HCC President George Timmons will be inaugurated on April 19.
Reminder Publishing submitted photo

HOLYOKE — Coming down the home stretch of his first year as president of Holyoke Community College, George Timmons will officially be inaugurated on Friday, April 19.

Timmons told Reminder Publishing that so far in his first school year he’s learned how much the community is committed to student success. He referenced school programs like the Itsy-Bitsy Watch Center, which provides daycare for students during the day, El Centro, which helps meet the needs of Hispanic and Spanish speaking students through culturally responsive guidance, and other programs that help students various needs.

“These are just a few examples that have shown how we really go about removing barriers and living out our vision,” Timmons said. “Being an institution of academic excellence and that is known for removing barriers to student success, you see how that plays out in action. That’s what I’ve really learned and appreciated is just really trying to meet students where they are and being responsive to the needs of our students in the community.”

Timmons will be inaugurated on Friday, April 19, with the investiture beginning at 11 a.m. at the Leslie Phillips Theater inside the Fine and Performing Arts Building. This will cap off a week of events scheduled on campus in the days leading up. Also, special inauguration bow ties will be available in the Frost Lobby prior to the event as a nod to Timmons’ unique style.

Timmons called the gesture a compliment and said since his undergraduate days he has always tried to be different and stand out, and his clothing style is just one way he does.

“I wanted to have something that separates myself from the herd in a positive way. Whether it’s leadership or whether its through my dress, I’ve always looked at it that way,” Timmons said. “Growing up in New England and not too far away in Hartford, I definitely embraced that kind of preppy look.”

Timmons added his signature collection of bow ties does not include any clip-ons.

“When I really got into my career, I started to think what can I do to be professional and distinguish myself and set myself apart. I started wearing bow ties before they were even popular,” Timmons said.

To RSVP or find more information on the inauguration as well as other events during inauguration week, visit hcc.edu/about/offices-and-administration/president-and-cabinet/the-inauguration-of-president-george-timmons-phd.

Events for the week begin on Tuesday, April 16, with a book reading at Itsy Bitsy Child Watch from 9-10:30 a.m. inside the Marieb Building first floor. After reading to children in the Itsy Bitsy Child Watch space, Timmons will read-aloud open to all “future HCC alums.” This event requires an RSVP.

From 12:30-2 p.m. there will be community crafting hosted by the Campus Activities Team for Students for HCC-inspired crafts including coloring pages, string art and origami.

Also happening throughout both events is “Our Values on Display” which is the creation of a new mural located in the campus center. All are welcomed to contribute and help showcase HCC’s institutional values through art. This will continue from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday of that week.

On Wednesday, April 17, the plaza on campus will be host to the HCC culinary arts truck for treats made by HCC students and faculty from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. During the same time frame, the Black Business Expo will be ongoing in the Campus Center.

On Thursday, April 18, from noon to 1 p.m., there will be a panel discussion with alumni and students before a celebration of faculty and staff from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. where those interested can join Timmons for a reception. This event requires RSVP.

Looking forward to his inauguration, Timmons said he was thankful and humbled once again for the opportunity to be able to lead “such a wonderful institution.”

“That’s not lost on me, that I am truly grateful to be hopefully a model or representation of what can be when you come from variable beginnings, and so I’m honored to be in that space,” Timmons added.

Future aspirations for the upcoming tenure according to Timmons are to continue to be a resource in Western Massachusetts through continued collaboration around the region. This involves various projects and partnerships to come, creating smoother pathways and transitions from HCC programming into different universities, and to remove any barriers limiting student success.

“We’re trying to be innovative and collaborative with the community and help make this Western Massachusetts a thriving and successful community,” Timmons said. “I think the future is bright.”

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