Friday, August 24, 2012

York County Community College Loses a Great Leader

Dr. Charlie Lyons, 68, dies after battle with cancer

Dr. Charlie Lyons, president of York County Community College, died this past Wednesday after a battle with cancer.
“It is with great sadness that I notify you of the passing of Charlie Lyons, president of York County Community College,” said Dr. John Fitzsimmons, president of the
Maine Community College System. “Charlie passed away this morning after bravely facing the challenges of cancer. He was a devoted husband and father who always put his family first. Our thoughts and prayers are with his loving wife Barbara and their children.”
Lyons proudly served as a university and college president in Maine for seventeen years, and held various other leadership positions in higher education for twenty-two years. He was recognized as an advocate for students and a cheerleader for the importance of higher education in the lives of the people of Maine.
“Today, a family lost a husband and a father, and the state of Maine lost a great leader. We will all miss the energy and joy he brought to anyone in his presence,” Fitzsimmons said.
He had been appointed president of York County Community College in Wells in 2006. Described as a “dynamic and high energy leader,” Lyons was instrumental in transforming the college into a successful academic example.
He was former chair of the Maine Higher Education Council, chair of the Board of Visitors of the Long Creek Youth Development Center in South Portland, and a senior member of the Clinical Research Review Committee at Maine Medical Center. He had also chaired the Maine Higher Education Partnership, a group of six UMS and MCCS presidents charged with creating seamless articulation agreements among the fourteen institutions that comprise the University of Maine and Maine Community College Systems.
When he was hired by YCCC in 2006, he was selected from a field of sixty candidates following a national search. The father of five, Lyons graduated from Madison High School in Maine and was living in Scarborough. His wife is Barbara Lyons, a special education teacher at Sanford Junior High School, where she has worked for the past twenty-three years.