Lowdermilk retires from higher edFeb 27, 2023
Rockingham Community College bid farewell to Dr. Bob Lowdermilk III, who retired from his position as vice president for Student Development after 16 years.
At a party in his honor on Feb. 23 in the Whitcomb Student Center, RCC President Dr. Mark O. Kinlaw called Lowdermilk a coworker and a friend.
“Bob has had an incredible impact on this college. He’s had an unbelievable career,” he said.
During Lowdermilk’s tenure, library services were assimilated into his division. A “one-college” concept was scaled throughout the division, so that both degree and continuing education students are now served as equals.
The Eagle Food Pantry was created for students, counseling services with Daymark Recovery Services were established, a new Behavioral Resource Team was created, and Lowdermilk led a successful effort to acquire 13 emergency call box stations across campus.
A session for parents was added to RCC’s new student orientation, a student awards ceremony was created, and the athletics program was refocused to a more manageable program of three sports.
Lowdermilk led the Student Development staff’s contributions of ideas for Whitcomb Student Center renovations and led the work to combine RCC’s catalog and student handbook into one document.
Lowdermilk contributed major sections of writing for several reports leading to the College maintaining its accreditation. He wrote and edited numerous handbooks, policies, procedures and other publications.
He stepped in as interim vice president for Academic Affairs, served as a mentor and supervisor to staff, and his division employed many students.
Lowdermilk served as a counselor and contributing advisor to Student Government Association presidents, and provided counseling services to students upon request, while also being involved in conflict resolution experiences with students.
He raised nearly $73,000 in October 2007 for equipment and enhancements to the baseball complex and supervised an athletic program that saw the baseball team advance to the College World Series three times, and saw the volleyball and baseball teams win conference championships while the athletes also excelled academically.
Lowdermilk chaired the campus United Way campaign in 2008, and taught religion, humanities, and academic success courses. He represented RCC at numerous events for the N.C. Community College System and other groups, including speaking at SGA regional conferences.
On campus, Lowdermilk spoke at various college events, and was involved in pinning and awards ceremonies and commencements.
“He served as a member of the President’s Cabinet and helped to develop and implement numerous college strategic plans while also serving on numerous college committees that contributed to the to the success of the college,” Kinlaw said.
“He’s had an incredible distinguished career in the field of higher education through his service at High Point University, Catawba College, and Rockingham Community College in North Carolina; Lees College and Hazard Community College in Kentucky; and Wood College in Mississippi,” Kinlaw said.
The President presented Lowdermilk with a framed resolution in recognition of his service.
“As of Jan. 20, it was 35 years [in higher education] and I think back on all the work that I’ve been involved in, but it’s the people that you work with that you really treasure and it’s what you remember. And I’ve worked with a lot of good people in my career,” Lowdermilk said.
“I’m going to personally miss you although I’m going to stay in touch, and I know all of you will as well. Bob has just been a great ambassador for our College and for higher education in general,” Kinlaw said.
Upon Lowdermilk’s March 1 retirement, Vice President of Academic Affairs has stepped in to serve as interim vice president of Student Development, as the College conducts interviews with candidates from across the nation.