Remembering Ray Steffler

February 18, 2019

It is with a heavy heart that I state the following:

Longtime Butler County Community College Board Chair Ray D. Steffler passed away Feb. 16, 2019.

Ray’s life was dedicated to his dear alma mater, BC3. He served on the board of trustees since 1985, the final 20 as its chair. The only thing he loved more than the college was his family.

Ray witnessed a near-closing of the college in the early 1990s to our recent success as Pennsylvania’s two-time No. 1 community college. His wisdom, confidence and support never wavered, in good times or in bad.

His quotes were legendary – words to live by. They included:

“This ain’t my first rodeo.”

“Take the high road.”

“Pioneer Proud.”

I was proud when Ray led a board of trustees that unanimously appointed me as the eighth president of BC3 in 2007. I beamed with pride when we announced the Ray D. Steffler Board Room in the Science & Technology Building in 2013, and was even more proud when our Alumni Association named Ray, along with Lucille Shapiro, who passed away in October 2018, as Distinguished Alumni in 2017.

The legacy of Ray will outlast us all – as well it should.

No one dedicated his or her life to BC3 like Ray did.

Rest in peace, Mr. Chairman.

Job well done.

Read more about Ray’s legacy here:

Watch now: The Changing Role of Community Colleges

January 14, 2019

Yesterday, PCN broadcast its “Inside Boroughs” TV show.  I was honored to join Victor Rodgers of Harrisburg Area Community College to discuss the strength our commonwealth’s 14 community colleges. Of course, I used the opportunity to highlight various initiatives from our no. 1 ranked institution.

I hope you enjoy the show!

Video courtesy of PCN-TV, originally posted here: 


Celebrating 2018

January 7, 2019

Good morning, BC3, and welcome to 2019!

I’m excited to step forward into what promises to be another extraordinary year at BC3, filled with accomplishments, honors and success stories from the reigning No. 1 community college in Pennsylvania.

I’m also excited about the exceptional year BC3 enjoyed in 2018.

Our students – from senior citizens to newlyweds to student-veterans and student-athletes – achieved.

As did our faculty, staff, administrators, trustees and alumni.

Before we take that next step forward into 2019, please join me in pausing to celebrate those achievements in BC3’s 2018 Year in Review – filled with accomplishments, honors and success stories from the reigning No. 1 community college in Pennsylvania.

Enjoy the 2018 Year in Review.

Repeating as Champions: BC3 Claims Second Consecutive President’s Cup

December 11, 2018
Members of BC3’s President’s Cabinet and of the college’s back-to-back President’s Cup-winning cohorts

Members of BC3’s President’s Cabinet and of the college’s back-to-back President’s Cup-winning cohorts are shown Monday, Dec. 10, 2018, in Gibsonia.

Repeating as champions.

The Steelers did it twice. In 1976, after winning the Super Bowl in ’75; and again in 1980, after claiming the Lombardi Trophy in ’79.

BC3 repeated as the No. 1 community college in Pennsylvania in 2017 after also being ranked No. 1 by in 2015.

And on Monday, a terrific cohort from our college claimed a second consecutive President’s Cup.

The President’s Cup is the crown jewel of a unique professional development collaboration among BC3, the Community College of Beaver County and Westmoreland County Community College called the Western Pennsylvania Community College Leadership Institute. The institute is a nine-month program that embeds leadership competencies originated by the American Association of Community Colleges, which has prioritized the need to develop tomorrow’s community college leaders. The distinctive program among these three western Pennsylvania community colleges reflects this long-term goal.

Throughout the program, and in concert with the respective colleges’ presidents, cohorts from BC3, CCBC and Westmoreland work on an applied project that can be incorporated at their institutions. In 2016, Team BC3 developed a plan for a health clinic on our main campus. That suggestion has worked its way into the master planning for the new Victor K. Phillips Nursing and Allied Health Building, which is proposed for two to three years from now. The clinic will serve not only our college and Butler’s communities but also allow our students from various majors (not just registered nursing) the opportunity for hands-on experience.

On Monday, members of the 2018 BC3 cohort presented a plan for our college to address food insecurity. The model included a food pantry, a community garden on our main campus, partnering with local farmers and related curriculum offerings.

Members of the championship 2018 BC3 team are Rich Benko, Ivory Dunlap, Bill Foley, Annie Lindsay, Jennifer Loue, Mikayla Moretti, Scott Richardson and Dr. Nichol Zaginaylo.

Members of the championship 2016 BC3 team were Sean Carroll, Jessica Matonak, Karen Jack, Michelle Jamieson, Renee Piovesan, Erika Nail, Matt Miller and Stephanie Long.

Pioneer Proud!!!!


Photo Details: Members of BC3’s President’s Cabinet and of the college’s back-to-back President’s Cup-winning cohorts are shown Monday, Dec. 10, 2018, in Gibsonia. Front row, kneeling, Michelle Jamieson, a member of BC3’s 2016 cohort. Second row, from left, Karen Jack (2016); Jennifer Loue, Dr. Nichol Zaginaylo, Annie Lindsay, Scott Richardson and Ivory Dunlap (2018); Jessica Matonak (2016) and a President’s Cabinet member; and Tina Fleeger, a President’s Cabinet member. Back row, from left, Stephanie Long, Erika Nail and Renee Piovesan (2016); Dr. Nick Neupauer, BC3 president; Mikayla Moretti and Rich Benko (2018); Dr. Belinda Richardson and James Hrabosky, President’s Cabinet members; Sean Carroll (2016); Dr. Case Willoughby, a President’s Cabinet member; and Bill Foley (2018). President’s Cabinet members also include Brian Opitz, Ruth Purcell and Julie Sheptak. BC3’s 2016 Cup-winning cohort also included Matt Miller.

Winter Storm Update & Special Thanks

November 18, 2018



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Good evening, colleagues.

Butler County Community College’s main campus as well as all of our off-campus locations will run on a normal operating schedule Monday (November 19) and Tuesday (November 20) before closing from November 21-25 for Thanksgiving break.

Power was restored to main campus at approximately 9 a.m. on Sunday (November 18). Main campus was without power for approximately 48 hours. 

 A snow and ice storm on Thursday (November 15) led us to close BC3 @ Brockway, and delay starts until 9:30 a.m. at all locations. While weather-related daytime issues were minimal, we canceled evening classes and activities at all locations as conditions were expected to worsen. We were one of the first to announce our closing on Friday (November 16) morning and later, for Saturday (November 17) and Sunday due to severe weather damage and power outages.

The outages left emergency generators powering IT Services’ server room running constantly since Friday morning and competing for an increased demand for fuel with Butler County residents.

Without electricity, refrigerated or frozen food stored in the Pioneer Café, the Arts & Hospitality Building and in the Bookstore is likely unsalvageable. Pioneer Café will be closed on Monday (November 19). Pioneer Café will have limited services on Tuesday (November 20). Logan Café will open both days.

None of BC3’s buildings on main campus were reported to have sustained damage by the snow and ice storm. A tree removal service on Saturday cleared widespread fallen limbs and debris and imperiled branches Work continued on Sunday (November 18) to make campus safe for students, faculty, staff and visitors.

Please join me in thanking our maintenance and operations staff as well as the college’s informational technology (I.T.) department. Their terrific work and dedication to our college is much appreciated.

Please feel free to contact me directly should you have any questions, comments or concerns.


Dr. Nick Neupauer


“So You Want to Be a Community College President” Webinar Series

November 6, 2018

BC3 is partnering with Dabney S. Lancaster Community College and Convergent Nonprofit Solutions to present a new webinar series:

“So You Wanna Be a Community College President…”


The American Association of Community Colleges projects that over 50% of sitting presidents are expected to retire or “turn over” during the next five years. Further, the average tenure of the executive officer is less than four years.

A new wave of presidents is coming to the corner office, and if you want to be one of them, now is the time to prepare. New and aspiring Presidents are often faced with unique and daunting challenges and have few resources to access for answers, support, and guidance. We’re hoping to change that for you. This webinar series offers a unique opportunity to learn the ropes from two sitting Presidents and a former Vice President of Advancement.

On Tuesday, November 27th, I will be presenting the second installment of the series: “Understanding the Lifecycle of a Community College President” at 3:00 p.m.

Before going after that open presidency, take a moment to think about what it really means to be a community college president. What should you expect in those first few years? Understanding where your focus and energies should lie throughout each stage of your presidency is crucial to career longevity and your ability to truly make an impact on your community. During this webinar, we’ll discuss the internal elements you’ll need to tackle in your first four years, when to shift your strategy to focus on external publics and strategic media relations, and how to recognize when you’ve developed the successful governmental and funder relationships needed to pursue to groundbreaking initiatives.

To learn more or sign up to view the webinar, visit



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.