Welcome to the fall 2016 semester! This is a special year for Cumberland County College. This year, we turn 50 years old. For half a century, the College has been preparing students for the first two years of their undergraduate degrees. We are a college for the financially savvy students who understand that, in the knowledge-driven economy of New Jersey, a Master’s degree is needed to be solidly middle-class. Hence, our students start at Cumberland County College and transfer to any public or private school in New Jersey, or elsewhere in the country, to complete their Bachelor’s degree while minimizing their debt.
As a parent, I would prefer holding on to the savings to help my children purchase their first home or purchase their first stocks. I want to help them build wealth. Our Shirlee and Bernard Brown University Center also offers students the opportunity to finish their BA/BS and Master’s degrees through Montclair State University, Wilmington University, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Franklin University and Seton Hall University without ever leaving campus or Cumberland County. Cumberland County College offers pathways to the middle class.
As I am new to the region, I spent the summer and the current fall season getting to know South Jersey and Cumberland County. I have attended our summer festivals, visited farms, nurseries, our cultural and arts centers, our scenic coastal regions and preserved wetlands, our once-prominent homes and neighborhoods, and the sites of once-booming industries. I have also met with community leaders, everyday citizens, and immigrants from Mexico and Central America hoping to achieve the American Dream in Cumberland County—much like their Italian, Jewish and Irish predecessors did generations ago. I have also enjoyed the local fare.
In all, I see Cumberland County as a region full of promise and possibilities. I am delighted to lead a college that is one of many leading institutions working to advance the county. My administration is prioritizing the community aspect of our mission as a community college. Whether our students are looking to take a winter or summer course while attending another university, or starting fresh at our college after high school, or returning after a delay or military service or just looking for training to help them advance their career, Cumberland County College is deepening its commitment to service and excellence to the community for another 50 years.
I encourage readers to become reacquainted with Cumberland County College. Come play tennis on our courts, enjoy lunch on our beautiful campus, take in a college athletic or Little League game, hold a training or meeting at our George Luciano Conference Center, or see a show at our Frank Guaracini Jr. Fine and Performing Arts Center. If you are retired or are looking to give back, volunteer at the college. You can email us at Cumberland50@cccnj.edu
Lastly, follow the college and follow me on social media. We are hip and modern. We embrace tradition while innovating for the expected and rapid changes of the 21st century. Rediscover Cumberland County College!
Previously published in The Daily Journal on October 3, 2016.