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Middlesex Community College
been best for MCC, its students, staff, and faculty."
Henderson said Cowan's entrepreneurship allowed her to
constantly reignite the Middlesex agenda.
"Carole was never afraid to try new ideas, and it was
that attitude that made MCC become the leader among
community colleges in this country," Henderson said.
"She always asked how we could achieve a new objective,
never why it wouldn't work. I truly believe that Carole Cowan
defines what a community college president can accomplish
with hard work, a dedicated team around her, and the
willingness to not accept the status quo."
Royall M. Mack Sr., the board's current chair, and the
man now chartered with helping find her successor, said
Cowan embodied a leader.
"I have learned that there are two key moments in one's
life when we are born and when we discover why we were
born," Mack said. "A key measure of a leader to get others
to follow is to explain why a task is necessary, how that task
could be done, and what will the result be when the task is
executed. Dr. Carole Cowan was born to lead and to teach
others how to lead. She has shaped the development of
Middlesex through the careful and thoughtful development
of faculty, staff, and senior advisors."
Asked for her own take on her success as MCC President,
Cowan hesitated as she tried to find the words.
"I never had that big an ego. I was comfortable in my
own skin, and externally, I didn't always look for praise and
recognition," Cowan said. "I think it was positive for the col-
lege that I didn't get trapped into a competitive mentality that
would distract me from the work I had to do. But that's not to
say I'm not competitive. I am, but I try to keep my eye on the
ball, which is where you decide you want the college to be,
and the challenge is figuring out how you're going
to get it there."
Cowan is extremely hesitant to heap any praise on herself.
"I think I'm a great listener. I'm perceptive and I listen, and
that's one of those skills that helped me tremendously. You
can observe and hear things if you listen, and usually that can