Legislative Breakfast Emphasizes
MCCC's Unique Role as Educational Leader


Approximately 60 guests attended a Legislative Breakfast hosted by the college on April 24. The event was convened to focus attention on Mercer's unique and increasingly critical role in addressing the needs of the county's workforce during troubled economic times. In addition to board and foundation members, attendees included Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes, county freeholders, local mayors, Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson-Coleman, Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo. Representatives from the offices of Senator Frank Lautenberg, Congressman Rush Holt and Assemblywoman Linda Greenstein also attended. Holt sent staffer Matt Hall, an MCCC alum who now works as director of outreach in the congressman's West Windsor office.

Current MCCC students were seated throughout the room, sharing their college experiences and their goals for the future. In remarks to the group, Liberal Arts student Mai Toe explained that she is the first in her family to attend college and that Mercer's affordable tuition has made it possible. Toe will continue her studies at a four-year school after graduating from Mercer in May. Computer Science major Jim Delre is in his first semester at MCCC, after transferring from a four-year school because of high tuition costs. He called the staff and teachers "phenomenal" and exclaimed that "Mercer was a breath of fresh air."

In a Powerpoint presentation, MCCC President Patricia C. Donohue emphasized the college's expanding role in serving the diverse educational and workforce needs of the community, even as state funding decreases. "We are your community college," Donohue said. "We serve many of your constituents at many stages of their lives. We must retain our ability to provide an affordable, quality education to as many as possible. This benefits us all as MCCC helps students achieve a better quality of life and become productive members of the workforce and community."

From left, MCCC welcomed MCCC Board Member Marvin Gardner, West Windsor Mayor Shing-Fu Hsueh , Robbinsville Mayor David Fried, Hamilton Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo, MCCC Foundation Member Tim Losch, MCCC Foundation President Karen Kennedy and Pennington Borough Mayor Anthony Persichilli.

President Donohue emphasized Mercer's increasing role in serving displaced workers and their families.

Students shared their stories with guests.
Brian Hughes addressed the crowd.
Pictured with JKC staff member Barbara Jefferson, center, are students William Conover and Pam Prather.

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