Coming Full Circle

December 10, 2010 | Borough of Manhattan Community College

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGcEcRXfQKo[/youtube]

Many students who graduate from BMCC continue their education by pursuing a Bachelor’s degree, then opt to find a job in Manhattan, another city, or even another country.

And some students return to BMCC, even years later, as an employee.

Currently, more than 160 BMCC staff and faculty members are graduates of BMCC. They walk the same hallways they did as an enthusiastic, starry-eyed student, and feel a sense of warmth and familiarity at the college—which is why so many alumni return years later to work at the place that gave them their first educational chance.

To honor these special employees-slash-alumni, Pat Splendore, Director of Alumni Affairs, coordinated the Staff and Faculty Recognition Breakfast held December 7th at Richard Harris Terrace.

The committee who assisted Splendore consisted of Grace Brown (’91), of the President’s Office; Terrence Dunne, of the College Computer Center (’96), and Melba Montero (’93) of College Development.

All three staffers are proud BMCC graduates.

From classroom to boardroom
Those in attendance at the Breakfast were surprised to learn that Marva Craig, BMCC’s Vice President of Student Affairs, was a fellow graduate.

Craig (’81), spoke at the Breakfast about her BMCC memories. “My very first job was at the BMCC Office of Financial Aid. And today, I supervise the office that gave me that first job.”

Craig said when she was a college assistant at BMCC and a clerk at the Registrar, she wanted to talk to the BMCC Cabinet Members, “so badly.”

“I wanted them to hear what I had to say as a student and employee,” she said. “Today, as a Cabinet Member, I take your voices with me to the Cabinet.

Appreciating experiences
Craig, who was just 17 when she started classes at BMCC, says the college made her “strong.”

“BMCC makes up everything I do in my life, in some way,” she explained to the audience. “The energy I had back then I continue to have, and it will never die. And when I don’t feel that energy from BMCC, I create it.”

Twenty-four years and counting

Claudette Jordan (’88) is “going on her 24th year at BMCC.”

Currently the Assistant Administrative Director in the Early Childhood Center, Jordan explained her initial attraction to BMCC.

“I started here as a parent who needed childcare for my (then) four-year-old son. My son is now 28! So, whenever I see a student parent who needs childcare, it brings me back to the day when that parent was me,” she said. “I’m honored to still be a part of this college.

Tough to leave
BMCC President Antonio Pérez stopped by the Breakfast to express his appreciation.

“Today we are celebrating our students who come back to BMCC as staff or faculty members—and it’s a sizeable number,” he said. “You bring something very special to the college by transitioning from student to employee. Additionally, you bring a sense of balance to the community.”

Although he is not a BMCC alumnus, Pérez has been at the college since 1995.
“What can I say, it’s just tough to leave,” he smiled. “I want you all to continue to love BMCC. We have the best family a college can offer.

BMCC’s generous staff
After the Breakfast, Splendore and Montero held a raffle in which ticket winners received goodies such as BMCC hats, Barnes & Noble Gift cards, and more.
Splendore thanked the staff and faculty members for being kind-hearted employees.  “I know better than anyone else how generous the staff is at BMCC,” she said. “It’s important we acknowledge that.”

Terrence Dunne of the College Computer Center agreed. He was a Computer Science major when he attended BMCC and isn’t ready to retire quite yet.

“I love it here so much,” he told the audience about his decision to help coordinate the Faculty Alumni Recognition Breakfast. “You are all part of BMCC, and we, as alumni, want to do our best to help others and put into BMCC what we got from BMCC.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: At present time, Pat Splendore, Director of Alumni Affairs is seeking BMCC staffers and faculty members who are BMCC graduates and not on the email notification list sent to alumni. To add your name and email to the list, email psplendore@bmcc.cuny.edu.