By James N. Arvo
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD – Donald A. Borden was installed Thursday as the fifth president of Camden County College. His installation followed his appointment by the Board of Trustees last April and his taking office last June.
The installation, which was held in Lincoln Hall on the Blackwood campus, brought together academicians from South Jersey, politicians, faculty members, clergy, as well as staff and students of the college.
In his installation speech, Borden said community colleges are the answer to many questions facing the nation today, including employability, reduction in student debt, as well as transfers to four-year institutions. “I believe in public college systems that focus on collaboration that provide opportunities for students that best serve their needs,” he said.
As a product of the public education system in New Jersey, Borden said he has always been a passionate believer in the importance of public education and reiterated his vision of “students first, students second and students last.” He said, “Camden County College will continue to work with colleges and universities in the region to the best advantage of our students.”
He praised faculty members for their commitment to ensuring that students’ dreams are fulfilled and referred to them as the foundation on which the college’s vision of developing minds, enhancing skills and enriching the lives of thousands of students is built.
Borden, who gave his speech seeking to answer two basic questions: “How did I get here?” and “Why am I here?” said one of his priorities is to create a more seamless transition from 12th grade to college. “I know we can work more closely with school districts to help in the preparation process to make sure more students are college-ready when they arrive on our campus,” he said.
To achieve the objective of a smooth transition from high school to college, Borden said he believed CCC could provide more opportunities for students to earn college credits while in high school and perhaps build their confidence that they can be successful in college.
Another area of concern to Borden is how to prepare CCC students to fill industry and business needs in the region. “When we speak with employers, we explain to them that we are here to address their needs and concerns. When they have training concerns, we are poised to provide the faculty and curriculum to address the ever-changing demands in the workplace,” he said.