At Labette Community College, when we speak of seasons, we are usually talking about the most current sport that is practicing and hosting games. Well, this season is also a season of giving thanks and reflection.

As the holidays quickly approach, students are studying diligently for finals and instructors preparing for the spring semester. In the midst of the holiday bustle, we should remember to pause and be thankful for all we have and all we’ve accomplished.

I am thankful for this college, the outstanding faculty, staff and students who astound me daily by their drive to succeed. LCC is located in such a supportive community. Through their support we have completed a $10.5 million capital campaign and have started to build a state of the art health science building.

This summer we dedicated 1401 Main as the Ted Hill Physical Therapist Assistant building. The team of PTA staff and administration were excited to learn of the five-year accreditation by CAPTE in November. A five-year accreditation in this type of health science program is hard to come by being a new program, so earning this standard of excellence was proof our program is doing great things. The PTA program recently held a pinning ceremony for the first graduating class from the program. The respiratory therapy program earned a 10-year accreditation as well. The nursing department recently went through a rigorous and successful site visit from the Kansas State Board of Nursing. Our computer science, recording arts and office technology students continue to earn top honors in state and national competitions.

The list of greatness could go on for pages, however, I feel truly humbled to work with such fine instructors, staff and students. The students, college and many communities will benefit from this endeavor for years to come.

During this season of giving, LCC is grateful for the gifts of so many that believe in this building project.

Personally, I am thankful for the many, many connections that we have made reaching out to our alumni. We have found and re-connected with so many talented graduates who have touched our community and theirs.

Many of you have heard me say, in remarks I’ve made before, that we have a very special college. That college is special because of the care our faculty members take in moving our students from where they were to where they want to be. It’s no surprise to me that we continue to graduate very talented students from our health care programs. It’s no surprise that the skills learned in their general education courses serve as the foundation for their next step. It’s no surprise that students in our technical programs leave with strong, competitive skills for the workplace. It’s no surprise that our students continue to place high in national honors. Our PTK honors program continues to place near the top nationally and internationally. Our Phi Beta Lambda and Skills USA members continue to place at the top in their state and national competitions. It certainly is no surprise that we have two nationally ranked athletic programs. Our wrestling team continued a traditional of excellence by bringing home the 2012 national title.

I always close my editorials by inviting you to campus for a visit. I’m not ready to close just yet, but I do want to invite you to visit your college. Walk the halls, take a campus tour, talk to our students, faculty and staff. Learn firsthand all the great things that go on at your college.

So it is time to close. Thank you to each and every student, faculty member, staff member, coach and administrator for the tremendous things you do for all of us every day. As I reflect on the great success at LCC during the past year, I want to extend a special thank you to the communities in Labette and Cherokee counties that have made these achievements possible through the support of our students.

As Carol and I began to finalize our Christmas holiday travel plans, we were reminded how fortunate we are to live in such a great community where so many treat us like family, even though our children live states away. Carol and I wish you a happy holiday season and safe travels.

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