Welcome back to a new academic year at Union County College.
These Dickensian days have been both the best and the worst of times for the College and the community. We’ve experienced some tumultuous times in recent weeks—an earthquake, hurricane, flood, and most recently, a fire at our Plainfield Campus. At the same time, I have witnessed the triumph of our spirit over these difficult conditions. Leading the way are our students, faculty, and staff.
- The start of classes was delayed for two days out of respect for Cranford residents who endured significant property loss due to the aftereffects of Hurricane Irene.
- Students from the SGA, Honor Societies, Clubs, and Athletic Teams, led by College Life Administrators Tammy Smith and Rebecca Masteller went door to door in neighborhoods surrounding our Cranford Campus offering clean-up assistance to homeowners. I have never been prouder as your President.
- On September 6th, a reception was held in the Tomasulo Gallery for the first of four student exhibitions this academic year.
- The SGA held a ceremony commemorating the 10th Anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11th 2001. Detective Stephen Toy from the Cranford PD, symbolizing all first responders, was honored as a part of this ceremony.
- Union County College hosted Dr. Rosemary Nassif, Special Advisor to the Assistant Secretary of Education at our Annual Plenary session.
- On Saturday September 17th, at the request of Mayor Aschenbach, our students participated in the Cranford Broom Service clean up of the streets impacted by the flooding.
- Also on September 17th, nearly 100 faculty staff and students participated on the Union County Walkathon. We also had an engaging display at MusicFest featuring a variety of our Continuing Education courses, including Garage Band, Zumba, and Belly Dancing.
- With Dr. Lown and Campus Provosts Dr. Gaba and Dr. Farakish, we hosted an inaugural New Faculty Luncheon to kick off the New Faculty Orientation Program.
- Most recently, on September 26th, we hosted a very successful Town Hall Meeting at the Roy Smith Theater, moderated by Assemblyman Jon Bramnick, to assist Union County residents with FEMA and insurance problems resulting from the flooding. Over 100 local residents attended this event.
Then on Mon. Oct. 3 came the most spectacular event of all. About 1,000 students, faculty, and staff from all three campuses did our College proud as hosts for Senator Robert Menendez. The Senator visited our Cranford Campus in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. Senator Menendez was thoroughly impressed by the quality of our students and our employees. He entered our jam-packed Roy Smith Theater and gym to the cheers of capacity crowds. Afterward the Senator spoke, the College community celebrated in the Richel Commons by sampling Hispanic cuisine and dancing to the rhythmic beat of a Mariachi band.
As I enter my second academic year at Union County College, I am energized by the promise of progress, the challenge of change, and the opportunity to help make this world a better place—one student at a time. We have difficult work ahead. As we all know, progress takes hard work and change is difficult for everyone; however, I know that working together, and with your continued support of our mission, we will make Union County College all that it can and should be.
Thank you for your service to Union County College.