In January 1967 Dr. David F. Adkisson was named the first President and first employee of Cleveland State Community College.  Dr. Adkisson had several years of educational administrative experience.  A native of Ashland City, Tennessee, he had been an elementary and high school teacher, principal, school superintendent, supervisor for thirty-four East Tennessee counties, director of instruction for the Knox County School System and instructor at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville (UTK).  His degrees were from Austin Peay Normal, Middle Tennessee State University, George Peabody College and UTK.

In 1970 Dr. Adkisson played an instrumental role in the creation of the Cleveland State Scholarship Foundation.  On September 24, 1976 the Tennessee State Board of Regents recognized his contributions to the college by naming Cleveland State’s Administration Building in honor of him.  It was the first time a community college facility had been named for one of its Presidents.  Later, the city of Cleveland honored him by naming the street in front of the college “Adkisson Drive.”  On his last day as President, June 30, 1978, his friends and employees also recognized his outstanding leadership by presenting him a new truck to celebrate his service to the college.  He continued to support education after his retirement by serving as a member of the Board of Education of the Cleveland City Schools and as President of the College Foundation.