Real Stories

Commissioner Emeritus Pete Sercer

The Midlands Technical College Commission officially named Dr. Pete Sercer as Commissioner Emeritus upon his retirement from the MTC Board of Trustees. With 27 years of service, Dr. Sercer was the longest-serving commissioner in the college’s history.

Read how he devoted his life to higher education and developing citizens of character dedicated to serving their community and nation. 

“It’s been a great honor to serve with Pete on the MTC Commission,” said Commission Chair Robby Wilkins of Lexington County. “His impact on the college will be long lasting.”

The Midlands Technical College Commission officially named Dr. Pete Sercer as Commissioner Emeritus upon his retirement from the MTC Board of Trustees. With 27 years of service, Dr. Sercer is the longest-serving commissioner in the college’s history.

Sercer’s interest in higher education began during the mid-1970s when he was an Associate Professor of Air Force Aerospace Studies at the University of South Carolina. Still on active duty with the Air Force, he was transferred to the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base. Once he retired from the Air Force in 1984, he immediately became the Senior Aerospace Instructor for South Carolina’s Irmo High School Junior ROTC.

“It has been an honor and privilege to be a small part of the lives of so many students.”

Years later, Irmo High School would go on to name its Air Force JROTC Center the Colonel Pete Sercer AFJROTC Annex.

“When I heard in the late 1980s that a position was opening on the Midlands Technical College (MTC) Commission, I knew I had to apply for the position,” Sercer said. “My passion for education had done nothing but grow since 1973 when I first became involved in helping young people follow their dreams and reach their potential.”

Sercer says his years serving on the MTC Commission allowed him to combine his higher education experience and his experience with high school students.

“I always knew I was passionate about education, as education helped me in so many different ways—both professionally and personally. My time as a commissioner only heightened this passion. I have seen so many young (and not so young) people graduate from MTC, with their time at MTC helping them reach their goals.”

Sercer was Chair of the MTC Commission from 1995-1997 and from 2003-2005. MTC President Dr. Ronald L. Rhames said there are few people in the state who have had such an impact on Midlands Technical College over the years.

“Pete’s guidance has been an immense asset not only to Midlands Technical College, but to South Carolina and the nation,” said Rhames. “His commitment to technical education is unparalleled, and his accomplishments as a trustee reflect his commitment to making college accessible to everyone.”

Sercer’s influence in higher education became national when he became a member of the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT). His membership includes time spent as Director and Chair for the ACCT’s Southern Region and the ACCT Corporate Council Subcommittee. In 2007, he was elected to the national post as ACCT Secretary-Treasurer. In 2010, he was elected ACCT National Chair.

“My biggest accomplishment was serving the ACCT,” said Sercer. “This organization represents more than 6,500 elected and appointed trustees who govern over 1,200 community, technical, and junior colleges in the United States and beyond. I gained invaluable knowledge from such close interaction with commissioners and trustees from these colleges. This was knowledge I could then pass along to the other MTC commissioners and MTC staff members.”

As ACCT chair, Dr. Sercer was known for his strong coordination of legislative advocacy, as well as his stressing partnerships and initiatives that bring community college, non-profit, and industry representatives together. Sercer was among the community college leaders who guided the 18-month development of the Voluntary Framework of Accountability, the principal accountability framework for community colleges. He also helped coordinate the first ACCT Summit on Completion.

With experience as a university professor as well as a high school teacher, Sercer saw first-hand how higher education can positively affect a person’s life.

“It has been an honor and privilege to be a small part of the lives of so many students.”

As a long-time resident of Irmo, Sercer emphasized that community colleges are among our most important education institutions.

“He’s one of the most decent, hard-working people I’ve ever met,” said U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, a former Sercer student. “He has a gift for motivating young people and inspiring them to bring out the best that the person has to offer.”

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