10/25/04 — Mary Wood to retire from Sprunt

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Mary Wood to retire from Sprunt

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on October 25, 2004 1:58 PM

KENANSVILLE -- Dr. Mary Wood is retiring as president of James Sprunt Community College.

"I'm proud to have had the opportunity to serve as president for the past five years," said Dr. Wood, a native of northern Wayne County. She will retire at the end of December.

She said her parents made sure she was exposed to art and music at the same time she learned responsibility by working on the family farm. She also was expected to attend college. She received a degree in home economics from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Her first job as a home economist, though, was far from the kitchen. She worked in the bacteriology lab for the State Board of Health, testing water samples.

She went into teaching, while her children were young and in school.

But in 1972, Dr. Wood moved over to the Developmental Studies Program at Sprunt. She then spent a year at Sampson Community College before returning to Sprunt.

She worked in a number of positions at the college and earned a master's degree before deciding to go for her doctorate. She received an Ed.D. in adult and community college education from N.C. State University in 1993.

"Maybe it was because it was like the mountain -- because it was there. It was the next step," Dr. Wood said of working for her degree. "I've always been a person looking for new things to do. We need to do things that continue to renew us."

Dr. Wood said she hopes her legacy to Sprunt will be that she helped move the college into the 21st century. All employees now have access to technology, she said. And the college has dramatically increased its classes offered via the North Carolina Information Highway and the Internet, thanks in part to collaborative agreements with other colleges.

Dr. Wood said she's also proud of the college's community outreach effort and the work it has done with the public schools and in such programs as Job Ready, Upward Bound and Education Talent Search.