by Cynthia Tintorri; photos by Brian Shaud
April 24, 2014
On a brisk, sunny day, students, faculty, staff and distinguished guests gathered to acknowledge the past year's additions to Northampton Community College's Susan K. Kubik Tribute Garden. The April 24 event saw the ribbon-cutting for Veterans' Plaza in the Garden.
NCC President Dr. Mark Erickson explained to attendees that the Plaza was supposed to be bigger, and include five 10-foot granite pillars representing each branch of the military, but installation was postponed due to the unusually long and harsh winter. The pillars, along with newly inscribed pavers, will be added in May.
Dr. Erickson added that a tree would be planted in honor of Dr. Robert Kopecek, who passed away a year ago. "Bob's impact on Northampton is huge. He oversaw the expansion of our campus, added the Enrollment and Gates Centers, opened the student housing complex, and was president when we first started serving students in Monroe County. He was a 'big picture' thinker, and without him, Northampton would not be the place we know and love."
Karl Stackhouse, chair of NCC's Board of Trustees, spoke about former NCC Trustee and Foundation member Sheila Korhammer, a 2013-14 donor. Korhammer was the first female president of the national Association of Community College Trustees, and worked in that capacity with the U.S. Secretary of Education. "According to Sheila," Stackhouse said, "she owes Northampton a debt of gratitude, and calls this place a beacon and a model. But it is we who owe our thanks to her."
U.S. State Representative Steve Samuelson said that, as a Bethlehem native, he has seen the community grow and change. "For almost my entire life, Northampton has been here to support that growth and guide that change. It is not just a college of the community - this is a college that builds our community.
Brian Smith, student, Gulf War veteran and president of NCC's Band of Brothers club, called Northampton "a place that recognizes and supports the service that veterans have done in the past, the work that we are doing today, and the success that we will have tomorrow." Smith then read the names of the individuals and groups whose names will be added to the Tribute Garden this year. They include:
Dr. Arnold Cook
John R. Hager
Ken & Sharon Kochey
Dr. Robert Kopecek
Professor John Lunsford
Captain John J. Marks
The Northampton Community College Alumni Association
The Northampton Community College Band of Brothers
The Northampton Community College Leadership Class of 2013
The Northampton Community College Radiology Class of 2014
Stephen & Betty Richards
Captain Sandra D. Thomas
David W. Whitehouse
George Allen Whitehouse
George Washington Whitehouse
Thomas J. Whitehouse
Lynn Whitehouse Birney
To see more photos of the Tribute Garden dedication, go to this Flickr gallery.
For more information, or to be a part of the garden, contact Paul Acampora in Institutional Advancement at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To review Northampton Community College's guidelines for public comments, click here