The purpose of this qualitative research was to explore the characteristics contributing to the success of student services leaders as community college presidents. By examining the professional experiences and identifying the professional competencies of former chief student services officers, vivid portraits of seven current community college presidents were presented. The California community colleges will find the research findings meaningful and insightful to appreciate what chief student services officers have to offer to a college presidency. Specific leadership theories were explored that are relevant to current successful college administration. Based on the composites of student services administrators detailed in the study, student services administrators are found to possess the leadership qualities of each theory. This assessment adds credibility to student services administrators receiving serious consideration for college presidencies. The success of the research study was due to the qualitative methodology based on grounded theory methods. By interviewing the college presidents who were former student services professionals, four general research questions generated valuable research data that encompassed the backgrounds, opportunities, challenges, experiences, and preparation necessary for the college presidency.