The sudden loss of Jim Randolph sent a jolt through Carson City, a community he served a relatively short time but nevertheless left his imprint upon.
Randolph, 58, who died Thursday, was president of Western Nevada Community College for a little more than three years. He left in November 1998 to join the University and Community College System of Nevada as vice chancellor for finance and planning.
During his tenure, WNCC underwent the most significant expansion in its history. He would be the first to credit many other people in helping WNCC grow, but several accomplishments will stand for years as Randolph's legacy to the community.
Among those are the Reynolds Center for Technology, the high-tech center that Carson High School shares with the college, the opening of a Douglas County campus for WNCC.
In many smaller ways, though, Randolph also will be remembered. It was typical of his style that he would fill in at WNCC's information desk. We heard one story that a student found him so helpful she wanted to know his name so she could praise him to his supervisor. Randolph reluctantly admitted that he was, indeed, the guy in charge.
Randolph helped off-campus as well, belonging to Rotary and the United Way board. In three years, he crossed many paths.
He also had a disabled son to care for, part of the reason he felt the need to leave Carson City for Las Vegas. His wife, Caroline, and the rest of his family have our deepest sympathy.
A fitting memorial to Jim Randolph's vision for WNCC would be a clock tower - the one he designed as a centerpiece for the campus, something to give it a presence in the community.
Randolph hoped someone would step forward with the $25,000 or so it would take to construct the tower. It was never part of the construction budget, never part of the necessities to educate students at WNCC. And Randolph certainly wouldn't have seen it as a monument to himself.
It would, however, serve as a reminder that sometimes it takes a little extra to make a difference.