President’s Update – August 2017

Aug. 22, 2017

Dear CF Family:

Welcome to fall semester! Thanks to all who attended Convocation last Wednesday. CF staff, faculty and retirees shared their memories of CF and what they are looking forward to in 2017-2018. Click on the highlighted links to see the pictures, videos and presentation.

In future years, we will look back on the opening of the Jack Wilkinson Levy Campus as a defining moment for the college and a treasured memory. As the first permanent higher education facility in Levy County, it is a game-changer for our students and the Levy community. It was exciting to see former trustees, current trustees, donors, college and community members come together for the ribbon-cutting Aug. 11. The facility is truly beautiful!

As the Ocala StarBanner said in an editorial Aug. 16: “It took 13 years. It took the unflinching commitment of an institution and a community. It took persistence and benevolence. In the end, it all came together to make a long-running dream a reality — and uplift a community to where it can better educate its citizenry, young and old, and better compete in the 21st century.”

The launch of our new Radiography program and return of our corporate training program are also signs that we are growing and transforming to meet the needs of our community. You will find the new Radiography program lab in the University Center. Special thanks to professors Dr. Mitch Housenick and Kristen Dunbar for all of the great work in getting our program up and running!

The Appleton Museum is also transforming this fall. From Sept. 15, 2017-Jan. 7, 2018, the main portion of the museum will not be available to visitors due to a heating and cooling equipment replacement project. We got 30 years out of the existing system and it was due for a change. The Edith-Marie Appleton Gallery, ARTSpace, art classrooms and a mini Appleton Store will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, and closed every Monday.

Wednesday, I also had an opportunity to meet with Student Activities Boards and CF Ambassadors from Ocala and Citrus campuses. The students are eager to get started with their service and leadership. They serve as a great reminder of why we are here.

The new semester brings with it more opportunities for community involvement. In coming days you will receive information about United Way and the Marion County Heart Walk. As one of the area’s largest employers, our community benefits when we support local organizations with our time, talents and resources. Recently, I have heard from a few folks that we might be involved in too many college supported community fundraisers. While I am always impressed with the giving spirit of the CF Family, I am also sensitive to your needs. A task force is reviewing our current engagement level and will be asking for your feedback on a survey this fall.

As we begin a new academic year, please know that I appreciate all that you do to serve our students! If you get a chance, please send a thank you note to our fantastic facilities, information technology, public safety, and Levy Campus teams who went the extra mile getting our learning spaces ready for the fall semester.  Between roofing projects, a new Vintage Farm and getting our new campus at Levy open, they deserve a nice pat on the back. Thank you, teams! Let’s create more magical memories as we continue to celebrate our 60th anniversary of transforming the lives of our students. Thank you for your service to our students, our community, and to CF!

Go Patriots!