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This Month from Cliff

This Month from Cliff

November 20, 2014

Reflections on Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving is one of America’s oldest traditions and continues to be one of my favorite holidays.  I grew up in a large extended family, and there was always a crowd gathered around my mother’s table.  As Thanksgiving 2014 approaches, I find myself remembering last Thanksgiving when my wife and I hosted her siblings and their families for a weekend of wonderful food, fun, and fellowship.  Wylene is one of six children, and since the death of her older sister, Toni, and both her parents, she has claimed the responsibility of keeping the family close.  We all had a joyous holiday, and this year we look forward to a smaller gathering and more rest and relaxation.

These thoughts of family at Thanksgiving also inspire thoughts of my RCC family, which like any other family has its challenges and rewards.  The challenges are a part of the life of an institution such as ours, and the rewards are great.  They include an amazing student body, one that is diverse in every way imaginable and one that reflects many different communities.  These individual students who have chosen to attend RCC face personal challenges and crises, but they have a commitment to education and genuinely believe and expect that RCC will help them achieve their goals.

Within our RCC family, we also are rewarded with a very dedicated and hard-working faculty, both full-time and part-time.  Our faculty includes model teachers, scholars and artists who excel not only in the classroom but who also involve themselves in community activities, artistic pursuits and other noteworthy outside activities. These professionals meet students where they are and get them where they need to be in order to help students accomplish their goals.

Thankfully, RCC also boasts a committed and energetic staff that exerts every effort to make sure our campus stays clean, safe and attractive and continues to try to increase and expand support services to students.  We are all rewarded by their diligence.

This Thanksgiving, I am also reflecting with admiration on the RCC administrators in a wide variety of areas, administrators who are committed to being sure that students have the programs and services they need to succeed and that faculty have what they need to do the best job in their respective classrooms.  These professionals are also involved in local, state, and national organizations and contribute greatly to RCC’s being a national leader among community colleges.

At Rockland Community College, we also are rewarded with a dedicated and conscientious board of trustees who are distinguished citizens of Rockland County.  Because of their leadership, the college receives accolades from the community and great support from county and state government.

While the college does face challenges and will continue to do so as it seeks to offer the best to its students and community, it is because of our college community that we will continue to be a strong and vibrant institution, responding to and anticipating the needs of our students so that these students, the central part of our RCC family, can move forward whether in their work or in their pursuit of other educational opportunities.

At this Thanksgiving season, I reflect on our wonderful RCC family that brings so many rewards, and I am grateful and proud.


International students enjoy a Thanksgiving Luncheon in their honor.

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