Morganton, NC – Each year, Western Piedmont Foundation recognizes an Alumnus who has given unselfishly of his or her time and talents to advance the mission and goals of Western Piedmont Community College and the local community. Paul H. Phillips was recently named the 2013 Alumnus of the Year at the College’s graduation ceremony.
Paul H. Phillips (c) is shown with WPCC’s Steve Warren, (l), Law Enforcement Training Director, and Danny Dixon, Criminal Justice Coordinator.
Mr. Phillips’ association with WPCC began nearly 30 years ago. After completing his Basic Law Enforcement Training at the College in 1984, he began work the following year on his Associate of Applied Science degree in the Criminal Justice program. At the same time, he also started his 28-year career as a law enforcement professional with a position in the Lenoir Police Department.
In 1988, Mr. Phillips became a graduate of the 82nd Basic Highway Patrol School and a trooper in Hickory’s District 5 of the North Carolina Highway Patrol. Since that time, Phillips has risen through the ranks of the highway patrol as Sergeant, First Sergeant, Lieutenant, and Captain, ultimately achieving the rank of Major while serving in Raleigh as Director of the Western Troop Operations & Special Operations. Major Phillips began his retirement in March 2013.
Throughout his career, Phillips placed a high priority on expanding his education. In 1999, he graduated from the University of Louisville Southern Police Institute’s 102nd Administrative Officers Course as a Dean’s Scholar. Four years later he graduated with honors from WPCC with his Criminal Justice degree. In short order, he graduated summa cum laude with his Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Western Carolina University. Phillips has also been awarded advanced law enforcement certification from the North Carolina Criminal Justice Training & Standards Commission, and he has attended higher-level leadership and management training with the F.B.I. Law Enforcement Executive Development Association.
While his career and professional accomplishments are significant, Phillips possesses other admirable qualities that distinguished him as Alumnus of the Year. His service to the College and the community makes him an exemplary model for other WPCC graduates to emulate. To all who served with him on the College’s Criminal Justice Advisory Committee, he was known as a man of outstanding character and integrity. In addition, Phillips is known for his constructive energy and leadership, and he represents the College well by his numerous achievements. Described by one nominator as “an outstanding, fine man,” Phillips is also known for his maturity, his judgment, his dedication, his moral fiber, and his initiative, all of which serve as an example for others to follow.