AACC’s Dawn Lindsay Selected As Independence Day Parade Grand Marshal


For nearly 12 years and counting, Dawn Lindsay has served as the sixth president of Anne Arundel Community College (AACC), and this Fourth of July, she will also assume the role of Severna Park’s 49th Independence Day parade grand marshal.

Themed “Stars and Stripes Forever,” this year’s parade will process along the familiar route that traces Benfield Road, Evergreen Road, Riggs Avenue and B&A Boulevard. Hosted by the Greater Severna Park and Arnold Chamber of Commerce since its inception, the parade will step off at 10:00am with Lindsay as its leader.

“Dr. Lindsay was the perfect choice to be the grand marshal as she has done a magnificent job of making AACC the best community college in the country,” said Liz League, CEO of the Greater Severna Park and Arnold Chamber of Commerce. In 2021, AACC was recognized as the number-one community college in the United States by Academic Influencers.

Lindsay said she is flattered by the unexpected honor of serving as leader of the beloved community parade, noting it is a testimony to the college she represents. “I do think it’s the community’s way of recognizing that this college really cares, and I value that acknowledgment, and I think it’s a testimony when other people say how good you are as a college – not me – how good the college is as a whole, and the gratitude people have and the investment that people have – and of all the businesses that could have been selected, we (were) chosen,” she said. “So I’m honored and I’m looking forward to it.”

Her husband Al, an attorney, is excited to join Lindsay in the parade, too. Married for just over four years, Lindsay shared that Al is “a great person and very supportive of my career.” Together, they are entering a new chapter of life – that of being grandparents. They have a 1-year-old granddaughter and are eagerly awaiting the arrival of a second granddaughter this month and a grandson in October.

“We get to sit back and have fun with them and play with them and then give them back to their parents,” Lindsay said with a laugh, noting that their travel schedule is shifting away from remote vacations and toward visiting their grandbabies – and they are more than OK with that. “It’s where we want to be and we’re very happy,” she said.

Lindsay – who began her career as a therapist – took the helm at AACC in 2012, after working in community colleges in California for 18 years, most recently as president of Glendale Community College. She earned a doctorate in organizational leadership from Pepperdine University, as well as a master’s in educational counseling, a bachelor of arts in psychology and a bachelor of social work from McDaniel College.

Grateful for the opportunity to come to AACC, Lindsay is quick to note that the school had a legacy of excellence before she arrived. “There was nothing broken when I got here; nothing needed to be fixed. It was just running really, really well,” she said.

She gives credit to everyone working at AACC for the school’s success. Lindsay views her role as president as a bridge to the community – discovering what the needs are in the area and discerning how AACC can be a partner in fixing them, such as addressing the nursing shortage by working to double the school’s nursing program enrollment.

During her first 12 years as president, Lindsay has witnessed the school achieve numerous accolades and milestones. She’s especially proud of the new Health and Life Sciences Building and the Clauson Center for Innovation and Skilled Trades, and what they represent.

“We’ve got a reputation for really going the extra mile for our students, and I’m very proud of that, and I’m proud of the workforce,” she emphasized. Reflecting on her impact at AACC so far, Lindsay stated she believes diversity will be one of her legacies, citing the efforts the school’s leadership has made to ensure that AACC is welcoming to all people and equipped to meet each individual right where they are in life as they pursue their goals.

Off campus, Lindsay serves on numerous boards including the League for Innovation in the Community College, the American Association of Community Colleges, the Luminis Health Anne Arundel Medical Center Community Advisory Council and others.

A Maryland native and self-proclaimed dog lover, Lindsay resides in Severna Park with her husband and two border collies. Grateful for their faithful companionship, she described the dogs as good de-stressors and enjoys playing with them. When she needs a break from her full schedule, Lindsay pops into Club Pilates for a quick class a few times a week.

Lindsay enjoys spending time with her family, entertaining at her home, and preparing big meals. She occasionally pulls out old family recipes to make things “like beef stroganoff – things that are fattening but just wonderful.”

The community college president is humble about her impact and thankful for the opportunities she’s been given. Though she has contributed much to her community over the years, she is deeply grateful for what her community has given to her – namely, support. “A lot of support even during difficult discussions,” Lindsay said. “The days are very long but they are very enjoyable, and even on the tough days, it comes back to the people I interact with in the community.”

To learn more about the upcoming Independence Day parade, go to the chamber’s website at www.gspacc.com


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