Manatee Community College 1957-2007 Celebrating 50 Years

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Dr. Sarah H. Pappas
Dr. Stephen J. Korcheck
Dr. Wilson F. Wetzler
Dr. Samuel R. Neel
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50th Anniversary 1957-2007
Dr. Sarah H. Pappas Dr. Sarah H. Pappas
4th President, Manatee Community College

Dr. Sarah H. Pappas was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and spent the early years of her life in Havana, Cuba and Mexico City. Her family later moved to the United States where she attended high school and Penn State University, receiving a bachelor of arts degree in general arts and sciences. She received her master's degree in social science education from the University of South Florida and a doctorate in curriculum and instruction from Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Pappas has been a resident of Florida for the past 40 years, living in Tampa, North Palm Beach, Daytona Beach and now in the Bradenton/Sarasota area. She is married to artist George Pappas and has two children: Tom, an artist in Boston, and Jane, a bank-training officer in Jacksonville.

Her experience in Florida's higher education system includes 38 years of holding progressively more responsible positions at three different community colleges and the University of Central Florida. She is in her 10th year as president of Manatee Community College, a college that serves more than 30,000 citizens each year, has a budget of $40 Million and employs more than 900 people.

Under Dr. Pappas' leadership MCC has:

  • Added new programs in the areas of health science and information technology
  • Increased enrollment yet lowered class size
  • Provided for a competitive salary schedule for both faculty and other college staff
  • Increased library holdings and book circulation rates
  • Invested $35 million for improvement of campus facilities and new buildings
  • Improved the quality of technology support for campus services
  • Served the workforce development needs of the two-county area
  • Acquired the site location for a Lakewood Ranch Center for Innovation and Technology
  • Celebrating 50 years of service to Manatee and Sarasota counties
Dr. Pappas intends to continue to be very active in the community and to serve in a leadership capacity on numerous state and local boards.


  • 2006 Vice Chair, Sarasota Economic Development Corporation
  • Board of Directors, Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce
  • Board of Directors, Florida High Tech Corridor Council (FHTCC)
  • Economic Development Council, Manatee County
  • Board of Directors, Suncoast Workforce Development
  • SCOPE - Sarasota County Openly Plans for Excellence
  • Advisory Board, Whitney National Bank
  • Bradenton Kiwanis Club
  • The Civic League, Sarasota
  • Florida Women's Alliance
  • Chair, United Way Board of Directors, Manatee County (2002-03)
  • President, Florida Community College Activities Association (2002-04)
  • Florida Humanities Council, a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities, elected to the Board of Directors 1994-1997


  • 2005 Woman of Light Award - Women's International Conference
  • 2005 People of Vision Award - Prevent Blindness of Florida
  • 2005 Woman of Excellence Award - Manatee Memorial Hospital Foundation
  • Who's Who in Tampa Bay Business (Awarded by the Tampa Bay Business Journal)
  • Community Hero nominated to carry the Olympic Torch in Volusia County for the 1996 Summer Olympics
  • Volusia County Women's Hall of Fame, inducted December 1996

  Fun Facts
Family Heritage House opens at MCC Bradenton in 2000.