HAVERHILL — A community college graduate who went on to earn his doctoral degree was sworn in yesterday as Northern Essex Community College's fourth president in its 50-year history.
In his inaugural address, Lane Glenn of Amesbury said it was all about community, family and achieving the dream. He urged a crowd of more than 700 people that gathered under a giant tent on the college's Haverhill campus to do all they can to encourage young people to plan for college, to prepare themselves academically, to explore careers and connect with mentors who will help them along the way.
"We are not an expense to be negotiated. We are an investment to be celebrated," Glenn said, noting that community colleges were invented in America and are places where students can pursue and achieve their dreams.
"As much as today is an inauguration, even more importantly, it is a celebration of all that this college is today, and all that it is to become tomorrow," Glenn said.
It has been nearly a year since the college's board of trustees voted unanimously to appoint Glenn as NECC's next president. He previously served five years as vice president of academic affairs. Glenn noted the seeming incongruity of being in charge of the college since last July and only now being officially sworn in.
He said that while he was getting ready for the event, one of his daughters asked what an inauguration is.
"I explained to her that it is a ceremony in which a new president swears an oath and officially becomes president, to which she asked the very sensible question, 'Well, if you're just now starting your job as president, what have you been doing since last July?'"
The college canceled classes yesterday in order to host this final event in a series of golden anniversary celebrations that began last fall in recognition of its founding in 1961. Joseph Edwards, chairman of NECC's board of trustees, presided over the swearing in.