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Community College of Philadelphia 2015 Retirees Reception

More than 100 well-wishers gathered at the Sandra E. Klein Cube on May 5 to toast and honor 42 retiring faculty and staff members during the 2015 farewell program for retirees.

The audience—which included family, faculty, staff and Foundation board members—noshed on fresh fruit salad, brownies and cookies, and sipped iced tea and lemonade, as vice presidents Judith Gay, Jacob Eapen and Samuel Hirsch, and several staff directors shared stories and heartfelt memories about the many contributions the retirees have made to the College over the past decades.

This year’s retirees hail from a wide range of departments on the Main Campus and the West Regional Center, including Building Maintenance, Diagnostic Medical Imaging, Counseling, Academic Advising, English, Nursing, Biology, and the Controller’s Office. Several of this year’s retirees began their career at the College soon after the College opened its doors to Philadelphia students nearly 50 years ago. They included:

  • Robert Rosenberg, associate professor of Psychology, who began working at the College in 1967. A senior member of the Psychology Department, Rosenberg is widely regarded by students over the years for being approachable and welcoming and was described by Dr. Judith Gay as “an extraordinary citizen of the College.” At the event, he told the audience, “I never intended to retire. I thought the retirement letter was sent by Publishers Clearinghouse. My wife forced me to sign it. The finest people I ever met so far in my lifetime were the ones I met here at Community College of Philadelphia.”
  • Sonia Ochoch, associate professor of Psychology, who is retiring this year after 49 years of service to the College. Dr. Gay lauded Ochoch for being instrumental in developing the curriculum at the College from its early years, and for her pioneering role in teaching night and online classes in psychology. Said Ochoch, “The most interesting thing is I run into students everywhere. They say, ‘Dr. Ochroch, do you remember me?’”
  • Bettie Davis, assistant professor of Marketing and Management, who retires in December after 48 years of service to the College. Davis is a member of the inaugural graduating class of 1967 at the College, where she earned an associate’s degree in Executive Secretary Science before earning a bachelor’s degree at Drexel University and a master’s degree at the University of Scranton. One of the last retirees honored at the celebration, Davis looked out at the packed crowd and said, “Comparing this year’s graduating class to my class, we had 167 students. Now we have 2,000. I’ve seen this place grow. It’s wonderful.”

A college “roll call” gave students the chance to represent their future plans. Groups of students stood and proudly raised signs bearing the name of their future school when it was announced on stage. Many students rose for Penn State University and for the Community College of Philadelphia.

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship is the largest private scholarship for students transferring from two-year community colleges to four-year baccalaureate institutions in the country. The Cooke Foundation provides up to $40,000 a year for up to three years and is a gateway to the Cooke Foundation’s graduate scholarship program and its new Oxford and Cambridge scholarships.

The Community College is a hugely important institution for Philadelphia. The city desperately needs to upgrade the skills of its workforce, both to appeal to employers and to give low and moderate income residents a chance to climb the economic ladder.

On the positive side, the school's African American and Asian students graduate at higher rates than their counterparts at peer schools, and the college graduated a record 1,993 students in 2013-14, up from 1,602 in 2007-08, the report found.

A new report says Community College of Philadelphia has returned mixed results when it comes to helping students earn degrees and job skills.

10KSB has partnered with the Community College of Philadelphia to offer a rigorous program: “Participants can expect one-on-one business coaching, legal and financial clinics, workshops, and a dynamic network of peers and experts. Small business owners also will learn to identify and evaluate opportunities, embrace practices that increase business growth, and ultimately develop a comprehensive growth plan for their businesses.”

A graduate of Northern Kentucky University, Gwynn recently completed his Bachelor's Degree in business administration.  He also earned an Associates' Degree in business administration from the Community College of Philadelphia.

Sionie King, a senior at Mastery’s Lenfest campus in Old City, will be enrolled in an honors program at the Community College of Philadelphia. She selected the school in hopes of mitigating debt before transferring to a four-year college.

Employees Luncheon

Forty-eight classified/confidential employees reached 5-40 year milestones of service to the College. That adds up to a combined total of 915 years.

That individual commitment and collective service took center stage on Wednesday, May 6 when the College community came together for the 31st annual Classified/Confidential Employees Luncheon at The Great Hall.

Staff gathered to congratulate their colleagues for their long-serving commitment to the College at the end-of-year celebration. Old school jams filled the Great Hall as employees took photos, relaxed and caught up with familiar faces.

“Today is a very special day to recognize and congratulate those who grease the wheels and make things happen around here,” said Dr. Generals, President of the College. “Thank you all for your dedication and commitment to Community College of Philadelphia for the wonderful job that you do.”

Dr. Generals, who was installed as the sixth president of the College at a celebratory inauguration ceremony and reception just days before the luncheon, expressed his thanks to the audience for the warm wishes of support he has received since the ceremony. “I really look forward to hundreds—well, not hundreds—dozens of years of working with you,” he added, to the laughter of the audience.

To cap off the celebration, the College announced its Employee of the Year, Debra Carr, a longtime administrative associate for the Registrar’s Office. Carr also received an award at the ceremony for her 30 years of service to the College.

“Debbie Carr is reliable and intentional about being a productive member of the unit,” said Dr. Samuel Hirsch, Vice President of Student Affairs. “Her experience and willingness to accept new and challenging tasks are valuable to the department. Her friendly smile and demeanor has a way of brightening up the day.”

A hard-working planning committee helped to organize this year’s luncheon, including Ruth Al-Ameen and Debbie Coley of Math, Science and Health Careers; Joyce Angelucci and Jennifer Ford of Library and Learning Resources; and Ida Swindle of the Office of Student Affairs.