Cumberland County College celebrates inauguration of its sixth president

Approximately 500 state and local officials, delegates from other colleges, dignitaries from the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and members of the college community will witness the installation of Thomas A. Isekenegbe, Ph.D. as the sixth president of Cumberland County College, beginning 2 p.m. on Friday, October 15 in the theater of the Guaracini Arts Center.

The inauguration processional will include delegates of 25 colleges from throughout the country. Honored guest speakers include Dr. Uche Joy Ogwu, Nigerian Ambassador to the United Nations; High Chief Kennedy Izuagbe of the Iviukhua Progressive Union World-Wide; Senator Dr. Jeff Van Drew; Freeholder Director Louis Magazzu; Dr. Lawrence Nespoli, president of the New Jersey Council of County Colleges, and other officials. Pastor Evelyn Booze of New Bethel AME Church will deliver the invocation and benediction.

During the investiture, Dr. Isekenegbe will be presented with the presidential medallion, an academic symbol representing the authority of the presidency. At this milestone event, Dr. Isekenegbe will introduce his vision for the future of the college and the theme of his term as president: Engage, Inspire, Transform.

Dr. Isekenegbe holds a Ph.D. and Ed.S. in curriculum and instruction from Indiana State University. He has held senior administrative positions at Hudson County Community College, Coastal Carolina University and Sussex County Community College.

Since arriving at Cumberland County College in 2002 to serve as Vice President of Academic Affairs and Enrollment Services, Dr. Isekenegbe has provided leadership for increasing the college’s enrollment, developing new academic programs, revising courses for seamless transfer to four-year universities, and developing learning communities that lead to student success. He created the Vice President Fellows Mentoring Program for minority students, and played a leadership role in reaching partnerships for baccalaureate degree completion programs with several universities.

“We must ensure that the college continues to offer reasonably priced, quality higher education that’s close to home,” said Dr. Isekenegbe. “This is so important because educated residents dramatically enhance economic development by providing essential professional services and community leadership.”

Former Cumberland County College presidents include: Dr. William Sample, 1965-1975; Dr. John Humes, 1976; Dr. Philip Phelon, 1976-1989; Dr. Roland Chapdelaine, 1989-1997; and Dr. Kenneth Ender, 1998-2009.