Middlesex Community College – 40th Anniversary

Middlesex Community College – 40th Anniversary


[MUSIC] Middlesex Community College is
changing my life in different ways.>>Generally, I always doubted myself. Can I really go to college? Am I smart enough to go to college? It’s given me a sense of pride and
made me feel better about myself, feel like I can go to school and
I can be a good student.>>When I first came
here I was really shy. And I didn’t know anyone and
I was so lost. Middlesex helped me grow so much.>>Working and going to school and
taking care of the kids, and it’s just hard on a single parent. But they’ve been so supportive. I couldn’t ask for more.>>Middlesex, honestly,
it gave me that confidence and that foundation and that stepping
stone that I needed to start.>>For 40 years, Middlesex Community
College has been helping students change direction, discover abilities,
and launch careers. But as with many of these students,
the path for Middlesex hasn’t always been easy.>>When we started, the entire college was
really one building in the VA Hospital.>>And
we also had classes at McLean Hospital. They had classes in Arlington HIgh School. So in fact, one of the professors
here one night had no facility and we had classes in our home. [MUSIC]>>The President was Dr. Jim Houlihan. He had a way of just
making things go along so smoothly, in times when most people didn’t
realize how difficult everything was. We came so
close with the economy in Massachusetts. He was that strong,
steady hand at the tilt. Then it came a point where
we needed an Evan Dobelle. He just did things that
we’re just you know, nobody could believe
that they could be done. We got a new campus,
we opened up the Lowell campus, and he started the wonderful
international program. Carol Collington and she was just the right person to
continue the work and continue to grow.>>She is the inspiration of this college. She inspires all her staff. And I think she motivates
all her employees.>>I’m always astounded with what they’ve
been able to accomplish in terms of just quantity of activity versus the small
number that are really the faculty and staff of Middlesex.>>I think we are the best
community college in Massachusetts. Bar none. And I think we’re tops in the nation.>>One reason Middlesex succeeds is
because it’s not afraid to be different. The entire approach to
teaching is different.>>I think we realize that our students
come from so many different walks of life, so many different unique situations, that you really have to pay attention to
the individual student and their needs. I think we provide a lot of opportunity
for the students to really let us know What is happening with them and
how can we help them to get through it.>>And how many other colleges embrace
a concept like service learning?>>Always make my
composition students go and work somewhere in the community and
then write about it. I think that helps my
students be better people and it helps the college to be more
connected to the community.>>Knowing the community, President Calwin
saw that Massachusetts biotech industry had a growing need for
trained technicians.>>She had the idea of what was coming
in biotechnology in Massachusetts. We are the oldest and
I would say state of the art program. SOP, SOP?>>Yes.
>>Been having students of all ages, all ethnicities,
different educational background.>>Wow. I know, it is.>>I had one lady who
was a school bus driver. I had a hair dresser. They all got their bachelors
from the U biomedical.>>To date, every graduate of
Professor Bladon’s program has been hired by the biotech industry. Today, more than 12,000 students
are enrolled in more than 80 degree and certificate granting programs
at Middlesex Community College. But opportunities for personal
growth aren’t limited to coursework. [MUSIC]>>I love Middlesex, the one thing my last semester here I tell
everybody I wish I got involved more.>>I joined the soccer team,
played, we were in the semi-finals. I got so many opportunities here.>>One of my next biggest decisions
was to join the student government, which had opened so
many doors and have created so many opportunities
>>It’s the community of students and when you get involved,
you get really close to people.>>So when I got here, I was just,
I’m gonna get involved, and when I made that decision, I had no idea
how involved I was really going to get.>>I found a community and
it’s not just with faculty. It’s with the staff and the students. You get to know students. You build up a kind of rapport.>>Middlesex is like a second home for me.>>And people will often say to me,
What makes the difference at Middlesex? And I really believe it’s
a partnership mentality that begins with the partnership the college
has with the Board of Trustees that allowed us to be
extremely entrepreneurial. And so all of that has really built
I think a culture of innovation and creativity at Middlesex. [MUSIC] We’re especially proud of the partnerships
that we’ve had with our public schools, when we moved into Lowell it was
decided that partnering with K-12 was the right thing to do. We’re also extremely proud of
the partnerships we have with business and industry. Our staff works very closely with
area businesses to provide training necessary for
the enhancement of their work force. We’ve gone beyond our own boundaries, and thinking about the communities that we
serve, and where our students come from. And with that came an emphasis with our
curriculum on international education, with programs in South Africa,
with programs in Ireland, with programs in Russia. This is something that community colleges
didn’t get involved in some 20 years ago. But, now, we have really built those
partnerships, so that we feel our students can go there and their students can come
here and have really worthwhile exchanges. We care deeply about our community. [MUSIC]
We care deeply about our students, our staff, and our businesses. I think only the best is ahead for
Middlesex. It’s been an honor for me to serve
as President for the last 21 years, and I really expect much,
much more from the college in the future.>>I love this school. I love what it stands for, and I love what it did to help me to
get to the place where I am today. It’s not about just going to school and
learning the ABCD’s, no it’s more than that. It’s getting to experience life,
it’s getting to work with others, it’s people seeing the best in you,
and supporting you and helping you achieve greatness. [MUSIC]

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