Spring is among the best times of the year at any college because almost everyday we get to celebrate students, athletes, scholars, service, honor recipients…all the way up to Commencement.  So it was with both pride and pleasure that I welcomed 400 of our academic elite at the recent Student Awards Banquet.  Here at CCBC we often say that our college is about nothing if not about “Student Success.”  And Success—with a capital S—is what we celebrated on that night, honoring students for leadership, fellowship, scholarship, service.

At CCBC, the words “Student Success” are not just a glib marketing phrase that we use to pander to an educational fad or to the “buying” public.  It is the first goal of our college’s Strategic Plan.  We believe that the only reason any of us has a job is because we have students to serve.  So to have 400 of those students (out of the 62,000 we serve) all in one place at one time…is a genuine treat.  These students are among our brightest and best, and they deserve all of the honors bestowed upon them.

CCBC is a huge institution with multiple campuses.  And while we gain the advantages that size has to offer, we work hard to retain the flavor, the personality and the traditions that make each of our campuses special.  As I looked at this audience—this event— which draws students from our sprawling college community—I recognized that this student celebration represents the strength of CCBC.

During the banquet, we highlighted the accomplishments and achievements of some pretty amazing people.  Each student represents the best CCBC has to offer in a particular area or field—from liberal arts to social sciences, to technology to leadership in campus clubs and organizations.  The qualities that permeate the room are intelligence, commitment to excellence, a strong work ethic and impressive strength of character.

We are delighted that these smart, savvy students have made CCBC a stop along the way on their own personal journeys to greatness.  Celebrating them every year on this one magical evening is a tribute paid to their resourcefulness, hard work, and talent.  As I looked out at all of the students dressed in their finery, eagerly awaiting the acknowledgement due to them, I could not help but smile.  The future looks bright in the hands of these wonderful students.  To have played a role in this transformation—even the tiny one that presidents get to play from afar—is a very satisfying feeling!