Richard E. Rankin, Jr., Ph.D., a 1975 graduate of Gaston Day School (Gastonia, North Carolina) and its head since summer 2001, is the parent of one Gaston Day alumnus and two current students. Rankin is a Mt. Holly native who received his undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia and his doctorate in history from the UNC-Chapel Hill. Before becoming GDS head, he was assistant professor of history and vice president for institutional advancement at Queens University of Charlotte for thirteen years.
Rankin is an active community and church volunteer. He is past president of the Catawba Lands Conservancy, immediate past president and board member of the Gaston Literacy Council, board member of the Glenn Foundation, and an active ruling elder and Sunday school teacher at First Presbyterian, Gastonia. He is current board president of the North Carolina Independent School Athletic Association. Rankin is author of five non-fiction books on topics of state and local history and outdoor life. History, hunting, and conservation are among his passions. He is married to Sarah Park Rankin and is the father of Isaac and stepfather of Louisa and Emily. (From the site of John F. Blair, Publisher)