The Cumberland Times-News Sat Apr 09, 2011, 11:23 PM EDT
MCHENRY — With pomp and circumstance, a new president was formally welcomed at Garrett College on Saturday.
The Garrett College faculty were joined by community members to welcome Richard L. MacLennan into their ranks. The theme of the event was Celebrating the College in the Community.
Honored guests at the inaugural celebration included MacLennan’s family, colleagues, local, county and state representatives.
MacLennan and speakers, in full academic regalia, were led into the gymnasium by a lone bagpiper. The song was composed by Gerald McGee, pipe major emeritus.
Following introductions, speakers shared their thoughts on MacLennan and and his plans for the college. The selection of the speakers demonstrated MacLennan’s determination to further develop Garrett College’s role in the community.
Nicole Christian, president and chief executive officer of the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce, said MacLennan recognizes the “college’s integral role in the future development of Garrett County. I would like to thank you for choosing Garrett County.”
Alumni, faculty and staff shared their belief that the college would remain focused on offering every student the best possible academic opportunities under his administration and leadership.
“Garrett College has helped thousands of students achieve their goals and I know we have the right leader to take us into the future,” said Jean Tressler, coordinator of operations, Continuing Education of Workforce Development.
Shantelle Spiker, student ambassador and vice president of Phi Theta Kappa, said the student body has come to appreciate MacLennan’s dedication to the students and his accessibility. She related anecdotes of MacLennan’s friendly demeanor and appreciation for the campus, relating an incident where she saw him picking up litter.
“You have brought a sense of security and positivity to the college. We have seen you are a good person and I belief it takes a good person to bring out the good in others.”
Donald MacLennan, the new president’s father, had the honor of introducing his son prior to the ceremony. The elder MacLennan related the many steps in his son’s career and said he is very proud of his son’s accomplishments.
Linda Sherbin, chairwoman of the Garrett College Board of Trustees, presented MacLennan with the presidential medallion, a symbol of the president’s responsibility of the welfare of the college. The Garrett College medallion is cast in gold and stone and depicts a scene of a lake with a mountain ridge in the background.
During his address, MacLennan reiterated his dedication to the college and its students, remarking that it is his desire to have a school that is student-centered.
“When I was going through the interview process, I saw that this institution is determined to meet the needs of students and that was just irresistible to me,” he said. “I am devoted to the community college mission of access and opportunity. I recognize that students are unique individuals with meaningful differences in their learning styles and abilities, attitudes toward learning and life, past educational experiences, culturally based values and interest and goals.”
MacLennan is an adult learner himself, attending college after serving in the U.S. Army and working in the plumbing industry. His own experiences have lent him a greater appreciation for the challenges facing traditional and non-traditional students and he plans to do everything possible to afford the best possible experience for all students at Garrett College.
Prior to accepting the position at Garrett College, MacLennan was the vice president of Student Services at Olympic College, a three-campus college in Kitsap County, Wash.
MacLennan was named president in July 2010, the 10th to serve Garrett College.
Throughout his career, MacLennan has been dedicated to helping individuals realize their potential through training and education. It is also his belief that the community plays an integral role in the success of students and has demonstrated his commitment to establishing partnerships with area high schools, business and industry and social service agencies.
MacLennan graduated from Portland State University in 1985 and obtained his master’s degree in college student services administration from Oregon State in 1987. In 1998, he graduated from Wilmington University with a doctorate of education in educational innovation and leadership.
“President John F. Kennendy said, ‘leadership and learning are indispensable to each other’,” MacLennan said in his address. “And lives will be transformed by the work we do here. We will learn and lead this college together.”
MacLennan and his wife, Theresa, reside in Oakland, and are the parents of four children.
Contact Angie Brant at firstname.lastname@example.org
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