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r. James C. Mabry's credentials are
impressive, but his unconventional path
to the president's office is even more
Mabry holds a Ph.D. in U.S. history from
Columbia University and a Master of Science
degree from the London School of Economics.
He earned his bachelor's degree in political
science from Columbia University's School of
General Studies, and his associate degree from
the University of Maryland Overseas Division.
With those educational degrees, it's no
wonder the MCC Board of Trustees and the
Massachusetts Board of Higher Education
voted unanimously to appoint Mabry to serve
as MCC's fourth president. Formerly Vice
President of Academic Affairs for Mesa
Community College in Mesa, Ariz., Mabry
began his service at Middlesex in mid-February.
However, he is the first to admit his career
path hasn't always been typical. "Life is
unpredictable," said Mabry. "Did I know I
was going to end up here, as a president of a
community college? No. But things have a
way of working out."
Looking back at his nontraditional journey,
Mabry believes it helps him better identify
with the students he works with every day.
"Our students don't take a straight and narrow
path to higher education," he said. "Some of
them are coming from other places, or are
experiencing a completely new culture. My
experiences have helped me better understand
who our students are."
Mabry's higher-educational experience began
shortly after he started college, then decided to
stop. "Dropping out of college was one of the
best decisions I made. It's not for everyone," he
warned, "but I didn't really know what I wanted
to do. So, I stopped before I messed it up."
MCC's Fourth President Has
Taken the Road Less Traveled
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Dr. James C. Mabry