County College Recognizes 35-Year Employees

9/21/02


By Kenneth L. Ender, Ph.D. President

John Adair, John Gibbs, Dr. Jack Lobb and Clair Miller were recently honored for 35 years service at Cumberland County College. When they began their careers at CCC in 1967, the college was only one year old. They were pioneers. Nobody knew back then what community colleges would become. In the early days, Cumberland enrolled about 350 students, mostly 18 years old, who planned to complete their first two years of college.

In 1967, the students and professors at CCC weren’t completely sure how successful this experiment of a college in the neighborhood would be. The students weren’t sure whether or not four-year colleges would even accept the credits they were earning at CCC.

But success occurred early. In 1968, CCC’s first graduating class members transferred to four-year colleges throughout New Jersey and America. Over the years - through the efforts of Adair, Gibbs, Lobb, Miller and many other talented and dedicated employees and students – Cumberland has earned a reputation for academic excellence.

Throughout the college’s 36-year history, employees and students have grown and adapted to changing times. In many instances, CCC’s employees led the way for progress in the county.

Humanities professor Adair, who is this year’s Professor of the Year, has served on the Educational Opportunity Fund (EOF) Advisory Board for 25 years. This state-funded program has provided opportunities for thousands of academically and financially disadvantaged students. Last May, 51 students in the EOF program received CCC degrees, proving that students with a thirst for learning will succeed if given the opportunity.

Humanities professor Gibbs, who has been elected by students as Professor of the Year three times, has served as humanities division chairman and adviser of the drama club, student newspaper and the social committee. He’s a person that students and employees, myself included, seek out for advice.

Dr. Lobb, who retired last June, held a variety of titles, most recently dean of instruction and academic affairs. The former math professor was the adviser of the Archery Club, which won a national title.

Business professor Miller has helped numerous students find jobs at area companies, and he’s been a steadfast mentor for students pursuing bachelor’s and master’s degrees. When the fine and performing arts center opened in 1995, Miller donated shrubs and an underground sprinkling system for the grounds.

The 35-year employees and others have shaped the college from a transfer institution with a few hundred students into what it has become – a true comprehensive community college with 2900 students that serves as a catalyst for enhancing the quality of life in Cumberland County.