January 2, 2007

A View OF The President's Office

When the college's annual Holiday Party began on Dec. 20, things seemed the same as always at first…lots of camaraderie, great food, festive music, and the feeling that Santa would soon arrive. Then, larger numbers of faculty and staff members than ever filled the college's cafeteria. When Acting President Tom Wilfrid took the microphone, everything changed.

Dr. Wilfrid, who will step down on Feb. 1, after serving a total of 25 months as acting president, never expected this.

Lining up in anticipation, staff and faculty members showered him with cards and "gifts," along with humorous, warm, loving, and teasing comments, soliciting cheers, hugs and lots of laughter. Here are just a few samples of what Dr. Wilfrid received.

  • A CD of original songs inspired by seasonal favorites, such as "Walking in a Wilfrid Wonderland" and "Mercer's Roasting a Great Man Today."
  • A large poster of himself wearing a "Cat in the Hat" hat and a very long moustache.
  • An honorary master's degree in "Acting."
  • A large gold glittering "T" - the prototype of a statue to be erected in Dr. Wilfrid's honor.
  • A performance by "B.A.T." Woman (Better Approaches to Teaching) in full costume.
  • A bust of Dr. Wilfrid, with a photo from when he began teaching at MCCC at the age of 22 on one side, and a current photo on the other. Did he age that much in the past year?
  • An anti-headache pass to the college Fitness Center.
  • A "Thomas the Tank Engine" and a bottle of Elmer's glue with the comment, "Tom has been the engine that has kept us moving and the glue that has held us together."
  • Surprise guest, Diane Wilfrid, received a certificate for "Best Supporting Role to an Acting President."

Too numerous to mention were the comments from admirers of Dr. Wilfrid, who teased him, with much good nature, about his abundant use of e-mail (round the clock), his love of power point presentations, and his workaholic nature. Appreciation and love were much in evidence from all quarters.

After the party Dr. Wilfrid commented, "I am still trying to absorb the incredibly warm 'roasting' I received at today's holiday party. Thanks to all of you who conspired to make it happen, and to all who joined in the fun. Now more than ever, I am proud to be a part of the Mercer family."

Click here for photos that help tell the story.