January 9, 2012 – Approximately 180 Dutchess Community College business and community leaders, donors and friends gathered Jan. 5 for the 19th Annual President’s Breakfast held on the College’s Poughkeepsie campus. The keynote address was given by Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro, a graduate of DCC’s Class of 2001.
DCC President Dr. D. David Conklin spoke about the College’s success in the face of challenging economic times, citing record enrollment numbers, an increase in the number of top high school students attending DCC and solid Foundation assets. He also gave an update on the College’s first residence hall, which will open for the fall 2012 semester. Housing applications will be available online at www.sunydutchess.edu/dorm on Jan. 17.
The addition of on-campus housing reflects “the evolution of community colleges,” said Conklin, noting that more than half of SUNY’s community colleges currently offer – or are in the process of building – residence halls.
He also cited national 2011 high school standardized test scores, which indicate that more than 25% of graduates were unprepared for college-level courses. He added that DCC has enhanced a number of academic resources, programs and services to meet the needs of underprepared students, and the offering of concurrent high school courses.
“Ensuring that today’s young people are strong in math and writing, in particular, is vitally important to their success and the strength of our national economy,” said Conklin.
Other highlights of Conklin’s remarks included the DCC Foundation’s presentation of 155 scholarships to students at the May 2011 honors convocation and the College’s distinction of offering the lowest tuition in the state ($2,900 per year) for the 12th year in a row. In addition, it was announced that Chuck Liscum, Mike McCormack and Raymond VanVoorhis, class of 1978 graduates and founders of the architectural design firm that bears their names, will be inducted into the DCC Alumni Hall of Fame at the DCC Foundation’s Annual Gala on March 24.
In one of his first public appearances since taking office, Molinaro spoke about how his DCC education contributed to his success in public service.
“This campus encourages and inspires people to be creative,” he said. “The classroom environment fostered by DCC’s faculty members is very conducive to debate and independent thought, and I’ve taken that experience with me into public life.”
He added that DCC has proven itself to be an asset to students and the county as a whole, playing a role in creating jobs and preparing students for transfer to four-year schools.
“The College provides an opportunity for any student interested in obtaining a quality higher education at a reasonable tuition,” said Molinaro. “This is a place that not only changes students’ lives, but our community as well.”
Molinaro recounted that when he was just 18 and decided to enter public service by running for a seat on the Village of Tivoli board of trustees, his mother offered some advice: “If you win, you’re going to Dutchess.” He said he’ll always appreciate that advice.
The President’s Breakfast was sponsored by TD Bank and is hosted by the Dutchess Community College Foundation, which raises funds for student scholarships and academic initiatives. The Foundation granted more than $300,000 in student scholarships last year.
For more information, call DCC Foundation Director Patricia Prunty at (845) 431-8402 .