Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley said farewell to interim president Dr. Tony Ross with a July 26 celebration that included hors d’oeuvres, cake, punch, and well wishes from members of the campus community.
MCC Chancellor Dr. Kimberly Beatty started off the remarks by thanking Ross for his service and impact on the campus community, including several key accomplishments. During Ross’ yearlong stay, the MCC-Penn Valley campus opened its new Transfer Advising Center and held a successful mass casualty training event for MCC-Penn Valley Health Science Institute and MCC-Blue River Public Safety Institute students. Dr. Beatty presented Ross with a commemorative plaque designed at the MCC-Business and Technology FabLab.
Several people followed Dr. Beatty to the podium in an extemporaneous showing of gratitude.
Terrell Tigner, associate dean of students, gave a few heartfelt comments, saying of Ross, “He is one of the most exceptional people I know.”
Phyllis Zuidervaart, a facilities employee, touched on how Ross would put down what he was doing when they entered his office to clean. “In that moment, he made us feel important,” she said.
Student workers joked a bit. Araya Pratt says when she talked to Ross about the job in his office, it was more like she “was interviewing him.”
Ross thanked those gathered and said “I’ll be back” to check on the progress of initiatives launched while he led the campus. “Meeting all of you has had a great impact on me and I will bring you all with me to my next chapter.” Ross returns to retirement following his departure from MCC.
Ross served as interim president at MCC-Penn Valley, replacing Dr. Joe Seabrooks last summer. Dr. Tyjaun Lee assumes the role permanently in early August.
A gallery of photos, including the many speakers, is below. Despite Ross’ encouragement to “cue the music” to stop the outpouring, the number of people who stepped up to talk evidenced the impact Ross had across the campus.
(Chebet Buckner contributed to this article.)