One of the finest moments for every college is the first day of the fall semester when bright, energetic faces fill classrooms before spilling out into hallways and campus quadrangles.  It is wonderful to feel the electricity of students back on our campuses again.  Even though we are not yet fully out of the darkness of the pandemic, we start this fall with renewed hope and commitment to ensuring that all of our students can access the opportunity implicit in our mission.

Last year the theme that launched our fall semester was “Rising from the Ashes:  A Story of Resilience and Creativity,” and “rise” we did.  When almost every other two and four year college closed its doors to all but remote course work, CCBC stayed fully open.  Ultimately, we served roughly 8,000 students in on-site classes, students who lacked technology or the skill to use it; students who had no access to Wi-Fi, or lacked a home environment suited to study.  Largely low income and minority, these students needed classes on campus, so we built the safety protocols and remained fully open.  This is what it means to live your equity commitment and not just talk about it.  In the end, we did a lot of things right last year and, admittedly, did some things wrong.  However, we proved the mettle of our college by staying squarely focused on our mission of access and success for every student who wanted to study and learn at CCBC.

This year as we enter September, we have framed a new message, more positive and upbeat:  Re-think new beginnings:  Re-envision new opportunities:  Reaffirm our commitment to student success.  This theme is suited to the college we are today.  Almost like a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis, we are emerging from the darkness of the pandemic into some new bright space.  We don’t know yet where we will land, but we have a pretty good idea that a combination of bold vision and shared values will get us through this year just as it did the last.   We know where we have been and understand where we must go.

As we step into the future, this new theme of Rethink, Re-envision, and Reaffirm becomes our compass, a new way forward no matter what we find when we get there.  We have already proven ourselves to be resilient, resourceful and ready to overcome any challenge, especially when it comes to providing outstanding learning experiences for our students.

Have a safe and healthy semester.