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Harford Community College hosted the investiture of its ninth president, Dr. Dianna G. Phillips, on Monday, May 22, in the APG Federal Credit Union Arena on its Churchville campus. Defined as “a formal ceremony conferring the authority and symbols of high office,” an investiture is traditionally held during a new president’s first year in office and provides the community with an opportunity to celebrate and welcome a new era in the life of the College.

Guests in attendance included Dr. Phillips’ family members and personal and professional friends; presidents and administrators from several regional community colleges and universities; local dignitaries or their representatives from the municipal, county, state and federal levels; officials from Harford County Public Schools and Aberdeen Proving Ground; and business and community leaders. Harford Community College trustees, Foundation board members, administrators, faculty, and staff also joined in the celebration.

A formal procession of distinguished guests and College trustees, administrators, and faculty in full academic regalia opened the ceremony. Dr. Steven Thomas, HCC’s Vice President of Academic Affairs, welcomed the gathering and emceed the program. Student Claire Chambers sang the National Anthem and Reverend Cordell Hunter, Sr., Vice Chair of the College’s Board of Trustees, offered the invocation. Congratulations were delivered by Dr. James Fielder, Secretary of the Maryland Higher Education Commission; Dr. Bernard Sadusky, Executive Director of the Maryland Association of Community Colleges; Mr. Barry Glassman, Harford County Executive; Dr. Richard Streett, Jr., former HCC Trustee; Ms. Heidi Neff Chuffo, HCC Faculty Council; Dr. Diane Resides, HCC Administrators Council; Ms. Kimberly Hachmann, HCC Staff Council; Mr. Austin Barnes, President of the Student Government Association; Ms. Emily Leiss, President of HCC’s Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society; Ms. Karen Olewnick, family friend of Dr. Phillips; and Mr. Iain Phillips, Dr. Phillips’ son.

Mr. Richard Norling, Chair of the College’s Board of Trustees, gave remarks and presented the College’s Articles of Incorporation and the chain of office as symbols of the expression of authority vested in Dr. Phillips by the College, solidifying her place in the chain with those who served before her. Dr. Phillips began her tenure as Harford Community College’s President on August 1, 2016.

Dr. Phillips accepted the office and gave her investiture address. Her comments focused on the impact of the College in the county, past, present, and future. She observed that, “. . . Until relatively recent times, access to higher education was limited to the very few. Community colleges changed that landscape in America . . . . We offer an open door to all who would come, we are innovative and agile, and, unlike the research university or the residential college, our mission is to respond to community need.” She concluded her remarks emphasizing the College’s vision and values, the latter of which were displayed on banners hanging above either side of the stage: Integrity, Excellence, Lifelong Learning, Diversity, Service, Innovation, Sustainability, Collaboration, and Communication. Dr. Phillips closed with her pledge to lead the College with “imagination, compassion and rigor,” qualities described in Harford’s vision statement.

The formal ceremony was followed by a reception.


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