Days before Thanksgiving, the Northampton Community College Foundation thanked scholarship donors and celebrated scholarship recipients at its Annual Recognition Dinner on November 22 at the Arthur L. Scott Spartan Center.
Vice President for Academic Affairs Jeffrey Focht introduced student speaker Brian Smith '15 as an outstanding man who has served others in peace and in war. A Gulf War veteran, Smith is president of the Band of Brothers and a leader on campus and in the community.
Smith spoke frankly about his struggles to remake his life. An abused child, he has been homeless and fought dependence on drugs and alcohol through two years of rehab and a spiritual awakening. "I come from a rocky road, and I am a good man," he said. "What makes me whole is my God. What keeps me honest is my integrity. What teaches me is knowledge. What makes me victorious is my courage. What makes me a good man is my heart," he said.
Calling the moment he was accepted to NCC as the proudest of his life, Smith said that the College gave him another chance. "I didn't choose NCC," he said. "NCC chose me. NCC turned my life around." He said that caring, loving, passionate faculty, staff and administrators gave him the opportunity to be somebody of worth. "There is no top," he said. "I continue to climb." He now wants to help others people as the "comforter, confronter, challenger, celebrator, counselor, and co-benefactor."
At the Foundation event, attended by about 350 people, Professor of Math Dennis Ebersole received the Chairman's Award.
Presented as new members of NCC giving societies were:
Frank and Beth Boyer
Bruce and Trudi Denlinger
Dr. Alan F. and Sheila M. Korhammer
Joseph and Daphne Uliana
PPL Electric Utilities
National Penn Bank
B. Braun Medical, Inc.
Allentown Beverage Company
Arif & Donna Fazil/D'Huy Engineering Company
Lafayette Ambassador Bank
Victaulic Company of America
President Mark Erickson thanked the NCC Foundation and the members of the NCC giving societies for insuring the College' excellence and its access for students. He also thanked Bruce Palmer '77, for his service as chairman of the NCC Foundation for many years, calling him the kind of steadfast friend everyone wishes they had.
Diane Martin will become chair of the Board in January. Arif Fazil will become vice chair. New board members will be Bob Barrett, owner of Mortgage America; Anne Baum, vice president of Capital BlueCross, Lehigh Valley, and Steve Follett, president and CEO of Follett Corporation.