MORRIS COUNTY — More than 400 people, including local and state officials, faculty, staff, students and alumni, gathered at County College of Morris (CCM) on Friday, October 6, to celebrate the inauguration of Dr. Anthony J. Iacono as the college’s third president.
“It is a pleasure and honor to attend today’s ceremony. While walking on campus today, I got this sense of incredible pride among the students, staff and faculty on how they feel about your amazing college,” said Dr. Alan P. Roberts, president of SUNY Ulster, who gave the keynote address. “A number have asked how long I have known Dr. Iacono. Well, it’s been about 20 years. Tony gets things done. He is determined. He is focused,” added Roberts, who worked with Iacono as an administrator at Indian River State College (IRSC) in Fort Pierce, FL. As one of example of getting things done, Roberts shared how Iacono put together a workforce development program for Florida Power & Light in three weeks.
“I believe that the vision of our founders has long been realized – exceeded even,” said Iacono, regarding the success of CCM. “And, moreover, I believe that we owe it to the thousands of people who have worked for nearly 50 years to continue investing our time, talents and resources to build a CCM for tomorrow. And while we are very proud of our past and where it has taken us, I see a great college that will find its footing among the most innovative schools in the nation. A college that plays a leading role in redefining what great community colleges are all about – it’s time to refresh the vision that transformed thousands of communities across the nation.”
Serving as Master of Ceremonies for the inauguration was Dr. Bette Simmons, vice president of Student Development and Enrollment Management. Guest speakers included Board of Trustees Chair Paul Licitra, President Emeritus Edward J. Yaw and a slate of political leaders.
Iacono has been president of CCM since September 1, 2016. Since taking office, he has launched a number of initiatives to build upon the college’s strengths. Included among them are plans for an Honors Program and a Virtual Campus, and the goal of making CCM one of the county’s economic engines to attract and retain new and existing businesses. In addition, he has begun working with the college’s Board of Trustees, employees and the community on the college’s next strategic plan, which focuses on increased community partnerships, high-impact learning practices and greater opportunities for student internships.
Iacono came to CCM from IRSC where he served as Vice President of Academic Affairs. His accomplishments there included serving as a core member of the team that helped IRSC earn recognition by the Aspen Award Committee as one of the top three community colleges in the nation; leading a team of faculty, administrators and staff in supporting IRSC for admission to the Achieving the Dream network; and supporting faculty in the creation of IRSC’s Institute for Academic Excellence, an innovative research and professional development center.
Iacono is committed to the mission of community colleges and their unique role in providing superior educational opportunities. He also believes that great community colleges are those which strengthen the local economy by helping to retain existing businesses and attracting new companies by training a skilled workforce. Toward that end, he chairs the Board of Directors for the Picatinny Innovation Center and serves on the Morris County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. He also serves on various state committees and works with individuals and organizations in Morris County, throughout New Jersey and across the nation to ensure that CCM is a recognized leader in innovation and outcomes.
A strong supporter of higher education and its power to transform lives, he has served as an advisor to the United States Department of Education and various national think tanks and educational reform organizations. He is the recipient of numerous teaching and leadership awards and is a nationally recognized speaker on the topics of leadership, educational innovation, literacy and career pathways.
Iacono is a first-generation college student who received his Ph.D. in American History from Mississippi State University, his M.A. and B.A. in American History from the University of Central Florida, and his Associate in Arts in General Studies from Indian River Community College. IRSC was formed in 1965 when Indian River Community College and Lincoln Junior College merged.
Two pre-ceremony events took place on Thursday, October 5, to mark Iacono’s inauguration. The first was a reception in the college’s Art and Design Gallery, featuring the artwork of Marisa Rincon, a 2007 CCM Fine Arts graduate, and an exhibition of the work of CCM faculty from the Photography Program. The second was a concert and performance by faculty and students from the Department of Music, Dance and the Performing Arts.
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