The Alamance Community College Board of Trustees has bestowed the title of Trustee Emeritus on Dr. Reid Dusenberry upon his retirement from the Board on June 30 after 20 years of service to the college and community. Dusenberry is only the fourth trustee to receive this distinction, following Wallace Gee, Russell Wilson and Dr. Richard “Dick” Fisher.
The honorary title of Trustee Emeritus is bestowed upon outgoing members who have met certain criteria at the discretion of the Board: Served 12 or more years as a trustee; demonstrated exceptional leadership on the Board; exhibited active involvement in the College’s events and activities; and provided support for the mission, programs and constituents of ACC.
“This is quite an honor,” said Dusenberry. “You never really feel you’re the one who deserves it. I’ve spent a lot of my time since retiring [from dentistry] with the college. It’s always nice when your work is recognized.”
Dr. Dusenberry, who operated an orthodontic practice on Alamance Road in Burlington from 1974-1995, taught Dental Assisting at ACC for many years and joined that program’s advisory board in 1978. His teaching tenure ended when he was appointed a member of the Board of Trustees in July 2000.
During his two decades of service to ACC, Dusenberry provided leadership as Board of Trustees chairman from 2003-2005, and served on numerous board committees. His leadership as chair of the Building and Grounds Committee for 17 terms between 2001 and 2020 came at a crucial time of growth for the College. Those years saw ACC use bond funds for the construction of four new buildings on the main Carrington-Scott campus: Allied Health/Powell Building, Gee Administration/Library Building, Literacy Building, and the Advanced Applied Technology Center (AATC).
Dr. Dusenberry’s final years of leadership on Building and Grounds have overseen the current pre-construction plans for the Biotechnology Center of Excellence and Public Safety Training Center, to name just two upcoming projects financed through the voter-approved $39 million capital bond referendum.
“I was heavily involved in the building campaigns. We have new construction now that is very promising and which I feel very good about,” said Dusenberry.
Dr. Reid Dusenberry’s roots run deep in Alamance County. A 1963 graduate of Williams High School, he graduated from UNC Chapel Hill in 1970, UNC orthodontic school in 1974, and opened his own practice in Burlington that same year. Yet Dusenberry nearly followed another career path. He initially pursued a degree in Chemical Engineering at Clemson University before part-time work in his uncle’s dental practice in Anderson, SC made him realize his true calling.
Conflicting world events were also on Dusenberry’s mind at that time. Realizing he could be drafted as the war in Vietnam escalated, he opted to join the U.S. Naval Reserves while attending UNC. It was part of a doctor and dentist draft act that allowed students pursuing careers in medicine or dentistry to serve their country in another capacity.
“I decided to go ahead and serve then. Later after 1970 I had active duty in Key West, Florida. I called my dad, who had flown B-29s over Japan during World War II, and told him I was roughing it in Key West. He had some choice words,” recalled Dusenberry with a laugh.
Dusenberry eventually completed his Chemical Engineering degree from Clemson in 1978, finishing the outstanding four credits in evening classes to become a Tigers alumnus.
After opening his Burlington orthodontic office, Dusenberry was recruited to teach in the Dental Assisting program at ACC, then known as Technical Institute of Alamance. Working closely with longtime department head Margaret Hooper, he became dentist-in-charge. In 1976, Dusenberry added a master’s degree in orthodontics from UNC to his resume.
Dusenberry continued teaching for the College until he was nominated to serve on the Board of Trustees in 2000. Yet long before he joined that body, he made his mark on the ACC Foundation.
“I am proud to say that, along with Russell Wilson and Ted Chandler, I was in on the ground floor when the Foundation began. And I have stayed very involved in the work of the Foundation,” he said. “We have one of the nicest, most successful foundations for community colleges our size.”
Indeed, Dusenberry has a record of 30 years of continuous giving to the ACC Foundation, and is a member of its Titan Society of donors. He was instrumental in creating the Margaret Hooper Scholarship for Dental Assisting students, currently valued at more than $70,000.
Dusenberry served on the Foundation Board of Directors from 1994-2001, including a stint as chairman, and has served as Trustee Liaison to the Foundation since 2013.
With his long, distinguished commitment to Alamance Community College in multiple capacities, his impact as a member of the Board of Trustees for 20 years cannot be equaled: Vice Chair, Chairman, Executive Committee, Curriculum Committee, Building and Grounds Committee leader, Trustee Liaison to the Foundation, and Presidential Search Committee.
“Dr. Dusenberry has been an outstanding board member, bringing an incredible level of passion, knowledge, and stewardship to Alamance Community College,” said ACC President Dr. Algie Gatewood. “The College and the community have benefited greatly from his unique skills, as he has been instrumental not only in planning the campus, but also in future expansion. Dr. Dusenberry has consistently offered an impressive level of both objectivity and enthusiasm to his service, which translates to being a highly effective board member overall.”
As newly christened Trustee Emeritus, Dr. Reid Dusenberry is content to spend more time with Cathy, his wife of 37 years, and his five children (Doug, Paige, Greg, Ashley, Robbie) and 10 grandchildren.
“I’m happy now upon my retirement to sit back and watch Alamance Community College continue to grow,” he said.