Dallas Herring served two decades as chairman of the State Board of Education and nurtured North Carolina's community college system from its inception. While working as chairman of the State Board of Education from 1957 to 1977, Herring led the launch of the state's community college system. Herring worked with Governors Luther Hodges and Terry Sanford to develop a broad junior college program that first focused on industrial centers to give students a school to develop work force skills. The system later broadened into its current role of
offering an array of educational opportunities. About 800,000 students now enroll annually at North Carolina's 58 community colleges.