Happy spring to you all! The cooler days are behind us, and our campuses are bustling with activity. I hope that you join me in taking enormous pride in seeing the over 9,000 students walking across our campuses this semester and knowing the important role you play in preparing them for their next journey.
By now, you have hopefully heard that we received confirmation from the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) that the college was found in compliance with the 17 select standards of the Principles of Accreditation as a component of its Fifth-Year Interim Review. I am so proud that the committee requested no additional reporting, which is the strongest possible outcome for HCC’s continuing compliance and reflects the superior quality of our academic programs and the importance that we place on achieving positive student learning outcomes.
There are so many events taking place throughout our campuses each week – truly something for everyone. Tonight is the Presidential Showcase which is our largest fundraiser in support of scholarships and provides us with the opportunity to showcase the incredible talent of our students. Our Science Series and Business Leadership Seminars are ongoing, and there is always a fantastic musical or theater performance to enjoy. HCC once again hosted another successful Black, Brown and College Bound Conference and played witness to the dramatic impact that this event has on the lives of the students attending from across the country. Most importantly, these events help provide a well-rounded student experience that complements the outstanding preparation that they are receiving in the classroom.
Like many of you, graduation is my favorite event of the year. It is a celebration of the hard work of each of you and the fulfillment of our promise to our students. This year, we are honored to have U.S. Under Secretary of Education Dr. Martha J. Kanter serve as our commencement speaker. She is a former community college leader and has served as a strong advocate of our interests in Washington, D.C. We have over 4,200 students eligible for graduation this year alone, and we expect to have another record-breaking ceremony!
I look forward to seeing you around the college and at graduation in May.
-Dr. Ken Atwater