May is a busy month at CCBC. It marks the end of the academic year but also serves as a time to celebrate: students, of course, scholars, athletes and leaders, but also our faculty and staff, not just for years of service—for putting in time—but for the real achievement. To that end, I recently hosted CCBC’s Emeritus Induction Ceremony where we celebrated and thanked a group of special people who spent their careers working to ensure the success of others.
The professionals we celebrated are among the many who have ensured that for the past 62 years CCBC has held a preeminent place in the hearts and minds of our communities. During that time, we have educated hundreds of thousands of nurses, teachers, welders, engineers, apartment maintenance technicians, accountants, dancers and social workers. What is there not to love about a lifetime career spent doing that!
Because of committed faculty—like those gathered at the Emeritus Induction Ceremony—CCBC has grown into a powerhouse in our region and our state and, believe it or not, in our nation. Due to a confluence of talent, vision, and sheer grit shown at every level, CCBC is now recognized as one of the top 100 community colleges in the country, one of the most innovative and influential of America’s 1,100 community colleges. We are at the top of our game!
Our students are sought after by employers all over our region; our graduates courted by universities such as Yale, Cornell, College Park; and our initiatives are replicated in colleges across the country. We are in the midst of an aggressive program of capital renewal, now topping $350 million, creating the cutting edge facilities and equipment to support the cutting edge curriculum needed to educate 21st century students for 21st century jobs.
CCBC has emerged from our founding years when a tribe of young, long-haired faculty in bell bottoms and granny dresses set about creating a new form of higher education for Baltimore County with the metaphoric equivalent of duct tape, bobby pins, and chewing gum. Our college has matured into the only sector of higher education in our region that can make a difference for families confronting the cost of college, the size of student debt, and access to the middle class. The magic of our open door mission makes us the most flexible, the most resilient, and the most effective at doing this. If you work at a community college and you love that mission, you stay; if you don’t, you are gone in less than three years. It takes a certain kind of person to be a community college professional. The work is hard! Few of us end up driving Lamborghinis; but the rewards are great. It is that innate satisfaction that keeps community college faculty and staff coming back to work day after day, year after year.
So with great pride on that evening we honored those who have served the college and its students. Each of these dedicated professionals exhibited the energy, spirit, creativity, talent and passion for student success for more than 20 years. At CCBC, we know that our strength lies in our people…and we never lose sight of that. It is the people, not the buildings or athletic fields or budgets, that make a community college like CCBC the great place that is.