Valencia President Named One of Orlando's Most Influential Businessmen

Dr. Sanford “Sandy” Shugart, Valencia College’s president, has been named one of the Orlando Business Journal’s Most Influential Businessmen for 2011.

The business publication selected Shugart as the most influential businessman in the education field.

Shugart, 55, has led Valencia since 2000. He came to Valencia from North Harris College near Houston.  Prior to that, the North Carolina native served as vice president of the North Carolina Community College System. He received his doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Shugart is the fourth president of Valencia, one of the nation’s largest and most celebrated two-year colleges. Earlier this year, Valencia was named one of 10 finalists for the inaugural Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, which rewards the best and most innovative community college in the nation. Valencia is also ranked first in the nation among all community colleges in the number of associate degrees awarded, second in the number of associate degrees awarded to Hispanics and third in the number awarded to African-Americans. 

Shugart is well known on campus as a poet and musician. But the Orlando Business Journal article spotlighted a few things you may not know about Valencia’s president. For instance, did you know that his favorite movie is “Twelve O’Clock High,” a 1949 film about a general who takes over a bomber pilot unit suffering from low morale and whips them into fighting shape?  Or that he describes the birth of his first child as his “most life-changing experience”?  And who would have guessed that his pet peeve is aggressive drivers?