Weekly Update – May 9, 2010

on May 9, 2010 in Weekly Update

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mothers at San Jacinto College!!  I hope each of you enjoyed a day of fun, relaxation, or a combination of both.

One of the great features of San Jacinto College is all the activities and functions that are available on a regular basis, and this week has been jam packed.  I was fortunate enough to attend the Spring Choral Concert at North Campus, swing into the field day for the Emergency Medical Technology Department at the Central Campus, and celebrate the graduation ceremony with the South Campus.  Additionally, on Saturday morning, I welcomed 150 7th and 8th grade young women for a careers conference focused on exploring opportunities in the world of science, technology, engineering, and math. The conference was sponsored by the American Association of University Women and the Society of Women Engineers, with support from numerous San Jacinto College employees and the San Jacinto College Foundation providing lunch and contributing to the gift bags.

Speaking of the San Jacinto College Foundation, we had a couple of busy days with a Donor Celebration on Thursday morning at the South Campus. The guests met several of our student scholarship recipients, and they heard firsthand how the Foundation’s work is changing lives and encouraging success. Additionally, Constable Bill Bailey provided an inspirational address to the audience. He highlighted a column by Erma Bombeck entitled “A World without Volunteers”; such a world would be dark, sickly, and lacking in love.  He also contrasted being a “go getter,” which has brought him money, with being a “go giver,” which has brought him true wealth.  His closing comments were:

Your work here is essential to the future of our beloved Texas. You are toiling in rich fields of hope and young dreams. We do not know the potential that lies locked in the youth that we serve. Your unselfish service will give to them the keys for their bright tomorrow.

Constable Bailey directed these comments to the work of the Foundation and its supporters. To each employee who has supported the Foundation during this past year through your volunteerism and your financial support, I thank you. The work of the Foundation would not be possible without your help and your belief in our mission.

But as I reflect on these words, it is clear that they also apply to the work that each of you do here every day at San Jacinto College. Your role in assisting our students achieve their goals is critical to the success of our communities, region, State, and nation. Thank you!

As a refresher, the San Jacinto College Foundation was founded in 1996 as a separate 501-c-3 organization, with its purpose to support the educational mission of San Jacinto College.  The Foundation has a separate Board of Directors consisting of local leaders and friends of the College. The common passion of each member of the Board is the commitment to the work that we do at San Jacinto College. The Foundation manages the distribution of over $1 million in scholarships on an annual basis. It also awards over $80,000 annually in Student Success Initiatives (formerly known as Innovative Initiatives) to faculty, staff, and administrators. 

On Friday, Brad Hance and Wayne Webb, the current and past chairmen of the Foundation Board attended a workshop with Susan Arscott, Executive Vice President of the Foundation; Nancy Thacker, Assistant Director of the Foundation; and me, to begin formulating strategies on how the Foundation can best support the College and our students. We discussed ways that the Foundation can increase capacity, effectiveness, and efficiencies. Our work was guided by the four strategic goals developed by the college’s Board of Trustees (student success, P-16 pipeline, workforce and economic development, and our people). We also reviewed the recommendations and comments from the Planning Council and feedback from the Strategic Leadership Team. During June, the Foundation Board will hold a retreat in order to begin developing its strategic fundraising plan. The goal is to gather input and then align the Foundation’s fundraising plan with the college’s strategic plan. I will provide more information following our next level of work.

Good luck in wrapping up this busy finals week and preparing for the remaining festivities and graduations for the semester!



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