Since becoming President of Lawson State Community College, Dr. Perry W. Ward has committed himself to the advancement and betterment of the College and greater community. Dr. Ward, a profound, prolific and respected leader, has steered Lawson State to continued new heights. He has earned the respect of students, faculty and staff of Lawson State, the community-at- large, fellow colleagues of the Alabama Community College System and the
Chancellor of the system, who referred to Dr. Ward as a 'President of Presidents.’
Under his helm as the fourth President of Lawson State, the College has maintained sound fiscal management, expanded and strengthened its curriculum, witnessed unprecedented enrollment numbers and productivity, promoted successful athletic programs, improved and expanded capital outlay; enhanced relationships with business, industry and the greater community; and greatly contributed to the national and international prominence of the College and its many
graduates who have become players on the world-wide stage.
More specifically, by his leadership, the College has enhanced opportunities in the health professions and witnessed 100% RN and PN passage rates in 3 of the last 4 years, highlighting the distinction of being the only institution, two or four year in the state to receive 100% on the NCLEX national licensure exam when the exam changed; expanded the manufacturing division with the nationally-featured mechatronics and robotics programs; enhanced the Alabama Center for Automotive Excellence that showcases partnerships with General Motors, Ford, Toyota and Chrysler and was the recipient of a $10 million dollar grant; Trade Adjustment Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT), and has engaged strategic efforts in the area of workforce development, positioning the College as a recognized and called-upon leader in workforce development.
As evidence of success through his philosophy of, “ If you envision it you can achieve it,” history will show that Dr. Ward led Lawson State to become one of the first community colleges in the nation to establish both a campus-based Community Care Health Plus Clinic, staffed with doctors and nurses, and a child development center; the first College in the southeast and the first HBCU to offer the General Motors Body Service Educational Program; the second community college in Alabama to receive accreditation from the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Program; and the first community college in the nation to become a College of Promise with America’s Promise program.
During the tenure of Dr. Ward, Lawson State has celebrated significant and notable honors including the ranking as a TOP 5 community college in the nation in 2013 and as one of America’s Top 50 Community College in 2010, both recognitions by the Washington Monthly magazine. In September 2011, Dr. Ward was one of 17 community college leaders honored at the White House as a “Champion of Change.”
In recognition of these achievements, the 44 th President of the United States, President Barack Obama, visited Lawson State Community College on March 26, 2015, to address his topic on financial literacy and the economy.
Dr. Ward earned a B.A., from Miles College, a M.S.W., in Social Work and a Ph.D., in Educational Administration/Higher Education from the University of Alabama. Dr. Ward’s many affiliations include Board of Directors of the American Association of Community Colleges, Chair of Committee on Directors for the American Association of Community Colleges, AACC, Blueprint Birmingham Advisory Committee, President of the Alabama Community College System President’s Association, Board of Directors of the Red Mountain Park Commission, Executive Member of Birmingham Business Alliance, Board of Directors of the Birmingham Regional American Red Cross, Boy Scouts of America, National Coalition of
Advanced Technology Centers, Vice President of the Education and Workforce Development Committee, Board Member of Compass Bank and Red Mountain Musical Theatre.
Dr. Ward is the recipient of numerous local, state, and national honors and awards.
He is married to Ann Ward and is the father of three children.