Pikes Peak Community College has a new president.

Lance Bolton, current president of Northeastern Junior College in Sterling, was appointed as the next PPCC president on Wednesday May 25 by Nancy McCallin, president of the Colorado Community College System. He will assume the presidency June 13.

"I'm really looking forward to getting to know the community," said Bolton, 44.

He said his first order of business will be to listen to students and faculty about what they like best about PPCC and what they think is needed.

"People who work at community colleges are wonderful people," he said. "They care about students, and they care about making a difference."

He's looking forward to working at a college with a lot of success and a lot of opportunities, in a larger community with more resources than Sterling.

The previous PPCC president, Tony Kinkel, resigned in September after 3 1/2 years on the job, surprising many in the education community.

In early November, Ed Ray was appointed as interim president. He was the interim vice president of instruction at the Community College of Aurora and the retired vice president of instruction for PPCC.

Bolton was one of three finalists sent to Dr. McCallin after numerous community forums, interviews, tours, and receptions. On May 16, one of those candidates withdrew, leaving Bolton and Christine Chairsell, District Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs at Portland Community College in Portland, Ore.

With the average age of sitting presidents at 61, she said, there's a lot of openings across the county for college presidents.

"Sometimes the quality of the pool suffers, but not in this case," McCallin said.

"Both candidates were outstanding," McCallin said, adding that it Bolton's proven track record as a president made him stand out. He has experience in growing enrollment, fundraising and starting new programs, she said.

Bolton received his B.B.A. in accounting from the University of Georgia in 1988, his M.S. in Food Science and Technology from the University of Georgia in 1995, and his Ph.D. in that same subject from the University of Georgia in 1997.

He and his wife, Lorrie, have two children, ages 11 and 13.