David L. Disney, who served 16 years on MCC’s Board of Trustees — including 10 as president — was honored by fellow trustees Dec. 15 for his leadership and “steadfast dedication” to the College and its students.
In his letter of resignation, Disney said he was stepping down from the board because he and his wife, Kathy, have moved out of MCC Subdistrict 2, the area he represented.
At the end of the board meeting, when it was time to formally accept his resignation, no one volunteered to make the motion.
“So moved!” boomed Disney from the audience, to laughter from the room.
“That’s the problem — he did move,” joked Chancellor Mark James.
Kathy Disney “seconded” the motion.
Officially, board Vice President Barbara Anne Washington made the motion “reluctantly,” and Robert Martin did the same in seconding.
After a resolution of commendation signed by the other five trustees was read, Disney received a standing ovation. A reception for him followed.
The chancellor praised Disney’s “very stellar 16-year” stint on the board and noted that he was MCC’s longest-serving Board of Trustees president, leading the body from 2006 to last May.
In a statement, James thanked Disney “for his tremendous leadership and service,” adding that students, employees and the community “have greatly benefited from his remarkable dedication to the College.”
In his resignation letter, dated Nov. 17, Disney wrote:
MCC’s mission and the opportunities it provides are critical to the success of the citizens and community it serves. Serving as trustee of this institution for the past 16 years was a most rewarding and fulfilling experience, which is not easy to step away from. Therefore I will continue to support and serve MCC however and whenever possible.
Board of Trustees President Trent Skaggs said: “We will miss his valuable service, but appreciate his expertise and experience, which have helped shape MCC into the strong community college that it is.”
Disney was elected to a partial term of two years in 2000, replacing a trustee who had resigned. He was then elected to full six-year terms in 2002, 2008 and 2014.
When a vacancy like this occurs, board bylaws state that the remaining trustees will appoint a replacement to serve until the next college district election. That will be in April 2018. Someone would then be elected to serve out Disney’s term, which runs until April 2020.
Disney’s service to Metropolitan Community College began when he joined the volunteer MCC Foundation board of directors. He decided to run for election to the MCC Board of Trustees in April 2000.
Prior to being elected president of the board, Disney served two years (2004-06) as vice president. That role returned him to the MCC Foundation board as the trustees representative. Disney “championed fundraising and with the Disney family continues to make considerable annual financial donations for student scholarships and capital improvement projects,” according to the commendation resolution.
Disney works at JE Dunn Construction Co. as senior vice president and public affairs and community development officer. He has also held leadership roles in a variety of organizations, including Boys Scouts of America. The Disneys’ two grown sons are both Eagle Scouts.
Other highlights of Disney’s involvement with MCC, as noted in the board resolution:
- He promoted the community college agenda by regularly representing MCC at a variety of events. He has served as a member of the board of directors of the Missouri Community College Association. He was also a founding board member of the Urban Neighborhood Initiative, one of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce’s “Big 5” ideas.
- Disney, along with former Chancellor Jackie Snyder, conceived and helped plan MCC’s Five Star Gala in 2010, an event that honored community partners and raised money for scholarships. Other galas followed.
- When the College was considering new construction to house its expanding health career programs, Disney made officials aware of the unused building at 3444 Broadway that would become the Health Science Institute in 2010. He convinced the College to go “green” in its renovation — a project that cost about half what erecting a new building would have run — and HSI would later win LEED Silver Certification.
- Under his leadership, MCC expanded the Business & Technology campus, introduced early college programs districtwide, developed the Institute for Workforce Innovation, started a dedicated supplier diversity program and built a driving track for the Public Safety Institute at MCC-Blue River. The College also created a police department, built six tornado-safe structures, and installed an integrated fire alarm and notification system. And during a period of economic stress, Disney “supported financial decisions and budgets that maintained and ultimately enhanced the fiscal strength of MCC.”
The resolution praised Disney’s “principled, visionary and exemplary leadership,” his collegial deliberation style, his entrepreneurialism and his dedication to “the College, its students and to the Greater Kansas City community” while serving as a role model for MCC and the community at large.
The trustees have not announced a timeline for filling Disney’s position on the board.