Midlands Technical College President Dr. Ronald L. Rhames has been inducted into the Richland County School District One Hall of Fame.
“As an alumnus of Richland School District One and Midlands Technical College, Ron is a powerful advocate for education at all levels,” said Robby Wilkins, chair of the Midlands Technical College Commission. “Congratulations to a tremendous role model and mentor to students across the Midlands.”
Rhames grew up in Columbia, where he attended W.J. Keenan High School, graduating in 1973. He graduated from Midlands Technical College in 1978 with a degree in management.
Rhames said his Richland One education was the foundation that helped him reach the highest levels of his profession.
“During my elementary and junior high years, those were the days before integration,” he said. “Because of the education and the faculty who took care of me during that time, I was able to dream.”
Rhames’ impact on business and higher education has been felt nationally as well as locally.
His work nationally includes chairing the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) Board of Directors, serving as president of the Southern Association of College and University Business Officers (SACUBO), and as president of the international Community College Business Officers (CCBO) organization.
Rhames’ South Carolina board service includes EngenuitySC, the Columbia Chamber of Commerce, the Columbia Urban League, the Central SC Alliance, the Central Midlands Council of Governments, the Midlands Middle College high school, and the Midlands Education and Business Alliance.
“From elementary school through high school, the education I received from Richland School District One gave me a solid foundation,” said Rhames. “It gave me a passion for service and learning that kept me motivated to pursue higher education from an associates degree to a Ph.D.”
Rhames is the first alumnus president of MTC, and he is the first person to graduate from a South Carolina technical college and later become its president.
“I am humbled to be the leader of my alma mater,” he said. “My commitment to the college and the community is to always put our students first and ensure they receive the best education and services available to meet their needs.”
The Richland One Hall of Fame was established in 2004 to recognize graduates of Richland County School District One schools and other persons throughout the district’s history who have made significant contributions to Richland One, their communities, their professions, and society as a whole.
Rhames joins current Hall of Fame members such as NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, former S.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Jean Toal, and Nobel Prize-winning chemist Dr. Kary B. Mullis.