Message from Dr. Belinda S. Miles: Serving a greater purpose – December 7, 2018
December 7, 2018
This week, the nation paid tribute to its 41st President with testimonials highlighted by public service. Stories shared were both wide reaching and deeply personal. Tying them together was a connection to a greater purpose—ranging from honorable service during World War II to deep devotion to family and personal relationships. It is perhaps analogous to the ways that some of us come to Westchester Community College with many years of service and commitment to helping our students succeed and helping our communities flourish. Many of us feel genuine satisfaction when watching students receive their diplomas at commencement. We are aware of the profound impact on their lives their education has. We often hear it from alumni, who after recounting stories of launching a successful career, attending a four-year college, or earning an advanced degree, reflect on some of their best and most formidable experiences from their time at this college. This is our work, our public service. I really appreciate the dedication that you bring to Westchester Community College every day and every semester.
Today, I and a few of our colleagues had the opportunity to attend the inauguration of Dr. Thomas Bailey as the new president of Teachers College. As a two-time alumna of Teachers College, I was honored to give remarks on behalf of academia. Dr. Bailey is an example of a servant leader who has made it his life’s work to ask tough questions, confront data that reveals our weaknesses, and lead with the courage to create models and methods that dare to achieve results where others have failed or failed to try. We are indebted to Dr. Bailey for his many years of research and scholarship on community colleges, which has enabled the nation to improve policy and practice so that more students have the opportunity to succeed.
A number of Educational Opportunity Program students across the nation have been given an opportunity to attend former First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Becoming” book tour. Dr. Gwen Roundtree, director of our EOP program, announced that student Vanessa Jackson represented our college. Thanks to all of you who provide opportunities for our students to attend or be a part of something that they may never have considered possible.
With finals and other end of semester deadlines fast approaching, I hope to see you at the December 13 Completion Ceremony where we will acknowledge the achievements of students who are crossing the finish line.
Dr. Belinda S. Miles