George E. Potter is a local attorney and Jackson Junior College alumnus who served on the College’s Board of Trustees for 44 years — including 24 years as chair — before stepping down in 2006. He served longer than any community college trustee in the nation. Today Potter is a Trustee Emeritus with Jackson College and Director Emeritus with the Jackson College Foundation.
His passion for community colleges is evident in his record. Potter led a movement in 1969 to consolidate the Michigan community college presidents’ and trustees’ organizations, a successful effort that led to Potter in 1970 becoming the first trustee elected president of the Michigan Community College Association. In 1972, he was instrumental in the formation of the Council of Community College Trustees within the American Association of Community Colleges. He immediately urged the Council to merge with the Association of Community College Trustees, and the merger occurred shortly thereafter. Potter was elected president of the Association of Community College Trustees in 1976. He has written several articles and spoken in more than two dozen states to community college trustees and presidents. He authored “Trusteeship-A Handbook for Community College and Technical Institute Trustees,” which became the standard manual for governing at two-year institutions.
Included among his many honors are the 2007 Distinguished Service Award from Jackson College, the Association of Community College Trustees M. Dale Ensign Community Award in 1974 as the nation’s most outstanding trustee and the American Association of Community Colleges’ first Trustee Leadership Award in 1984. He also received the Jackson Jaycees Outstanding Young Man Award in 1967. He is a graduate of Jackson Junior College, completed his bachelor’s degree at Albion College, and his law degree from the University of Michigan.