September, 2016: All-College Meeting | Naugatuck Valley Community College > About NVCC > NVCC Going Strong > President’s message > President’s remarks | Naugatuck Valley Community College
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September, 2016: All-College Meeting

 

Good morning, we honor this morning the memory of Angelo Romano, a very talented artist whose generosity will bring life to the Leever Atrium for many years to come.  Angelo’s NVCC collection celebrates our human diversity-Native American traditions and myths, episodes from Cervantes’s immortal novel Don Quixote as well as honors the memory of some of our fallen heroes of 9/11.

    

It is good to be with you this morning, on a day filled with promise and celebrations, my dear colleagues, students and friends of Naugatuck Valley Community College, distinguished guests, in particular, our speaker Dr. Peter Jacoby, NVCC Capital Campaign Champion to be introduced in a little bit.  Let me just say how grateful we are for his leadership in this regard. Wait until you hear what he has to share with us.  You will also hear from colleagues about a number of other efforts on campus to support the Capital Campaign. I know there are annual contributions we all make.  This campaign is unique.  The first one in many years.  This is a one- time only opportunity to be a part of this collective effort, to be replicated in another 5-7 years when we get our new Math and Science building. 

       

Dear friends, It is a joy to come together to welcome another academic year.  This morning our community partners have joined our NVCC family to receive, discuss and celebrate our progress and projects for the Capital Campaign in support of Founders Hall Center for Health Sciences, the Final Report of our Toward a Splendid College, NVCC Strategic Plan 2013-2016 and to present highlights of Toward a Splendid College, NVCC Strategic Plan 2016-2026, to welcome new colleagues and to hear updates on the significant work taking place on our two beautiful NVCC Campuses.  There are so many to thank for the work recorded, the content of our ten year plan and the beauty of the presentation of our achievements, goals and aspirations. Mil gracias de todo corazón.

      

We can now say two beautiful campuses as we celebrate full occupancy of our new home at 190 Main Street in Danbury.  Please mark your calendars for the official ribbon cutting scheduled for Friday, October 14 at 2 p.m.  If you cannot join us that day because of work or classroom obligations, I know that Antonio and his staff will be very happy to welcome your visit at some mutually convenient time in the future.

     

Our students have been wonderful:  What about our Student Government Association leaders who began this academic year with a number of very exciting activities designed to celebrate our beautiful constitution and to raise awareness about the need to register to vote.  Outstanding!

 

I am delighted to have with us a very talented artist Felipe Karam, our third Fulbright Scholar who will be introduced later on in the program.  Felipe and our own Lindsay Hollister provided the lovely music you hear this morning during our welcome reception.  Mil gracias.  Muito obrigada.  For the beauty of this morning and for every day kindness, I am indebted to Beth Monchun, one of our most ardent student advocates, Jessica Hernandez and Yamia Torpey-Gibson (Yemayá, our own goddess of the water) in my office and the support of Susan Chase in the Provost’s Office.

 

Thank you all for being here with us today. It is a moment to reflect on the generous contributions of so many and on the promise that tomorrow brings. Our work is being noticed.  The U.S. Department of Education has announced that Naugatuck Valley Community College is one of 25 community colleges identified as being most effective with educating low-income students.  This analysis was based on our students’ employment and ability to pay off any student loans within three years after graduation.  The magnitude of this achievement is understood when we consider that there are more than 1,300 community colleges in the U.S.    The NVCC family celebrates today the fact that with all of our support Naugatuck Valley Community College continues to honor and to work to make a reality our vision of a just, humane and inclusive society.  When I think of the multiple kindnesses our students receive each and every day, and the generous outreach by so many of you during moments of crisis, I am overcome with the sense of gratitude and purpose.  This recognition is all yours, my dear colleagues.

 

The new academic year brings with it the promise of productive and rich teaching and learning experiences.  I am very grateful to so many colleagues on campus, in particular, the leadership that has brought so many facilities improvement projects to significant progress and completion-the campus improvement project and Founders Hall renovations, the successful move to new beautiful facilities in Danbury, the completion of a Facilities Master Plan, the Final Report on our 2013-2016 strategic plan, indicating significant progress and the completion of a new strategic plan created in consultation with so many members of our NVCC family, both on campus and with our community partners, the outstanding results of our students taking their licensure exams, placing in good paying jobs and the highest yet number of awards granted this past May at graduation:  1371.  Our students have benefitted from the generosity of so many: faculty, staff, administration, community partners.   Thank you so very much for your joyful and intelligent support.

 

As you will hear today from all of our gifted presenters, there is still rich and rewarding work ahead of us but first let us take a few moments to celebrate the harvest we have gathered in our Final Report for Strategic Plan 2013-2016.  Please turn to the inside of the back cover page, and join me in reading Bettye T. Spinner’s beautiful poem,

 

“Harvest Home”

 

In the ideal

it is a harvesting,

this work we do-

a reaping of crops grown

from ancestral seeds,

a gathering of first fruit

from vines that trace their sources

   beyond geography

  beyond gender,

beyond the bleach

     and the blush

    and black of skin

and root themselves in watery grace,

in knowledge that nurtures us all.

In the ideal

our classrooms fill, like cornucopia,

overflowing with the bounty of our

grange.

Life stories, heaped among the texts,

spill into hallways of our schools,

crowd the sidewalks or the subways

or ride yellow buses home,

altering the form of knowing,

changing heads,

       changing hearts,

      changing history,

bringing harvest

home.

 

Another academic year begins, another opportunity is before us to continue to build bridges to a better future for our students, for ourselves and for the communities we serve.  We all deserve nothing less.  May God bless everyone.  Bendiciones.

 

Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Ph.D.

President

 

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