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New President Lauds School's Mission

October 8, 2005
Courant Staff Report

Two-year colleges such as Capital Community College in downtown Hartford give some of the state's poorest citizens a chance to achieve the dream of going to college, Capital's new president said at his inauguration Friday.

"We open the doors to those who have previously been shut out, and we prepare them to learn, to think for themselves, to continue their education, to obtain decent-paying, stimulating jobs and to give back to their communities," Calvin E. Woodland said.

Before an audience that included state and local government officials and representatives of colleges in the state, Woodland emphasized that Capital's central role is to create opportunities for low-income minority students and others whose access to higher education has been limited.

"As the first in their families to attend college, in most instances, our students come here with few road maps for the academic life. They arrive with little training, few connections, and no special privileges," he said.

He said Capital, located in the former G. Fox high-rise department store building, enrolls one of the most diverse student bodies in all of New England.

"Riding in our elevator, you might hear conversations in Spanish, Vietnamese, Russian or any one of dozens of other languages spoken here. And you will see senior citizens, as well as traditional-aged college students and every age in between, in our classrooms and hallways."

Woodland, 61, is the author of several publications on higher education topics, including college access for minority students and remedial and academic services.

The former vice president for student services at Bergen Community College in Paramus, N.J., he succeeds Ira Rubenzahl, who left Capital last year to take over as head of Springfield Technical Community College in Springfield, Mass.

"It is a given," Woodland told guests in Capital's historic Centinel Hill Hall auditorium, "that the next few years will be the most challenging in this college's history. The fate of our future students is a little less certain, as declining budgets limit access to higher education to those with the greatest need.

Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
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