Pictured (from left) are Dr. Tim Brewer, president of Mitchell Community College, and Thomas P. Gill at Alumni Day 2019. 

Gill presented Mitchell Community College's Distinguished Alumni Award

Posted at 1:56 PM on May 7, 2019


Special to SVLfreenews.com

The Mitchell Community College Alumni Association awarded its 2019 Distinguished Alumnus Award to Thomas P. Gill during the annual Alumni Weekend events on May 4. Gill was selected for his dedication to and representation of the power of education.

Gill attended Mitchell Community College from 1977 to 1978 and credits these formative years for setting a foundation for his academic success as an East Carolina University (ECU) cum laude graduate and subsequent University of Arkansas magna cum laude graduate.

While at Mitchell, Gill played on the varsity golf team and was an active member of the Phi Theta Kappa national honor society. This experience encouraged him to strive for success at ECU, where he was recognized as Outstanding Senior in both the School of Aerospace Science and the School of Education. He was also an Air Force ROTC Distinguished Graduate, which earned Gill a regular commission in the U.S. Air Force. While completing his degree, Gill served as the head resident Advisor for two ECU dormitories, as commander of the AFROTC cadet wing, and in several honor societies.

Gill has had three very distinct and successful careers, which he credits to his early Mitchell Community College experiences.

He began his professional life as an Air Force officer and retired in 1998. He earned multiple awards, including the Joint Meritorious Service Medal as well as three Air Force Meritorious Service Medals. During his military career, Gill served as a nuclear Missile Combat Crew officer, rising to the position of Instructor Combat Crew Commander and eventually became a Headquarters Squadron Commander for a test launch organization. He received the General Martensen Trophy for the best OJT program in the division and also was selected as Company Grade Officer of the Year. Later, Gill served as the Chief of Education and Training for the 800 Air Force cadets at The Citadel, where he was recognized with the highest Inspector General (IG) rating ever at that academic institution. After serving as a professor responsible for all the cadet training, he was promoted to manage a national AFROTC headquarters program, ensuring the appropriate selection of pilot and navigator candidates. In his last Air Force position, he led the Philadelphia, Pa., Military Entrance Processing Station in its annual medical, aptitudinal testing, and accession of 12,000 applicants for all the military branches. Once again Gill earned his organization an “Outstanding” IG rating.

After the military, Gill transitioned this healthcare experience into a civilian career using the medical experience provided in his previous two Air Force positions. Having worked closely with the Surgeon General’s office and having conceived and developed the idea of relocating his last organization from Philadelphia to New Jersey, providing recruiters and candidates an improved processing station while saving the military millions of dollars, Gill was hired by an international healthcare company to manage its Charlotte-area dialysis clinics. During this tenure, he developed and implemented the United States’ first nocturnal dialysis program in Gastonia. Subsequently, Gill was hired by another international dialysis company, DaVita, eventually becoming Vice President of the Carolinas and eastern Tennessee clinics while also managing the national nocturnal dialysis program. Although Gill achieved notable business successes, his favorite healthcare career memory is the development and implementation of the bench strength development and leadership program he called STELLAR, which became the gold standard for DaVita dialysis’ leadership training program in 2,200 nationwide clinics.

Gill’s third and current career is as a published author. In the past three years, he has published three works, including two novels set primarily in North Carolina’s Crystal Coast. The Bridge, his first book, has been read in six countries and its sequel, Return to Emerald Isle, has been very successful. In addition to his third book, Randy’s Way, which Gill wrote pro bono to support a Marine major living with ALS since the Gulf War (25 years), he has a fourth novel in draft which includes Statesville’s Grace Park Recreation Center in its opening chapter. This book tells the story of a missing teenager murdered during the racially charged early 1970s. It follows the main characters as they have aged into adults in 2019.

Beyond his distinguished careers, Gill has served his community in several ways.He he has provided more than free presentations during the past four years to schools, clubs, veteran groups, libraries, and other organizations on processes to successfully write, edit, publish and market fiction and nonfiction literary works. Gill presented eight separate events in the Statesville area, including the Statesville and Mooresville public libraries, Statesville and Mooresville high schools, and several middle/elementary schools. Gill provided multiple copies of his first two works to the I-SS superintendent and instructional coaches for use within the system. Additionally, Gill has voluntarily provided editing service to numerous aspiring authors, including a 2017 Mooresville High School student’s publication of a book for her senior project. Gill also serves as a board member for a national scholarship program, which focuses on enabling minority and first-generation college students through mentoring and financial support.


For more information about the Mitchell Alumni Association and the Distinguished Alumni Award, visit mitchellcc.edu/alumni, email alumni@mitchellcc.edu or call (704) 878-4362.


Mitchell Community College serves 10,000 students annually through a variety of curriculum, continuing education and workforce development programs. With campuses in Statesville and Mooresville, Mitchell offers quality, affordable education options to residents of Iredell County and the surrounding area. For more information, visit www.mitchellcc.edu or call (704) 878-3200 (Statesville Campus) or (704) 663-1923 (Mooresville Campus).

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