WINTERVILLE, N.C. — The Pitt Community College campus community is grieving after being notified Thursday morning that Dr. Thomas E. Gould, executive vice president of Academic Affairs and Student Services, passed away unexpectedly earlier this week.
After meeting with members of his President’s Leadership Team and employees who worked directly with Gould, PCC President Lawrence Rouse broke the news to all faculty and staff in a message to campus. He noted that an official cause of death had not been shared with PCC as of Thursday morning.
“Dr. Thomas Gould was a firm believer that education positively transforms individuals, families and communities,” Rouse said. “It’s what motivated him throughout his extensive and distinguished career in higher education. PCC will greatly miss his leadership, loyalty and quick wit, but all of us who had the pleasure of working with him are better educators by having had the privilege to do so.”
PCC Vice President of Institutional Advancement Marianne Cox said Greenville Mobile Crisis Team counselors were made aware of Gould’s passing and were ready to support Pitt faculty, staff and students with the grieving process after his death was announced to campus.
“This is a difficult time for our campus community, so it’s important for the college to make sure grief counseling is available to everyone who needs it and for faculty, staff and students to support one another,” Cox said. “Just as Dr. Rouse stated in his message to campus this morning, I am confident that is precisely what we will do.”
Gould, who was 61, joined PCC’s administration as vice president of academic affairs in November 2013 and was charged with planning, organizing and directing instructional programs and related support services for curriculum and continuing education areas. He was given responsibility for student support services oversight in 2019 and was named executive vice president in 2021.
“Dr. Gould was an avid proponent of economic development, not only in Pitt County but throughout eastern North Carolina,” Rouse said. “As such, he initiated a number of programs at the college to increase workforce development opportunities and enrollment in the belief that PCC is only successful when its students and community partners succeed.”
Born in New York City, Gould grew up in northern New Jersey. He earned bachelor’s degrees in English and political science from Ramapo College of New Jersey, a master’s in English from N.C. State University and a doctorate in English from UNC-Greensboro.
Prior to joining PCC’s administration, Gould worked at Durham Tech, where he was a pioneer of hybrid instruction, which combines online training with traditional classroom studies. His professional background also included extensive work with the College Transfer Program Association and enforcement of the state’s Comprehensive Articulation Agreement, which guides the transfer of students from North Carolina’s 58 community colleges to its 16 public universities and many private colleges and universities.
“Tom was well-known throughout the North Carolina Community College System for his many contributions over the years,” Rouse said. “I am sure his colleagues across the state are grieving today, just as we are at PCC and in Pitt County.”