Springing into action

March 4, 2020

Spring break week. 

And how appropriate — the early-morning sun is beaming on this crisp day. Mike, a member of our terrific maintenance staff, is zooming around campus on a golf cart. I’m sure he’s dodging at least a few squirrels along the way.

I never traveled anywhere all that exciting during a spring break.

daffodils springing up in front of founders hall
Daffodils springing up. Founders Hall, Main Campus.

As an undergraduate student at Penn State University, I would return home to Ellwood City to spend time with family and friends. In graduate school at Clarion University, I announced many high school basketball playoff games in Tippin Gymnasium and spent time with my new girlfriend. (It was a couple of years later I married that lovely girlfriend, Tammy!) At West Virginia University, I used all three spring breaks to catch up on work or to take qualifying examinations for my doctorate.

Do you have a favorite spring break?

To our wonderful faculty and students, enjoy the rest of your week!


One for the thumb!

January 15, 2020

It’s that time of year when champions are being crowned. 

LSU won the college football national title. Soon, the Super Bowl winner will claim a Lombardi Trophy. Although I’m saddened the Super Bowl champ won’t be the Steelers, the following news certainly has me brimming with pride:

Butler County Community College is Pennsylvania’s No. 1 community college, according to BestColleges.com. Even better is the fact that this is the fifth time since 2015 that BC3 has achieved a No. 1 ranking.

Oh, where to begin. 

Great thanks to our college’s faculty and staff – you are truly second to none.

Appreciation to our boards – of trustees and of the BC3 Education Foundation Inc. Your support, guidance and wisdom have led this college to such an accolade.

And, most importantly, appreciation to our students. You are the center of everything in this student-centered institution. We exist to provide you a quality, affordable and accessible education.

To quote the rock band Queen: 

“We are the Champions!”


How we shined in 2019

January 9, 2020

Welcome to 2020 – and to the first mornings of a new decade at BC3!

Each morning such as this promises more chances to shine.

Just behind us, and below the horizon, is the afterglow of 2019, a year still glimmering with the successes of our growing BC3 family.

In 2019, we shined.

We shined as students in the classroom. As student-athletes on the courts and fields. As leaders, administrators, trustees, faculty, graduates and volunteers, on campus, at our additional locations, in boardrooms, in workplaces and in our communities.

We shined as partners with another community college, with a private college, and with businesses and nonprofit organizations.

Just ahead of us, above the horizon, are more chances to shine.

Before the afterglow of 2019 further fades into another morning of 2020, please join me in celebrating how we shined. Welcome back to 2019, and to BC3’s Year in Review.

sunrise at bc3

Giving Thanks!

November 25, 2019
autumn-leaves-bc3
Oak Trees in Autumn, BC3 Main Campus. Photo by William Foley

Hello, BC3 family!

There are so many reasons for so many of us to be thankful, and with Thanksgiving but a few days away, there’s not a better time for me to share with my BC3 family why I am grateful for you, and for what you accomplish. Here are 10 of the many reasons that come in mind in 2019:

10. The creation of our Pioneer PantryTalk about Pioneer Proud! This initiative has taken off – and the beneficiaries are our terrific students.

9. Our Workforce Development division and Public Safety and Continuing Education departments. In all, more than 20,000 people served annually. A true example of BC3 being the Community’s College.

8. “All in for Nursing.” The Victor K. Phillips Nursing and Allied Health Building. The Shaffer School of Nursing and Allied Health. A partnership with Grove City College. And I am certain there is more to come!

7. Expansion of BC3 @ Armstrong The residents of Ford City are excited. And so are we. Yet another example of our role in northwestern Pennsylvania.

6. Our downtown initiative in the City of Butler. Lunch and Learns, combating the opiate crisis, volunteerism, city beautification — and more. Incredible efforts that benefit our community.

5. President’s Cabinet. Always on my list. We are blessed to be surrounded by such intelligent, devoted professionals.

4. Our Board of Trustees and BC3 Education Foundation Board of Directors. Selfless, professional and tireless dedication that enables our college to maintain our ranking as the No. 1 community college in Pennsylvania by Schools.com in three consecutive surveys.

3. Our veterans, who are our students, our faculty or staff. We owe you so much. Thank you. You and your service are never taken for granted.

2. Our faculty Your role in our student-centered institution is crucial … and appreciated.

And the No. 1 reason I am thankful this holiday season … Our students. Many are first-generation who work while attending our college. You are our core and we are honored to offer to you our affordable, quality and accessible education.

Happy Thanksgiving!


2019 Oak Hills Dinner: Spirits High, Optimism Abounds

October 14, 2019

The sun is shining on this beautiful fall day. Spirits are high and optimism abounds. That’s what happens after a Steelers victory here in western Pennsylvania.

This weekend was a winner for another reason – BC3’s annual Oak Hills Dinner.

Linda Franiewski - John Reddick
John Reddick, left, an architect at Stantec in downtown Butler, and Linda Franiewski, executive director of the Ellen O’Brien Gaiser Center in Butler Township, are shown Oct. 12 before BC3’s Oak Hills Dinner. Franiewski and Reddick were honored at the dinner as BC3’s 2019 distinguished alumni.

Founders Hall was filled to capacity Saturday night with scholarship donors, scholarship recipients, distinguished alumni, families, friends and community members.

The college honored Linda Franiewski and John Reddick with 2019 Distinguished Alumni Awards. These dedicated and talented professionals – Linda in social services and John in architecture – spoke about the significant role BC3 played in their personal and professional successes.

Their speeches were awe-inspiring.

Speaking of successes, student Greggory Miller, a President’s Scholarship recipient and the son of BC3 alumna Angela Miller, dazzled the crowd with an incredible speech that emphasized our quality education delivered by expert faculty.

Perhaps best of all, Greggory said, is that he will graduate from BC3 debt-free in May.

Yes, spirits are high and optimism abounds at the No. 1 community college in Pennsylvania in three consecutive Schools.com rankings!