Dear Ms. Smith: How your alma mater has grown!

June 8, 2020

This blog post is in response to a handwritten letter the College recently received from an alumni.

Letter from Jean H. Smith, BC3 Alumnus from Kittanning, dated May 18, 2020.

Dear Ms. Smith, 

Thank you so much for the kind letter you wrote May 18, 2020. I always enjoy hearing from our 24,500 alumni. I am also pleased that you believe your educational experience at BC3 from the 1970s has served you well over the years. 

Our college has changed quite a bit since you took classes here. Our 330-acre main campus in Butler Township is still as beautiful, especially this time of year, but has far more buildings than the original four dating to our opening in 1966. A one-mile Shaffer Walking Trail now encompasses nearly all of our buildings, and will also pass by a proposed state-of-the-art Victor K. Phillips Nursing and Allied Health building planned for the south end of our main campus – not far from those original four buildings. 

You asked about our library. That, too, has changed. We opened the Heaton Family Learning Commons in 2016. Our ultramodern academic and community library was even featured in a November 2017 issue of Library Journal, the nation’s oldest magazine devoted to libraries. Martin Miller, our dean of library sciences, leads an incredible staff in the Heaton.

Yes, we have expanded quite a bit since your time at BC3. We deliver our quality, affordable and accessible education throughout northwestern Pennsylvania. Our additional locations are in Brockway in Jefferson County; Cranberry Township in Butler County; Ford City in Armstrong County; Hermitage in Mercer County; and New Castle in Lawrence County.

The Heaton Family Learning Commons even links those additional locations to our main campus through technology. We also have a thriving distance education program! 

Would you believe we serve 25,000 students annually? Not only have we received accolades for excellence in our 56 associate degree credit programs, we serve up to 20,000 individuals in noncredit continuing education, workforce development, public safety and other important trainings. 

Margo Pitts and her love of the arts and of students like you are still discussed decades after her retirement. Professor Pitts is symbolic of our excellent faculty and staff over the years. It’s one of the many reasons I just love BC3 — a place I have called home since 1999 and have served as president since 2007. 

There’s little question higher education will change as a result of COVID-19. But I am confident BC3 will continue to thrive. Our “all in” for nursing with the Shaffer School of Nursing and Allied Health and the Victor K. Phillips Nursing and Allied Health building could not come at a more important time. 

I am so pleased you reached out to the college with your touching letter. You are always welcome for a visit. 

Pioneer Proud!

President Neupauer


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!


Above and Beyond

June 25, 2014

Forgive me, please!!!IMG_8138

It has been way too long since I wrote a blog entry as BC3’s proud president. And to make matters even worse, the subject of my latest blog is from an event that took place on May 1!

On May 1, the College recognized recent retirees, past retirees, years of service and recipients of a new award – the “Above and Beyond Award.”

Over 130 people attended the event held in Founder’s Hall. Susan Changnon, our Executive Director of Communications and Marketing, did her usual fantastic job of introducing the honorees. A video interview of most who were being recognized brought laughter and even some tears. Read the rest of this entry »


Counting my blessings

December 11, 2013

Where oh where has the fall semester of 2013 gone?

As final exams are concluding, the holiday season draws upon us. I, for one, will count my blessings. Here’s several that I appreciate:

Family – Without their support, I just couldn’t do my job.

Colleagues – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – blue-collar, hard working and dedicated summarize our terrific faculty and staff.

Students – You are the motivation in all we do. We strive for affordable, accessible and quality education with you in mind. Read the rest of this entry »