Janet Nichols Spriggs was officially inaugurated as the seventh president of Forsyth Technical Community College on Thursday, September 19, in front of invited guests, elected officials, delegates from community colleges and universities, friends, family, faculty, staff and students.
The inauguration was the final event in a week of special events that the planning committee affectionately dubbed “Spriggsfest.” The series of events honoring President Spriggs included a breakfast for Forsyth Tech faculty and staff, a carnival-type gathering for students on the main campus, and “Spriggsfest on Tour,” where President Spriggs traveled to seven of the eight off-site centers for students to connect, engage and celebrate with her.
As she mentioned at the inauguration, connecting with students is one of President Spriggs’ greatest joys. Addressing the students, President Spriggs said “Your dreams are my dreams, too, and we want to create the pathways to your dreams.”
Speakers at the inauguration described President Spriggs as bold, innovative, relatable, authentic, student-centered, courageous, inspirational, empowering and a breath of fresh air.
Keynote speaker, Joseph Barwick, retired president of Carteret Community College, said President Spriggs will bring a certain spirit in her leadership to Forsyth Tech.
“A leader is someone others want to follow,” said Barwick. “They want to follow that person because that person’s vision, values and character are something worth following. President Spriggs has that gift.”
In President Spriggs first nine months at the college, she has established herself as a dedicated leader who is committed to Forsyth Tech, the staff and faculty and students. She has already led the college in collaborating to create a shared vision statement: Forsyth Technical Community College is a catalyst for equitable economic mobility, empowering lives and transforming communities.
For President Spriggs, the vision is personal. She was a first-generation, low-income student who attended college at night. During the day, she worked full-time while taking care of a family, which included her husband Doug and five children.
“Education changed my life,” said President Spriggs.
Her experience brings her greater awareness and compassion for the challenges our students face and guides her in her day-to-day decisions on how we can help our students succeed. Throughout her career, Spriggs has implemented programs focusing on transforming the lives of students, faculty, staff and community members, with special attention to providing access and equity to underserved and underrepresented populations.
“I also understand what our community partners need, how corporate engagement can be an incredible resource for students across campus, and how that advocacy, insight, and support can help,” said President Spriggs.
She also possesses a deep understanding for the faculty experience from her time as an adjunct instructor. She understands what it means to be in front of a classroom and maximize the opportunity for the students in that classroom. She understands what good it can do and what the needs of the faculty are to be in a position to do that good work.
President Spriggs has 23 years of service in the North Carolina Community College System, most recently serving as the Chief Operating Officer of Rowan-Cabarrus Community College. Prior to her current role, she served Carteret Community College from 1996 to 2011 in increasing roles of responsibility. In addition to her roles for each community college, Spriggs has taught both online and in the classroom as an adjunct professor for more than 15 years.
“Dr. Spriggs is a passionate and fierce advocate for students. She connects with people wherever she goes and makes a positive, lasting impression,” said Ann Bennett Phillips, board chair of the Forsyth Tech Board of Trustees, “She has tremendous goals, and we are confident she will achieve them.”
Forsyth Technical Community College is a catalyst for equitable economic mobility, empowering lives and transforming communities. The college offers associate degrees, diplomas, and certificates in over 200 programs of study, including programs that promote personal and professional development through non-credit courses and seminars, as well as customized training for business and industry. Forsyth Tech serves more than 35,000 students with approximately 1,500 full and part-time faculty and staff. For additional information, visit forsythtech.edu and follow on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.