President Ponders New Beginnings Early in the Morning

3/24/04


By Dr. Kenneth L. Ender, President

Spring always conjures up images of blooms, birth and beginnings. You can almost smell the sweetness of the earth and the fragrance of life beginning anew. On certain mornings in the spring, when it isn’t really cold but there is still a chill, life seems at its purest - raw, bold and so very real.

Warming up for a run on a morning such as this is one of my simplest, yet sweetest pleasures. And this morning was the first of what I hope will be many such spring mornings over the next couple of months. As the warm-up begins, my mind wanders to Cumberland County College and the community, and the new beginnings we just experienced in both.

In the community, we launched the final portion of our School Counts! endowment campaign last week with a new $100,000 gift from the Bill and Jo Milam family. This gift from our community of supporters brings new life into the last phase of the campaign. With 18 months to go, we need to raise a little more than $500,000 to fulfill the campaign’s goal of $2.6 million.

We are confident that the community will continue to respond and demonstrate that the attributes School Counts! reinforces in high school students - good attendance, quality grades, rigorous work and persistence - are valued and will be rewarded in our community. Cumberland County residents who earn four consecutive School Counts! certificates from participating high schools will be eligible for two-year scholarships at CCC. So School Counts! will make college a realistic goal for our county’s young people.

As the warm-up winds down, and with the workout about to start, my mind works back to the campus. New beginnings are everywhere. Spring has sprung construction projects throughout the campus. There’s a lot going on with the site development underway for the new Enrollment Services/Student Center and the Luciano Conference Center. Construction fencing surrounds the two projects, and signs assist pedestrians with the new traffic flow as the sites are being readied for the ground breaking ceremonies scheduled in April.

These projects will literally spring to life over the next couple of weeks. Steel will begin to rise from the ground, and the building forms will take shape. Throughout the spring season, the building process will tease us as we anticipate the opportunities the new facilities will bring to the campus and community. This is a wonderful time in the college’s history. When the construction is completed, students, employees and community members will be able to learn, teach and communicate better than ever.

Okay, enough. The workout must begin if I hope to spring into shape myself. Sammy, my faithful dog, lead the way…Let’s get started.