May 8, 2015 – Pamela Edington, Ed.D., who assumed the presidency of Dutchess Community College in August 2014, was inaugurated at a formal ceremony on campus this afternoon. Representing the State University of New York (SUNY) were H. Carl McCall, chair of the SUNY Board of Trustees, Johanna Duncan-Poitier, senior vice chancellor for community colleges and the education pipeline. Also in attendance were officials from other colleges, Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro, members of the DCC Board of Trustees and DCC Foundation Board of Directors, community members and DCC faculty, staff and students.
The program featured speakers representing various campus and community constituents, music by the DCC Jazz Ensemble and the investiture, or formal bestowing of presidential powers, by SUNY.
In Dr. Edington’s remarks she paid tribute to her four predecessors and their legacy of excellence, as well as to the College’s employees for their commitment to students. She gave several examples of outstanding student achievements and noted that, “It is the faculty and staff who are key to sustaining academic excellence student success.”
The president also focused on the College’s role in the community, asking guests to imagine how life in Dutchess County would be different had there not been forward-thinking leaders who advocated for the development of a community college almost 60 years ago.
“Community colleges are an exceptional investment, worthy of tax dollars, private philanthropy, and all manner of individual and community support,” she said. Noting that 38% of college-bound Dutchess County high school students attend DCC, more than any other single institution in the country, Dr. Edington noted, “The public financial investment in DCC is repaid in multiples by the engaged citizenship and economic productivity of our students, alumni and workforce. We transform the lives of individuals and this community.”
Dr. Edington also provided an overview of the College’s core values, established by the campus community recently during a refresh of the institution’s Vision, Mission and Goals. They are: Excellence, Access, Diversity, Collaboration and Accountability.
Throughout her comments, Dr. Edington spoke of the College’s commitment to expanding community partnerships and engaging students in service learning. “Ultimately, every DCC student will have multiple opportunities to apply what they are learning in our classrooms to the broader community,” she said. “Through service and applied learning, we will cultivate lifelong habits of civic engagement and volunteerism in our graduates.” Collaborating with community partners has long been a priority for Dr. Edington. In 2011, the Community College National Center for Community Engagement honored her as a “Beacon of Vision, Hope and Action” for her commitment to service-learning and civic engagement.
Dr. Edington came to DCC with nearly 30 years of experience in higher education. Prior to assuming the presidency, she served for nine years at Norwalk Community College (Norwalk, CT), first as Dean of Academic Affairs and then also as provost, serving as second in command to the president. Previously, she worked for 19 years at Middlesex Community College (Bedford/Lowell, MA), first as an Assistant Professor of Sociology, and then as Division Chair – and ultimately Dean – of Social Science and Human Services.
Edington holds an Ed.D. in Educational Policy, Research and Administration from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, an M.A. in Sociology from the University of Notre Dame and a B.A. in Sociology from the College of St. Benedict/St. John’s University, Collegeville, MN.