Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Impressions of PhillyGoes2College announcement and ribbon cutting

Sign outside of PhillyGoes2College's office in Philadelphia's City Hall
Yesterday, I attended Mayor Nutter’s announcement and grand opening of the new PhillyGoes2College office in Philadelphia City Hall, which is designed to help Philadelphians of all ages find their way more easily into colleges and universities.

A feeling of pride came over me as I listened to Mayor Nutter speak in support of the goal of greater degree attainment in Philadelphia. Other speakers sharing the podium included Dr. Lori Shorr, his chief education officer; members of Philadelphia City Council and the Pennsylvania state Senate; representatives of Philadelphia’s education community; and Philadelphia students.

Here are some lasting impressions from the experience:
  • We should all be grateful that we have a mayor in Philadelphia, with Michael Nutter’s leadership qualities, who has placed college degree attainment for our citizens at the top of his agenda. In their presentations, Mayor Nutter and Dr. Shorr provided compelling information in support of the new office, and the work being done throughout the City to help Philadelphia increase its success in this area.
  • Mayor Nutter’s comment that the office is the only one of its kind in America made us all feel like we were a part of Philadelphia history that day, and that we have created a model solution that could be applied across our great country.
  • The Peirce College community has taken the opportunity to come forward and support this great initiative with its high-quality capabilities and commitment. Two anecdotes related to this point I am pleased to share. First, the Mayor singled out Peirce College for its responsiveness in contributing and setting up the technology for the new PhillyGoes2College office. Second, I met Dr. Marciene Mattlemen for the first time. She’s a Philadelphia legend in the support of education, and a former school district board member. Her daughter, Barbara Mattleman, will head up the new office. I was so proud when Marciene told me Barbara has been greatly impressed with Peirce College. Barbara has been visiting Peirce recently, since the Mayor’s Office of Education has been using Peirce’s facilities to hold their planning meetings. Before her visit, she was not aware that Peirce had grown so considerably, or that we have such superior educational resources.
  • Seeing and hearing the student speakers reminded everyone of the importance of what we do as educators. Two personal stories were shared. One was from a young college-age student, the other from an adult learner. Both exhibited the same glow of success and pride. And both simply needed a little something extra to get and keep them on track for degree attainment. It felt great to be representing Peirce College as one member of an exceptional group of organizations in attendance, all of whom strive to enable the success of students like these.
  • The session reaffirmed how potent a force for positive change can be, and how effectively we can create solutions, when we simply work together. Mayor Nutter mentioned several organizations, including Peirce College, that stepped forward to make the new PhillyGoes2College office possible. He noted that he didn’t have to take any money out of the City’s treasury to make it happen. The opening of the PhillyGoes2College office serves as a model for all of us to be good citizens, to support our local and State leaders, and continue to make the greater Philadelphia region among the best in the America.
I am honored to have been in attendance during the PhillyGoes2College office's grand opening, and to represent Peirce College and our mission of serving primarily first generation working adult students in pursuit of their college degrees. It was great to once again see how Peirce is part of the solution for undereducated citizens, and how the College remains a key member of the Mayoral team in battling this problem.