After 14 years, Dr. Merna Saliman bids farewell to MCC-Maple Woods

After 14 years at MCC-Maple Woods, outgoing president Merna Saliman is looking forward to beginning the next season of her life. The Maple Woods staff and faculty, along with friends, former chancellors, and her two sons, bid farewell to Dr. Saliman at the campus’ annual holiday party, sharing food, music and fond memories of the president’s tenure.

Dr. Saliman and her husband, Stewart, make an entrance at the Maple Woods holiday party, code named: Merna’s Secret Retirement Celebration.

Not only was Dr. Saliman the guest of honor at the holiday party, the faculty, staff and students managed to orchestrate a complete surprise, including bring her two sons, Scott and Todd, to celebrate her retirement.

Of course, the entrance was made a little more special by the presence of Dr. Saliman’s two sons, Scott and Todd. We don’t think she was expecting to see them.

Of course, no party would be complete without games, so Maple Woods faculty and staff tested their knowledge in “Who Wants to be a Mernaire” – the results were decidedly positive and good fun for everyone watching as well.

Scott and Todd Saliman test their knowledge of Merna in “Who wants to be a Mernaire,” with Dawn Hatterman in the Regis Philbin role.

The MCC and Maple Woods community also presented Dr. Saliman and her husband, Stewart, with 8 gifts, one for each night of Hanukkah. Students, faculty, staff, officers and friends presented gifts that speak to Dr. Saliman’s support and guidance over the past 14 years.

Dr. Saliman was presented with 8 Hanukkah gifts from MCC and Maple Woods students, faculty, staff and administrators.

But along with the festive party atmosphere was a tone of quiet respect for Dr. Saliman’s accomplishments while president of MCC-Maple Woods. Among the praise were the echoed remarks that she was a steadfast leader, a mentor for other presidents, and a calm presence at officer meetings. Her commitments to diversity, to being a more environmentally-sound campus, and to technology have changed the face of the campus.

Maple Woods faculty member Crystal Johnson was among many of Dr. Saliman’s colleagues who expressed heartfelt thanks.

In retirement, Merna and Stewart will be traveling – even more, which is no surprise to anyone. More time for family, friends and things as yet undiscovered await Dr. Saliman in her next season, and on behalf of MCC and Maple Woods, we wish her the very best.

Dr. Saliman explains a gift from the Maple Woods Art Club – a composite image of every piece of student artwork now displayed on campus. Merna was a driving force behind collecting and displaying student artwork for the past decade.