Naugatuck Valley Community College Foundation hosted its first leadership breakfast, Supporting Education, on Wednesday, April 25, 2018. The program emceed by Charles Pagano, Jr., Fundraising Committee Chair, NVCC Foundation, featured a keynote address by George Bodenheimer, Current Acting Chair and Former President and Executive Chairman of ESPN, Author, “Every Town is a Sports Town: Business Leadership at ESPN, from the Mailroom to the Boardroom.”
Bodenheimer recalled his career at ESPN from the mailroom to the boardroom, citing leadership skills that made the difference in the process. “Leaders are people who care; they know what matters to their people.” He drew a parallel between the culture of NVCC and ESPN based on the themes of service, community, and leadership that cares.
William Burgess, Chairman, NVCC Foundation opened the program, “Connecticut’s community colleges serve as strategic pillars in response to the challenges of a sustained shift in statewide student and faculty demographics and the need for a more inclusive teaching and learning environment. Connecticut’s economic recovery and sustainable growth will absolutely depend on employers being able to access greater numbers of technically skilled and job-ready students, sourced largely from our community colleges.
It is mission critical that Connecticut’s legislative leaders fairly balance funding for the state’s higher education system. The compelling value proposition lies in recognizing that the inclusive and nurturing teaching and learning environment consistently delivered by community colleges will translate to transformative economic development and growth outcomes.”
The College President, Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Ph.D., delivered the official welcome, “Thank you for coming to support our students and break bread with us. The leadership of our NVCC Foundation, with the support of our Regional Advisory Council, faculty, staff and students is outstanding. Our good work to ensure student success never ends. This morning’s event encourages us to continue to strive to do even more for our students.”
NVCC alumna, Chelsea Clow, received two A.S. degrees while matriculating at NVCC, one in General Studies in 2015 and the second in Physical Therapist Assistant in 2017 and generously shared the story of her experience at NVCC. A student at NVCC since the summer of 2013, she worked first as a student worker and then an Educational Assistant in the biology department, later as a Staff Writer, Managing Editor and Editor-in-Chief of NVCC's The Tamarack. She served as a student representative for the Student Government Association and the Curriculum and Educational Affairs Committee. She was a member of Phi Theta Kappa, and the prestigious NVCC President's Circle in 2014. Clow shared her story with enthusiasm. “My path at NVCC has been an incredible one. I truly realized my potential as well as abilities I did not know I had. When I first attended NVCC I was 26, I had just finished a nine year career as a professional ballet dancer and I was looking to pursue a second career in physical therapy. I had high expectations for my education at NVCC and my experience exceeded those expectations. I received so much more than an education from Naugatuck Valley Community College.”
The Honorable Neil M. O’Leary, Mayor, City of Waterbury offered brief remarks about his experience at NVCC where he serves as Chairman of the Regional Advisory Board. O’Leary introduced the keynote speaker, George Bodenheimer. Closing remarks from Angela Chapman, Associate Dean of Development thanked the audience and NVCC Colleagues for their support, and reminded them why this event is important. “This event today supports our students, who turn to us for help. It is through the generosity donors and community partners like you that we can respond to their greatest needs. The proceeds from today’s event support the educational needs of NVCC students, including scholarships, emergency services, and the NVCC Student Food Pantry.”