News from LaGuardia Community College
Update on the Tomorrow Campaign 

Regular readers of this newsletter will recall that back in April I announced a new fundraising campaign with the audacious goal of collecting $10 million by New Year’s Eve. The catch was that if we hit the goal a generous donor would contribute $5 million, enabling us to top out at $15 million, an unheard-of sum for LaGuardia, or most community colleges in the US. Well, my friends, we are almost there. As of this writing we have raised $8.7 million. We have some leads we’re currently working on, but, alas, we can’t take hope to the bank.  

Since there is no time like the present now would actually be an ideal time for you to make a contribution, if you have not done so already. (If you have, thank you!) Funds raised through the Tomorrow Campaign will be given to LaGuardia students as scholarships, last-dollar financial aid, and emergency support (rent, food, medical expenses, etc.). The goal is to ensure that low-income students whose families suffered economically during the pandemic can remain in LaGuardia, graduate in June, and then transfer to a four-year college, or get a good job in their field of interest. To make a year-end gift, please click hereThank you!   

Happy holidays to you and yours, and all the best for a wonderful 2022!
End-of-Semester Celebration Looks to New Year
Last week at our Closing Sessions event I pressed my case for returning to campus and providing more in-person classes in the New Year. (During this Fall Semester less than a third of our classes have been in-person or hybrid.) The event also featured a panel discussion with faculty and staff about our plans for the new Centro de Herencia Latina—a Latin American/Latinx Heritage Center. This project is important to LaGuardia’s mission as a federally-recognized Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), a designation that results from having a student body that is 48% Hispanic. A couple of fun videos and an impressive student singing performance round out the Closing Sessions program. Check it out here.
LaGuardia Students Win Prestigious Scholarships
Two LaGuardia students were recently awarded highly competitive scholarships for their academic excellence, leadership, and community contributions. Sindy Kalauch, a 2020 LaGuardia graduate who is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s in psychology at Hunter College, was one of 12 CUNY students chosen from 350 applicants for the 2021 Belle Zeller Scholarship. Accounting major, Meggen Fernandez, who will graduate from LaGuardia this winter, was one of 35 CUNY students awarded a 2021 NYCHA-CUNY Resident Scholarship. Big congrats to Sindy and Meggen, and full-throated shout-outs to the LaGuardia faculty that helped them win these prestigious honors.
Big 10 Beware
Important news for LaGuardia student athletes and their fans: intercollegiate athletics are returning in 2022. Did you know that team sports were on hiatus at LaGuardia since 2017? Time to get back on the field, court, track, trail, etc. In 2022, we will start the process of restoring men’s and women’s cross country, swimming, and basketball, as well as women’s volleyball and men’s soccer. LaGuardia teams will compete against teams from other CUNY colleges as members of the CUNY Athletic Conference. Special thanks to Dr. Fay Butler, Interim Associate Dean for Student Life, for leading the reboot of LaGuardia Athletics. Go Red Hawks! 
Accreditation Where Accreditation is Due
As mentioned in prior editions, the process through which LaGuardia seeks to be re-accredited is well underway. (Think of accreditation as our license to confer degrees, which needs to be renewed every eight years.) The Middle States Commission on Higher Education mandates that as part of this process we produce a voluminous “Self-Study” in which we assess our strengths and challenges, and how we satisfy the Commission’s criteria (“Standards”) for accreditation. Here’s where you come in. The Middle States evaluators want to know what supporters, community partners, and other friends of LaGuardia think of us, including how you regard our success at delivering on our Mission. Please help us in this important process by completing this brief survey here. Survey results will be reviewed by LaGuardia’s Middle States Steering Committee, and will inform the Self-Study we’re submitting to the Commission in early February. Thank you for your participation.
Free Community College” Was Never Really Free
You won’t be surprised that I closely followed President Biden’s failed proposal for “free” community college. However, as I wrote recently in The Hechinger Report, “free community college” won’t address the needs of all students. Many low-income students, who make up the majority of community college students, receive tuition support from federal and state financial aid programs, which is vital. But, in addition, students struggle with living expenses and the basic costs of attending college, such as books, transportation, and technology. To succeed, and make it to graduation, they need scholarships, paid internships, and emergency funds, as well as advising, tutoring and other supports. None of that is free. (See Item #1 above.)
LaGuardia Humanitarian Initiative Launches Student-Led Effort to Combat Climate Crisis
Thanks to the LaGuardia Humanitarian Initiative, we recently joined the Climate Reality Campus Corps, part of an organization founded by former Vice President Al Gore to combat the global climate crisis by getting college students to take action. LaGuardia is the first CUNY college and the first community college to join the network of 25 Campus Corps chapters from across the United States. The LaGuardia Climate Reality Campus Corps chapter is led by students, with faculty and staff serving as advisors. 

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