First president of Carroll Community College, Joseph F. Shields, dies at 79

Those who knew him well describe Joseph F. Shields as the man who paved the way for Carroll Community College to become an independent institution.
Shields, the first president of Carroll Community College, died Thursday at the age of 79 after a battle with cancer. He is remembered by family members and colleagues as a strong leader, steadfast mentor and good friend.
Shields received his bachelor's and master's degrees from West Chester University and his doctorate from the University of Maryland. He worked as the director of admissions and the dean of the Munich, Germany, campus of the University of Maryland and coached high school football at Millsboro High in Delaware.
In the 82nd Airborne of the U.S. Army, he served in the medical unit. Shields also served on several boards for organizations such as Carroll Hospice and Maryland School for the Deaf. He was a member of St. John Catholic Church in Westminster and the Rotary Club.
Before accepting his position as executive dean of Carroll Community College in 1991, when the institution was a branch campus of Catonsville Community College, the Pennsylvania native spent three years as the executive officer of a U.S.-run two-year college in Panama. He also served in administrative positions at Prince George's Community College and at the University of Maryland.
His wife, Catherine Shields, said he always encouraged people to pursue higher education, even beyond a bachelor's degree. Some of them didn't want to at first, but followed his advice and went on to successful careers, she said.
"He was very proud of that," she said.
He retired from Carroll Community College in June 30, 1999, and the couple had a great retirement, she said. They started to split their time between a residence in Maryland and a house in Florida.
The couple also loved going to the theater and made annual trips to see shows on Broadway.
Catherine Shields described her husband as a good father who was also very involved in his community. Throughout his career, she said he met a lot of wonderful people and they remained close friends.
Carroll Community College President Faye Pappalardo chaired the search committee that decided to bring Shields on as the executive dean of the college.
He was a great force toward the college gaining independence in 1993, Pappalardo said.
"He had great vision and moved the college forward," she said. "He was the right person at the right time."
Alan Schuman, executive vice president of administration at Carroll Community, said he and Shields worked closely together. Shields realized that the campus, as part of Catonsville Community, wasn't serving the needs of the students, he said.
"He began almost immediately creating the pathway for Carroll Community College to become an independent institution," he said.
Schuman described Shields as a great person to work with and a strong, determined leader.
"He always had the future in mind when making a decision," he said.
Shields pushed Carroll Community to be a leader in having online courses.
"He's just a fabulous individual," he said. "I couldn't have asked for a better boss."
He had a feel for what most people would want and often put himself in the position of others, Schuman said.
"I think he brought more of a regular-guy-type attitude to getting the job done," he said.
It was important to him for the community to become part of the college and he made every effort to invite the community to participate, Schuman said.
"He invited the community organizations to come here and have a place on campus, a visual place, so they could call it their own," he said.
His son, Joseph M. Shields, said he's very proud of his father's accomplishments.
It was important for him to bring more opportunities in the arts to Carroll Community, Joseph M. Shields said. He was involved in the building of an outside amphitheater at the college.
He had an extensive career in education and was known for mentoring many professionals, including people who are now college presidents, and Ted Becker, a leader in the field of sports medicine, son Joseph M. Shields said.
"He was proud of his family and the people he's mentored," he said.