Tunxis Community College will hold its 40th Commencement on Wednesday, June 1 at 6:30 p.m. Approximately 409 students are expected to receive associate’s degrees and certificates, representing the largest graduating class in Tunxis history.
Janis Hadley, Ed.D., former president of Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport, will give the keynote address to the graduating class.
“Community colleges are the gateway to a wonderful future for many people,” said Hadley. “Because these colleges are flexible and responsive, they are the educational arm of any community to begin new programs and curricula that respond to changing employment patterns and demographics,” she continued. “I wish the Class of 2011 a wonderful future, with good health and the perseverance and flexibility needed for success within our shifting landscape of work and careers.”
Hadley served as president of Housatonic Community College from 1996 to 2006. Throughout her 34-year career in higher education, she has held a number of positions, including vice president of planning at the Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park and Greystone, assistant dean of community service at Dutchess Community College, registrar at Sullivan Community College, and assistant dean of students at the University of Massachusetts.
She has served on many boards and commissions nationally and within Connecticut including the Governor’s Council for Economic Competitiveness and Technology, the Bridgeport Economic Resource Center, the executive committee of the American Association of Community College’s President’s Academy, the National Council of Black American Affairs, and the Board of Trustees of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.
Hadley was named African American Woman of the year by the state of Connecticut in 2001. She was also featured on the cover of Black Issues in Higher Education in 2003, and in the publication’s lead article, “A Port of Entry,” examining the vital role of community colleges in the United States. She has received the President’s Award from the Workplace Inc., a leadership award from the Bridgeport Regional Business Council, and many others. Now retired, Hadley continues to stay involved in higher education. She serves on the faculty of the Future Leaders Institute of the American Association of Community and continues her affiliation with the President’s Round Table, a national network of African American community college CEOs. Hadley holds a doctoral degree in higher education administration and master’s degree in urban education.
Valedictorian for the Class of 2011 is Elizabeth Edwards of West Hartford, who will receive an associate in science degree in graphic design. Salutatorian is Anna Karpiej of Newington, who will receive an associate in science degree in business administration: accounting.
Commencement ceremonies will be held rain or shine in the Tunxis courtyard. Tunxis Community College is located at the junction of Routes 6 and 177 in Farmington. For more information, please call 860.255.3500.
The ceremony is among a series of celebrations at Tunxis Community College commemorating 40 years of education in the Farmington Valley and beyond. The College first opened for classes in October 1970 with 494 students and held its first Commencement in 1972. Today approximately 6,100 students enroll in credit and continuing education programs each semester as they prepare for transfer to bachelor’s degree programs and employment in areas with industry need. For more information, visit the Tunxis website at tunxis.commnet.edu.