President’s Update: February/March 2017

Dear CF Family:

Can you believe it is March already? Can you believe the weather feels like May? With the high temperatures, I am having a hard time knowing what season we are enjoying.  As I reflect on all that is happened over the past month, I am reminded of the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’ ” I would say that the CF family takes that message to heart, transforming lives through education.

Feb. 21 the CF Foundation announced that 92 percent of full-time employees supported the Family Campaign. That is just a bit shy of last year’s 94 percent and still an A grade. The campaign raised $28,440, which is more than was raised in the 2016 campaign. Thank you to co-chairs Debbie Bowe and Jennifer Mazur and to all full-time and part-time faculty and staff who supported the campaign. It speaks to the heart of the college.

I enjoyed spending time with some of our exceptional students at the Mr. and Ms. CF scholarship program Feb. 17. This program shines a spotlight on the outstanding accomplishments of our students. Thank you to the Student Life team, the CF Foundation and the many volunteers who supported the event. Congratulations to Mr. CF Morey Lewis representing the African American Student Union and Ms. CF Shelby Willard representing Citrus Campus Student Ambassadors.

Last week I shared a college update with the Ocala Rotary Club, whose members include our own Patti Moring, Dr. Don Hunt and former Trustee Frank Rasbury. The Rotary’s motto is “Service above self,” and the group has supported CF for many years through scholarships.

I was pleased to tour the new Jack Wilkinson Levy Campus with our District Board of Trustees last Wednesday. It’s exciting to see the new facility take shape and to think about how it will impact the educational landscape as the first permanent facility for higher education in Levy County. Classes will start at the campus in August. Please share with potential students that we will waive the application fee for anyone who wants to make history and be among the first to register for fall 2017 classes at the new Levy Campus.

Thank you to those who participated in United Way’s 24th annual Day of Caring at Evangeline Booth Garden Apartments Saturday. Faculty, staff and students helped residents clean up, landscape, organize their library, play games and socialize.  Thank you to all of the CF team who also worked to support the Antique Automobile Club of America’s national car show on the Ocala campus the same day. I heard nothing but praises for the high level of service excellence provided by everyone and we made some money to support our students!

On Sunday, the CF Citrus Campus hosted and co-sponsored the 10th Annual Citrus County African-American Read-In at the Citrus Learning and Conference Center. The event is a collaborative effort of the African-American Read-In and Educational Partners in Citrus County. Approximately 300 guests attended the event, which featured live music, artwork, readings from classic works of literature by African-American authors, and a dramatic recreation of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

The annual campaign for March for Dimes is under way at CF. Campaign chair Kathy Robbins does an excellent job of rallying our troops for donations and participation at Walk for Babies. And we appreciate the support of ambassador Mackenzie Robbins. We kicked off the campaign with breakfast this morning in the Patriot Café. Kathy will have more information soon.

I appreciate each of you and the work that you do. You truly are making a difference at the college and in the community.