Time to celebrate this joyous season


In this joyous season, I must mention that I am honored and humbled to be selected as president of Cumberland County College. I appreciate so much the support and confidence I have received from the CCC Board of Trustees, college employees, students and the community.

I will continue to work with our talented and dedicated professors and staff to provide even more opportunities for students to succeed. With the ongoing support of our community, I sincerely believe that Cumberland County College will continue as one of the finest community colleges in New Jersey.

I’m proud and impressed with way our busy employees, students and area residents take the time to help others with acts of kindness in this holiday season and throughout the year. Residents are donating their money and time to charitable organizations in the county.

More than 65 CCC employees donated $6,297 to United Way during an on-campus campaign coordinated by counselor Linda Slomin. Similar campaigns are being conducted throughout the community.

Two weeks ago, the eighth annual Celebration of Lights was held at CCC. College employees teamed up with their colleagues at Vineland’s Sabater and Petway elementary schools, Millville’s R.D. Wood School, and Bridgeton’s Broad Street and Quarter Mile Lane schools to assure that the last week of the year would have pleasant memories for a group of needy kids.

The children sang carols, learned about the holidays and enjoyed the special treats. And thanks to the generosity of CCC students, faculty and staff, all of the children received gifts from Santa.

The children’s eyes said it all. To these students, some who are homeless or in shelters, the gifts meant warmth, esteem, respect and joy. Each child was special. Every child was loved.

As CCC’s semester was ending, the Northeast was hit with one of the most severe snow storms ever recorded in December. Once again, the people in our community met the challenge and bonded together. On campus, our maintenance crew worked around the clock to clear the snow, enabling the college to remain open except for two days.

And there was plowing throughout the county. Many residents made sure their neighbors’ walkways were shoveled, particularly if they were senior citizens.

I’ve discovered that the people who live here are hard-working, compassionate, innovative and kind. Our students prove every year that they are willing to hurdle many obstacles on their path to success.

I’m impressed every day by the miracles of learning that occur on our campus. That’s why I am so optimistic concerning the college’s and the community’s futures, which are intertwined.

Every year at this time, I visit my parents and other family members in Nigeria. And I always enjoy telling them inspiring stories about the remarkable people who live in Cumberland County, New Jersey.

I certainly wish all of you a prosperous and healthy 2010, filled with educational and professional accomplishments as well as personal fulfillment.