Celebrating the Opening of Excelsior’s Washington Center
On June 22, Excelsior College celebrated the opening of its satellite office with a ribbon cutting ceremony and reception at the National Geographic Museum in Washington, DC.
The College’s decision to open the Washington Center grew from its founding mission — to provide access to educational success for those historically underserved in higher education. With the high percentage of military in the area, a number of community colleges with graduates seeking additional degrees, and a strong presence to build on, it simply was the best location for this new office.
Cathy Kushner, vice president for Institutional Advancement, explained, “As we considered ways in which to mark the opening of the Center, we knew from the outset that alumni and students should be included. We also looked for someone who could officially represent DC and formally welcome us to the area. As a learning institution, we wanted the event to reflect this value and to have an educational component. The resulting celebration brought together these elements in a highly successful manner.”
The open house invitation was extended to all alumni and, through the Web, all students. Congressman Elijah Cummings agreed to speak. Representative Cummings, a member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sits on the subcommittee that provides oversight to the District of Columbia. Beyond this role, his dedication to uplifting and empowering people, particularly around education, made him a perfect fit for this Excelsior event. And the National Geographic Museum’s exhibit, Designing for the Other 90%, created an apt education backdrop for the event.
Annette Jeffes, assistant vice president for Enrollment Management and director of the Washington Center said of the opening event, “It was a great success. We were very pleased with the number of guests who came. There is a lot of positive energy surrounding the new location, and we are very excited about furthering relationships with our many key constituents in the area.”
“The event was all we could hope for,” said Kushner. “More than 85 alumni, students, guests, and staff were in attendance. Congressman Cummings clearly understood and supported Excelsior and its mission. And the exhibit inspired and educated those present.” Thanks were offered to Excelsior Trustee Lt. General Joseph Laposata, U.S. Army (Ret.), whose vision inspired the College to make the Washington Center a reality.
Looking forward, Excelsior alumnus and retired Master Chief Petty Officer of the U.S. Navy, Joe Campa (right), encouraged alumni attendees to work together to create an alumni chapter for the DC area, and he offered his help in coordinat- ing the effort. Since then, a planning committee for the DC chapter has formed, and a first social gathering is scheduled for Nov. 18, 2010.