A light-swathed Sunburst Locust tree outside the building where Dr. Patricia McCarver helped guide Yavapai College's growth and evolution for 16 years will remind generations of her selfless service and everlasting contributions.

McCarver, who served on the YC District Governing Board from 2005 through 2020 and twice served as board chair, is the first recipient of the college's Circle of Leadership award, which recognizes DGB members who serve at least two full terms and also served as board chair.

The Circle of Leadership and the tree dedicated in McCarver's honor are situated between Building 32 and the historic Rock House – the Prescott campus DGB meeting room. The tree-lined outdoor greenspace also features benches and paved patios and walkways.

In her opening remarks during the induction ceremony, YC President Dr. Lisa Rhine praised McCarver for her "servant's heart" and steady leadership on behalf of students, employees and the community. "During her tenure Yavapai College grew and became one of the nation's premiere community colleges. Her dedication and unwavering love for the college and education is clearly evident and her service will never be forgotten."

Longtime DGB member and current board secretary Ray Sigafoos called McCarver a "class act" and said she was among the "most accomplished in the job of a board member" he has worked with in 50 years of elected and volunteer service. Current DGB Chairwoman Deb McCasland thanked McCarver for sharing her wisdom, especially regarding community college budgeting, in support of the college's mission.

McCarver expressed gratitude for the recognition and said she is pleased she had the opportunity to serve during a period of tremendous growth and innovation. "I'm really proud of the college. I think we have lots to do – a lot of new adventures and I wish the board the best with all of that. And I hope the college continues to grow and develop and serve the citizens of Yavapai County."

The Circle of Leadership tree dedication also featured tributes to former board member Steve Irwin who served as DGB secretary for four of his five years of service from 2015 to 2020.

Rhine called "significant" Irwin's impact on the college during his board service and that of other former longtime board members who attended the induction ceremony: Harold Harrington, Dale Fitzner and Charles Leon.