President’s Message

From left: Alumni Association board members Suzanne Thompson, Richard Beall, Lori Thomas, and Carol Leahy joined College Senior Vice President Sanjay Rai and Vice President/Provosts Margaret Latimer (Germantown) and Kimberly Kelley (Rockville) at a county delegation meeting to support state funding for a new Takoma Park/Silver Spring science facility.

Dear fellow alumni and friends,

Have you seen the new tagline on College materials? “Make Your Move.” It’s a way of encouraging students to take charge of their educational direction, and to take advantage of all the College has to offer them. The Alumni Association made our own move this spring, to offices in MC’s new Central Services Building. Along with files and supplies came a sculpture by lifelong learner Sarah Silberman; a photo album presented to Dean Wayne Van Der Weele on his retirement from the Rockville Campus; and a ceremonial groundbreaking shovel used by Dean Irvin Schick, Bliss ’47, when aging Bliss Electrical School buildings were replaced in the 1970s.

That shovel is needed again. Science facilities on the Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus are at the end of their practical use. At 38 and 56 years old, Science North and Science South no longer offer the state-of-the-art labs and classrooms that students had in high school. (Look no further than the just-renovated Science Center West at Rockville to see the benefit of an update.) We’re grateful to our state and county leaders who support a new math and science center for students making their move into 21st century scientific careers. If you happen to speak with them, please offer your own thanks for their help, and encourage them to continue funding design and construction of a new building. I’m grateful to Dr. Pete Hartsock ’66 and others who’ve spoken up for that in local meetings.

Buildings change in an institution that’s reached its 70th anniversary. But we’re also observing the 40th anniversary of another MC mainstay, Summer Dinner Theatre—which sparked the careers of singer Tori Amos ’83, Broadway actor Brad Oscar ’81, and human-rights champion Alyson Palmer ’80. In June, Alyson brings home her band, BETTY, to celebrate those anniversaries, as well as their 30th year performing together. If any tickets remain at this printing, use your alumni discount to help us rock Takoma’s Cultural Arts Center!

Since last fall, we’ve co-hosted three athletic reunions—Knights football in December, all athletes at a basketball doubleheader in February, and a rain-sprinkled but determined gathering of baseball teams in April. We’re grateful to Coaches Phil Martin, Tarlouh Gasque, and Dan Rascher for helping us bring the players back to the campuses, and to our past president, Socrates Koutsoutis ’56, for his tireless support of fellow athletes.

In this issue we feature several people who have made their move beyond MC—to places ranging from Harvard Business School, where Gilles Mepossi Noutcha ’07 and Ivan Salas Orono ’08 pursued graduate studies, to Sri Lanka, where Manjula Dissanayake ’03 founded an educational nonprofit. I’m proud of the diversity of career options available to today’s MC alumni. I hope you’ll join me, as you’re able, in supporting scholarship opportunities for tomorrow’s students too.

Lori A. Thomas ’99
Montgomery College
Alumni Association President

Photography by Pete Vidal