THE FOUNDATION FOR EVERYTHING

As Superintendent of a large city school system, Dr. Randy L. Bridges knows a great deal about opportunity. It is his job to ensure that every student in Rock Hill, SC, has an equal opportunity to excel and achieve. That is quite a responsibility.

"I'm a big believer in opportunity," Dr. Bridges says. "Louisburg College offered me an opportunity to continue my education after high school, and I've never forgotten that. The environment was what I needed. It was small. You knew everybody and everybody knew you, not just students but also the professors. Louisburg has the personal touch for each and every student. The community embraces Louisburg."

Dr. Bridges Dr. Bridges, 48, attended Louisburg on a basketball scholarship from 1973-75, coming out of Shelby, NC. He played under former Louisburg College basketball coach Enid Drake. After a strong career both on and off the court, Dr. Bridges moved on to UNC Pembroke, where he majored in Health and Physical Education and also played basketball.

He began teaching in 1977 at Scotland High School in Laurinburg, NC, and started a steady rise from teacher to coach to Assistant Principal to Principal to Assistant Superintendent (in Smithfield, NC) and finally to Superintendent of the Rock Hill School District in 2002. Rock Hill is a growing school district with 16,000 students and a high level of responsibility. The district, which feels a large spillover effect from crowded schools in neighboring Charlotte, is building new schools rapidly and dealing with complex issues of pupil reassignment, "which is always a challenge," he says. "But we are fortunate to have a community that is very supportive."

Dr. Bridges credits his experiences at UNC Pembroke and Louisburg College as absolutely crucial to his current role as a superintendent. "I have a greater appreciation of different perspectives on education now," Dr. Bridges says. "It all started at Louisburg, the foundation for everything I do and everything I am started at Louisburg. It's a real special place."