Remembering Friends and Neighbors

October 31, 2018

BC3 Commencement, Spring 2018. Pictured (left to right) Lucille Shapiro, Vice President for Student Affairs & Enrollment Management Case Willoughby, and President Nick Neupauer

A couple of weeks back, the College lost a true friend, and legend – Lucille Shapiro.

Lucille was one of the early graduates of Butler County Community College and the loving wife of Dr. Louis Shapiro. The couple raised Rob, Beth and Leslie in a warm, caring Jewish household in Butler. Today, Lucille and Lou’s grandchildren are spread throughout the United States and carry forward their grandparents’ integrity, work ethic and spirit.

Lucille was proud to be a board member of the BC3 Education Foundation Inc., a founder of our Alumni Council and a recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award from the College she so dearly loved and served. People still talk about her incredible Commencement speech in 2018. When she concluded, our graduates immediately jumped to their feet with a standing ovation. The rest of the crowd in the Field House quickly joined in.

I’ve had many proud moments over the past 12 years as president of this College. Among my most treasured are the many hours spent with Lucille and Lou. They provided sound advice, counsel and – above all – unwavering love for my family and me.

My wife and I visited with my mother Saturday. She welcomed us with the breaking, and heart-breaking news of the Tree of Life synagogue shootings in Squirrel Hill.

“That is Lucille and Lou’s synagogue,” I thought immediately.

I remembered the Shapiros talking about the beauty and grace of the synagogue and of its members.

The emotional pain in my heart, and in the hearts of many others at the College, hasn’t subsided since our friend Lucille’s passing. It has only increased since the deaths of the Shapiros’ friends on Saturday.

Our hearts go out to the Tree of Life community and to all of our Jewish friends and neighbors.

Oak Hills Dinner: A Fall Celebration

October 9, 2018

Geyer_IhlenfeldI can smell it in the air. Can you? The beautiful aroma of autumn in western Pennsylvania.

The fall of 2018 semester is well underway. And just like other rites of passage this time of year (i.e. football, Halloween and fall festivals), BC3 is days away from one of our annual highlights – the Oak Hills Dinner.

As I’ve said before, this event serves as BC3’s homecoming. Alumni, current students, friends, faculty, staff, BC3 Education Foundation Inc. board of directors, and trustees pack Founders Hall to celebrate our history and acknowledge our strength as a No. 1-ranked community college moving forward.

The recipients of 120 BC3 Education Foundation scholarships will have the chance to meet their donors. The Honorable Kimberly D. Geyer and Sandra J. Ihlenfeld will join 49 others as BC3 Distinguished Alumni Award honorees.

I’m certain our main campus on the Oak Hill will be sparkling this Saturday afternoon. And so will I, as the proud president of this wonderful institution of higher education.