s Advisory Council to the Association of Community College Trustees.

Dr. Katherine M. Johnson served for 10 years as president of Pasco-Hernando State College in Florida before retiring in 2015. She also served for five years as president of Nash Community College and in multiple positions over 16 years at Florida’s Indian River State College. More recently, Johnson has served as a facilitator for AACC’s Future Presidents Institute and an executive coach for the Virginia Community College System.

Dr. Brent Knight retired from Lansing Community College in 2020 after serving 12 years as president. Over his career, he also was president of Morton College and vice chancellor of Baton Rouge Community College. In 1976, at age 29, Knight was named president of Triton College, becoming one of the youngest college presidents in the nation. Among his many awards is AACC’s Exemplary CEO/Board Award.

Dr. Karen A. Stout has served as president and CEO of Achieving the Dream since 2015, leading a network of over 300 community colleges working to eliminate inequities in educational and workforce outcomes. She previously was president of Montgomery County Community College (Pennsylvania) from 2001 to 2015. Stout, a former AACC board member, is currently chair of the Belk Center for Community College Leadership and Research Advisory Board at North Carolina State University.

A more detailed look at the careers of this year’s AACC Leadership Award recipients can be found in the newest issue of AACC’s Community College Journal.

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