A Message from the President
Fifty years ago, Howard Community College (HCC) opened its doors as Maryland’s first community college to launch with its own dedicated campus, land, and building. This historic occasion in October of 1970 marked the culmination of efforts by visionary leaders who believed in creating lifelong learning opportunities in Howard County. It also signified that residents, businesses, and elected officials were willing to invest in the long-term future of HCC.
With deep gratitude, I give thanks to the employees, trustees, donors, friends, and community partners who have helped tens of thousands of students achieve their goals and progress forward on their pathways to success. This landmark anniversary is only possible with their support. Read more about our beginnings — how the campus opened with just one building that housed everything from a chemistry lab to a cafeteria — in a special anniversary feature story in this issue. Then read on for a glimpse into how HCC’s future may look in the next 50 years.
One of our earliest academic programs that continues to have an outsized impact is our nursing program. HCC has graduated generations of caring and compassionate health care workers while also adding allied health programs that meet the ongoing needs of our region. In this issue, learn about nurses who graduated from the first graduating class and more recent years.
Coming on the heels of receiving the 2019 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation’s top award for performance excellence, HCC continues to excel both locally and nationally. Recently, the 2020 Community Colleges Futures Assembly selected HCC as the winner of its Bellwether Award, which recognizes outstanding programs at community colleges. In September 2020, the college received one of the most prestigious workplace honors — the Great College to Work For award for 12 consecutive years. HCC is now the only community college to be recognized every year that community colleges have been eligible for the award.
As we celebrate this momentous milestone in our history, we are especially grateful for the donors who have given generously to the Howard Community College Educational Foundation (HCCEF). In this year of unprecedented challenges, we saw donors rise to the occasion and give $2.4 million to support students, far exceeding this year’s expectations. HCCEF established the COVID-19 Emergency Helping Hands Fund in the spring to address needs such as technology for students continuing their studies at home, and those dollars made an immediate tangible impact. Our donors are a critical partner in HCC’s success, and we are honored to have so many donors and event sponsors invest in our students’ success. I invite you to read more about their impact in HCCEF’s annual report in this issue.
This is a year like no other for the college. As we reflect on our history and look toward the future, I am confident that we will continue to make a difference in the lives of our students and the community. I hope you will continue to join us in this effort.
Kathleen Hetherington, Ed.D.