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Commissioner honors President Dalton

By: Mike Gavin
Published: September 14, 2020

Editor’s Note — This report was originally published in the Sept. 10, 2020, edition of The Daily Courier of Forest City. It is used here with permission.

RUTHERFORDTON —Isothermal Community College President Walter Dalton was surprised at the meeting of Rutherford County Commissioners Tuesday evening (Sept. 8), as he received a special honor commemorating his many years of public service. The commissioners unanimously adopted a resolution naming a section on U.S. 74, the Lieutenant Governor Walter H. Dalton Highway.

The portion of the highway that will bear Dalton’s name runs from the intersection with U.S. 221 (exit 178), west to the Polk County line.

Dalton began his career as a law clerk for Woodrow Jones, Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, after earning undergraduate and law degrees from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He then worked in private practice for 33 years, served in the North Carolina Senate, and in 2008 was elected North Carolina Lieutenant Governor.

In 2013, he was appointed as the fifth president of ICC. He has announced he will retire from the college in February 2021.

Commissioners praised Dalton for his ongoing work promoting education and economic opportunity.

The resolution states in part, “Walter Dalton has led an aggressive building program at the college and has continued to work to meet the challenges of change in a transitioning economy. Throughout these years, Walter Dalton has served the citizens of Rutherford County well by striving to improve the quality of their lives.”

Commissioners shared personal anecdotes of Dalton.

“When you were lieutenant governor, you always had time to talk about what we can do to help Rutherford County,” said Eddie Holland. “I thank you for all you have done.”

Dalton, the commissioners said, always focused on what was in the best interest of Rutherford County.

Several other political leaders had also expressed appreciation for Dalton and support for the road designation. The town of Rutherfordton adopted a resolution honoring Dalton. Spindale Mayor Mickey Bland sent a letter of support.

On behalf of the ICC Board of Trustees, Board Chairman Roger Jolly wrote: “The resolution reflects a lifetime of selfless service to Rutherford County, the great state of North Carolina and its citizens.”

An emotional Dalton told the board, “I never expected this … Y’all got me.

“It has been my honor and privilege to serve this county,” Dalton continued. “Public service is not easy, but it is a wonderful thing. This is overwhelming. I am honored, and humbled.”

Several of Dalton’s colleagues from ICC were on hand at the meeting, as well as his wife, Lucille Dalton.

Category: Spindale Campus

Keywords: president, honored