Jim Walton, Ph.D., the president of Centralia College since 2002, received the 2013 Award for Leadership from Washington State Trustees Association of Community and Technical College.

The award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated exceptional leadership in furthering the mission of the state’s community and technical colleges. He was nominated by the Centralia College Board of Trustees.

One of Walton’s major accomplishments was his leadership during the economic downturn when the college’s operating budget was reduced by more than 25 percent. In spite of the dramatic reduction in state support while the college experienced record enrollments, no college employee involuntarily lost his or her job and the college continued its high level of service to students.

He also brought the college’s first bachelor’s degree program to life and is laying the groundwork for a second bachelor’s degree offering, which is expected to begin in 2014.