President, new students participate in first-time experiences this fall
More than 4,000 students registered for fall semester courses at Cumberland County College, and many of these students are freshmen. They are experiencing the freedoms and responsibilities of college life for the first time.
I feel a bond with the new CCC students because I will also participate in a first-time experience this fall. A three-day Presidential Inauguration Ceremony will be held on campus in a few weeks. The students will host inaugural events Oct. 14. The Presidents Installation Ceremony will be held Oct. 15 at 2 p.m. in the Frank Guaracini Jr. Fine and Performing Arts Center. And the Presidents Inaugural Ball will be held Oct. 16 at 6:30 p.m. in the gym.
Inaugurations are held within a year after a new president has been hired. At CCC, this milestone event is a chance for us to reflect on the colleges past, assess the present and look ahead to the future. Its called the Presidents Inauguration, but it could be called the Cumberland County College Inauguration, because this is a celebration of the colleges rich 44-year history and a commitment to our next chapter of providing quality higher education for residents.
The colleges initial students and employees were pioneers who dealt with a host of inconveniences. But there was an air of excitement on Cumberlands incomplete campus when it opened more than four decades ago. A neighborhood college offered quality education at a reasonable cost. Since the college opened, more than 13,000 students have graduated, with countless others making use of the colleges resources as stepping stones to brighter futures.
Cumberland is truly a community college. Sixty-eight dedicated men and women have served on the colleges board of trustees since CCC was the first community college in New Jersey to open its own campus on Oct. 17, 1966. Thats why we are dedicating a new fountain at the campus main entrance near the student center as the Trustees Fountain, in memory of William F. Milam, a former trustees chairman. The fountain will be dedicated and turned on at a ceremony this Thursday at 11 a.m.
From CCCs courageous beginning to our proud present, residents have stepped forward to offer their time and expertise to lead the college on the path to success. We have to continue this proud tradition and strive to provide even more opportunities for our students to succeed, since educated people provide professional services and leadership for our community. The theme of my presidency is Engage, Inspire and Transform, which applies to students and the community. I will discuss this theme and how it applies to my vision for CCCs future at the Presidential Installation.
Its certainly humbling to be the focal point of this celebration by the college and community. CCC employees, students and residents are working hard to plan the events. Colleagues and family members will be traveling here from throughout America and the world. Im excited and a little nervous, just like some of our freshmen students. But Im extremely proud, and I truly believe that the best days are yet to come for our college and community.