MCC’s Board of Trustees Dedicated Advocates Who Keep the College on Course F or three-quarters of its 40-year history, Middlesex Community College has had an oversight board, working behind the scenes to help administrators lead the college forward, all the while keeping the goal of student education foremost in its sights. with staff, faculty and students. He takes his role as a student advocate and cheerleader very seriously. “I love this college. Middlesex gave me a great advantage in life that I might never have had, and I’d like to give back what it gave to me,” said Chemelli. “I think it’s important that our students always know their Trustees care about them as individuals – not just as the student body at large – and that we want them to succeed personally. That’s our job, and we take it very seriously. The education of our students is priority number one.” Paul Galvani, the first Chairman of the Board of Trustees, predated Cowan’s presidency, but she has had the opportunity to work with three other chairmen: James Henderson, Tom O’Mahony and Chemelli. “Each of them has drawn on their professional backgrounds to bring unique perspectives to the leadership of the Board, and all of them have served our college well,” said Cowan. In addition to Chemelli, the current Board consists of retired associate justice Robert Barton of Bedford, Ruth Bramson of Dover, Timothy Glaser of Wilmington, Bedford Police Chief James Hicks, Abbey Henderson of Sudbury, Royall Mack of Andover, Elia Marnik of South Orleans, Paul Means of Stoneham, John Pearson Jr. of Lowell, and student trustee Moses Kirori of Dracut. Chemelli said the eclectic mix helps the MCC Board of Trustees arrive at valuable compromises and successful outcomes for the college as a whole. “We have so much expertise in so many areas, whether it be entrepreneurs, finance, law, community involvement. It’s a very diverse Board that brings a lot to the table,” he said. “We might not all have all the answers,” said Chemelli, “but when we put our heads together, somebody always has the right answer at the right time. Together, that’s how we get things done.” That group is the Middlesex Board of Trustees, which for more than 30 years has been the guiding force directing college leadership. It’s a group that tends to shy away from the limelight. Yet, its fingerprints can be found on many projects across both campuses, from the acquisition of new buildings to the student safety-net scholarship program. “The members of our Boards of Trustees over the years have been the college’s most important advocates,” said MCC President Carole Cowan. “They have always understood their roles at the institution and allowed the college to grow in creative and innovative ways.” Cowan credited the Trustees with helping to keep the college on track for its longterm strategic vision, even in the bleakest of times, during financial crises. “Our trustees have seen the college develop from its meager beginnings into what it has become today, a flagship of the community college system. It’s really because of them the college has flourished and continued to expand.” During her 20-year tenure as president, the Trustees have consistently served as behind-the-scenes cheerleaders and advocates for the student population, said Cowan. “The Trustees may not be individuals our students see on a day-to-day basis, but they are always there, advocating for student growth,” she said. “I don’t think they ever lose sight of the students or the communities that we serve. They have always kept in mind, ultimately, who our ‘customers’ are, and have used that vision to guide them.” William Chemelli, current Chairman of the Board of Trustees, is a retired Belmont police officer who is also an MCC alum. Chemelli attends most college events, usually hanging in the background, talking Profiles 4 Paul Galvani, first Chairman of MCC’s Board of Trustees (left), with President James Houlihan at 1987 Commencement. 4 James Henderson, second Chairman of MCC’s Board of Trustees and current MCC Foundation Chairman, shown here with President Cowan. 4 Tom O’Mahony, third Chairman of MCC’s Board of Trustees, with President Cowan at Commencement 2003. Patrick Cook 4 William Chemelli, current Chairman of MCC’s Board of Trustees with President Cowan at the 40th Anniversary Grand Gala. |17|