Wayne Burton, who is giving up the presidency of North Shore Community College at the end of the current school year, had an influence on the region’s civic life that extended far beyond the campuses in Danvers, Lynn and Beverly.
He viewed education as the great equalizer and strived to make his college a place where everyone, regardless of his or her personal circumstances, could acquire the skills and experiences that would allow them to fulfill their dreams. His legacy will endure in the expanded campus in the Hathorne section of Danvers and the nearby regional vocational school that he was instrumental in getting built.
There was a time prior to 2000 when Fred Berry, the veteran legislator from Peabody, contemplated the idea of trying to follow some his colleagues into the academic ranks by applying for the NSCC presidency. But Berry decided to stay put, and the post went to Burton, who had been dean of the business school at Salem State University. Good move for both.
Nelson Benton spent 40 years covering politics on the North Shore before retiring from The Salem News. Contact him at email@example.com.