Excitement and suspense charged the air of the Board of Education meeting for more than 30 members of the public as they waited for the board to announce the name of the next leader of the Titans.

On Wednesday, Feb. 8. the Board of Education voted unanimously in favor of  Dr. Margaret A. Hamilton to hold the office of president for Lane Community College. Hamilton will take the presidential office on July 1, 2017 and will be paid a three-year term starting salary annually at $203,000. She succeeds President Mary Spilde, who gave the Board of Education a 17 month notice of retirement.

In a recent interview with Lane’s public radio station, KLCC, Hamilton said she felt like it’s time for a challenge and to give back. She spoke of her intent to shoulder Lane’s declining enrollment with partnerships and program audits.

Dr. Margaret Hamilton, better known as “Marge,” is currently vice president of Academic Affairs at Camden County College in Blackwood, New Jersey.

Accomplishments are not a rare happening for Hamilton.

One I am particularly proud of was leading the science and allied health faculty in the construction of our newest 107,000 square foot Health Sciences Center on the main campus, Halpern Hall. It houses an extraordinary dental facility, nursing arts lab, a kitchen for our culinary students and an impressive offering of biology, chemistry and physics labs. The building houses science themed artwork created by the faculty and students which we are particularly proud of” Hamilton said in an email.

The pursuit for a new president commenced in March 2016 when Spilde went public with her intention to retire on June 30, 2017. President Spilde has 16 years as Lane’s Chief Executive Officer and 37 years of in higher education.

A Presidential Search Advisory Committee was instituted to gather data, generate a profile, review the presidential applications, help organize events and assist the Board of Education when necessary. The posting for the office of President closed Oct. 24. The committee met on Nov. 2 to select semifinalists. Recommendations were then sent to The Board of  Education and the semifinalists were chosen for interviews..

“We had a splendid pool of candidates to choose from … Thanks to the thorough and conscientious work of our outstanding search committee we are able to select three promising finalists,” Board of Education Chair Sharon Stiles said, according to Lane’s main website.

Three presidential hopefuls were selected for interviews by the Board of Education. Dr. Margaret A. Hamilton, Dr. Peter Maphumulo, and Dr. David L. Rule. Beginning in mid-January forums were arranged to allow staff, faculty, students and community members the opportunity to ask questions of each candidate on three different days.

One stood out from the rest.

“I am deeply humbled by this offer and graciously accept this opportunity to serve one of the most respected community colleges in the country,” Hamilton said.