November 21, 2012
November is a time for saying thanks. This November, as always, members of Northampton Community College's Foundation Board hosted a special dinner to say thank you to donors whose generosity makes a difference in the lives of hundreds of Northampton students.
Speaking on behalf of those students, Tim Semonich who left home at 16 and floundered for several years before becoming the dynamic student leader he is today, described NCC as "an amazing place" where he has learned many life lessons, including the power of positive thinking and that everybody has value. As he prepares to graduate and to create a legacy that will be "more than dust in the wind," he paraphrased the College's student success motto when he promised, "I will dream it. I do believe it, and I promise you I will achieve it."
The chair of the Foundation Board, Bruce Palmer '77, NCC's president Dr. Mark Erickson and Vice President for Advancement Sherri Jones teamed up to recognize the following new members of NCC's giving societies:
Dr. Elizabeth T. & Mr. Tarek Bugaighis
Patrick M. White & Maureen A. O'Grady White
Adams Outdoor Advertising
Molewski Financial Partners/Michael & Diane Molewski
Paul & Judy Schuchman
The Air Products Foundation
Michael & Lynn Albarell
Charles M. & Joan Louise Hannig
Just Born, Inc.
The Weiler Family Foundation
The Chairman's Award, given to a member of the College staff outside of the Advancement Office whose efforts significantly advance the work of the Foundation, was presented to Dr. Matt Connell, dean of the Monroe Campus, for the key role he played in raising funds for the new campus that is scheduled to open in Monroe County in 2014. Palmer credited Connell's "tenacity, long-time dedication, support and passion for Northampton" with helping secure the local match needed for the project to move forward and then for helping the campaign committee and development staff raise $5 million in private funding within a span of one year, although "many said it couldn't be done in this economy."
Mike Albarell also received special recognition. As he retired after twelve years of service on the Foundation Board, he was awarded emeritus status, an honor given to only a few former board members.
In his closing remarks, Dr. Erickson reflected on his first four months as NCC's president, saying that he wished all the donors could "walk with him" in his job. He described receiving a letter from a 75-year old who said that being able to take classes at Northampton had changed his self-concept; hearing from a 40-year old student who told him that after caring for others, she was thrilled finally to have the chance to pursue her own dreams; and being literally chased by a young undergraduate who couldn't wait to tell him that he had been accepted to continue his education at Lehigh University.
"Northampton changes lives," Erickson said, observing that "as good as we are, we can get even better." Outlining a planning process that will soon identify five areas of strategic focus for the coming years, Erickson described NCC as a college on the move, noting that with the public funding crunch, "we need your support more than ever."
View more photos from this event on Flickr.
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