October 03, 2012
It's official! Dr. Mark Erickson was given the stamp of approval by the NCC Monroe community at a celebration at the Monroe Campus on October 3. Students, faculty and staff gathered together to not only welcome the College's new president but to commemorate 20 great years at the Monroe Campus as well as celebrate the 45th anniversary of Northampton Community College.
The program began with Student Governance officers Victor Rivera, treasurer, and Deana Deaza, secretary, welcoming Dr. Erickson before introducing Student Governance President Jose Valderrama, who appeared via video.
"Unfortunately, I am in class now. I could have skipped class, but I knew the president would be watching this," Valderrama joked before introducing a movie about the Monroe Campus. "It shows where we've been, where we are currently, and where we are going."
The film, made by the Film Society Club and Speech Communication Professor John Tindell, showed the transformation from blouse factory in 1992 to the current campus to the future home of NCC Monroe, which is on schedule to open in 2014.
Tawfiq Abdulaziz, Student Governance vice president, also pre-taped his remarks as he too had to be in class. "The people who inhabit the building are what makes the school our school," he said to introduce a photo slide show of students, faculty and staff throughout the years.
Assistant Professor of Mathematics Celisa Counterman reminisced about what the campus looked like 20 years ago when she had taken classes as an NCC student. The Tannersville native was the first member of her family to attend college. "I was not always sure I would be here," she related as she shared her struggles with work, family and school. "NCC allowed for me to discover who I was and what I wanted to be." As an employee, she continues to find fulfillment in the sense of belonging and community she finds at NCC Monroe. "We find the way to see the potential in students, faculty and staff and enable it to come forth. This milestone is as much yours as it is any of ours. Congratulations all."
Rivera and Deaza than presented Dr. Erickson with several gifts, including a framed NCC Monroe t-shirt with a photo of the campus to hang in his office, and another shirt for wearing. Dr. Erickson immediately removed his jacket and put on the shirt to the applause of the audience. Student Governance also presented him with an NCC Monroe Hard Hat. "We know you'll be going to visit the site and we don't want you to get injured," Rivera said.
The Hispanic Culture Club presented the president with a painting from a local artist. "The painting symbolizes growth and prosperity," David Lopez, the club treasurer, said. "Come and grow and prosper with us."
"Thanks for your warm welcome," a beaming - and newly attired - Dr. Erickson told the audience. "You are the fun campus!" The last statement was received with cheers and some even gave it a standing ovation.
Before the cake was served, Alex Camaerei of the Christian Fellowship Club gave a non-denominational dedication.
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