The stories behind the student gifts presented to Dr. Beatty at inauguration

Two books, a plaque, a three-sided sculptural piece and a painting — those were the gifts presented to Dr. Kimberly Beatty at her inauguration as Metropolitan Community College’s eighth chancellor Aug. 24.

At the ceremony, the presidents of the five MCC campuses introduced videos spotlighting people or programs that contribute to MCC’s mission of “Preparing Students, Serving Communities, Creating Opportunities.” After each video, the president and a student (in one case, a student and an employee) presented the chancellor with something related to the subject of the video.

Here’s a look at those gifts (click any image to see it larger):

MCC-Blue River

The gift: A plaque depicting a child on a swing attached to the tree of life. It includes a quotation, below, from President Harry S. Truman, the Man From Independence (where the Blue River campus is located).

Presented to Dr. Beatty by: MCC-Blue River president Dr. Jacqueline Gill (left) and student Hailey Jenkins, vice president of Blue River’s Student Government Association

Why that gift? The spotlighted program was Blue River’s annual All for the Children family resource fair, held each spring. The image of the swinging child comes from the event’s logo. The plaque was made by the Fab Lab at MCC-Business & Technology.

MCC-Business & Technology

The gift: A three-sided, stainless steel and acrylic piece depicting in text and images the programs offered at the Business & Technology campus. CIMM, for instance, represents the computer-integrated machining and manufacturing program; BLDM is building maintenance and construction; CSMG is construction management. LINE (complete with a tiny utility pole) is the electrical lineman program.

Presented by: MCC-Blue River president Dr. Jacqueline Gill (center) and welding student Shayla Abernathy (at podium)

Why that gift? The featured program was the campus’ Fab Lab maker space, so naturally the piece was created in the lab. “As you might guess, any time we need a one-of-a-kind gift, we go right down the hall to the Fab Lab, and they never disappoint,” Gill told the audience.

The sculptural piece was a group effort created by Fab Lab technician Jen Dec, welding instructors Aaron Gibbs and Kendall Davis, and engineering technology instructor Robert Dumler. And by the way, the artwork can be lit from within — it comes with its own remote control for that very purpose.


The gift: A copy of the book “Because You Believed in Me: Mentors and Proteges Who Shaped Our World,” signed by peer tutors and peer mentors at MCC-Longview

Presented by: MCC-Longview president Dr. Utpal Goswami (from left), peer tutor Dominic Guillen and student services manager Joe Barnhill

Why that gift? The video spotlighted the Student Success Center and the campus’ peer tutors and mentors. Not only was the book’s subject fitting to the occasion, but it also has a Longview connection: co-author Marcia A. McMullen’s sister, retired Longview faculty member Mary McMullen-Light, was director of Longview’s much-lauded Writing Across the Curriculum program.

MCC-Maple Woods

The gift: A copy of the book “Maple Woods Community College … The Early Years,” by retired MCC-Maple Woods counselors John Leheney and Christine Yannitelli

Presented by: MCC-Maple Woods president Dr. Tyjaun Lee (center) and SGA president Hunter Darr

Why that gift? “When the MCC-Maple Woods campus opened in the Northland in 1969, it was pretty much out in the country, and the faculty and staff considered themselves pioneers,” Lee said in introducing the video, an interview with Leheney.  The book covers Maple Woods’ humble beginnings in 1969, when classes first met in churches and a junior high school, and goes on to chronicle campus happenings through the 1970s and into the ’80s.

MCC-Penn Valley

The gift: An oil painting by MCC-Penn Valley student Daniel Garcia-Roman featuring various MCC scenes from the 2017-18 school year

Presented by: MCC-Penn Valley president Dr. Tyjaun Lee and Garcia-Roman

Why that gift? The video, an interview with Garcia-Roman, focused on his experiences as a first-year student at Penn Valley. He is a talented artist and “hungry for opportunity … both at Penn Valley and around town,” Lee said. He plans to become an art instructor while continuing as a working artist. By the way, you might have noticed that the painting wasn’t quite finished by inauguration. We’ll show you the completed artwork and explain who’s who in the coming weeks.