Spotlight – Teresa Wood – A Sandhills Legacy

teresa wood.jpgMany people have been able to witness the 50 years of Sandhills, from the launch in 1963 to today’s thriving campus. But only a few have been involved almost every step of the way.

In 1964, Teresa Wood was a 19-year old woman, fresh from business school, when Dr. Raymond Stone asked her to come work for the new community college being planned for the area.

“Our offices were above what is now an ice cream shop in Southern Pines,” she recalls. “Those were such whirlwind years, doing everything from hiring professors to recruiting students and breaking ground on the campus.”

Mrs. Wood recalls early classes were held, among other places, “in a church basement, hotel, and a service station” before moving to Sandhills’ first buildings in 1966. “I was enthused about the launch of the college,” she reports. “But seeing what this college has become, I should have been even more excited.”

When a librarian was hired, Mrs. Wood started to work in the new library. “We didn’t have a single book or magazine, not even shelves,” she recalls. Mrs. Wood served in the library for 29 years and later became Executive Assistant to President John Dempsey for 10 years before her retirement in 2004. Her service totaled 40 years.

“Sandhills has always had the leadership it needed for the time,” she says. “Dr. Stone was what we needed to get the project going and Dr. Dempsey has ‘run with it,’ taking Sandhills to new heights.”

Mrs. Wood earned an associate’s degree at Sandhills in 1976 and her bachelor’s degree from St. Andrews University.

Many honors have been bestowed upon this dedicated woman, including an honorary doctorate from Sandhills. She was the first recipient of a national honor: the Association of Community Colleges Trustees Professional Board Staff Award.

Current library patrons and generations to come will know of her service when they visit the Teresa Wood Reading Room located in the Katharine L. Boyd Library at the college. “I was very touched by this honor,” Mrs. Wood says.

-Original Source “50/50” 2012

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