2020 Remarks at CW's Day College Orientation

President Mary Beth Del Balzo2020 Remarks at CW's Day College Orientation

January 14, 2020

As delivered.

Good morning and welcome to CW!  Orientation is one of my very favorite days of the year – the other is graduation day, commencement.

Did you know that CW celebrated its 100 year anniversary in 2015?  Yes, we have been around quite a long time, doing what we do best, educating students who want to become employable, be successful, realize their dreams.  I know you have all made the decision to attend college here at CW, and I thank you for that decision.  You are among a unique group of people who attend college because they know what they want to achieve.  That is a great start.

I attended college both as a traditional aged student right after high school, and again as an adult with children, job, responsibilities.  No matter where you are in your college career, I understand the challenges you may be facing.  It is not easy but it is essential that you take the time for yourself.  No matter what is going on around you, your college is your oasis, the place where you can work to make your dreams come true.  Everyone around you will be lifted up by your experience.  We will help you make the most of it.  Your education is something that no one can ever take away from you.

Students have many choices when deciding where to attend, and I believe you have made a sound choice that will serve you well.  The reason for continuing your education may be a discussion that you have had with your family and perhaps with your admissions counselor at CW.  Remember now what your motivation is.  What are you hoping to accomplish?

Bob Rotella is a sports psychologist who has helped many Olympic teams as well as pro basketball players, golfers and many others.  He says we are more likely to reach a goal if we set a goal.  Let’s do this exercise together.

For just a moment, please grab a pen or pencil and your goal card.  Take the card out of the plastic and bear with me for a moment as I share these directions with you. 

Get comfortable in your chair and allow your eyes to close.  Take a deep breath in and a slow breath out and repeat 2 more times.  Allow your mind to clear by thinking about something happy – the face of a loved one, some fresh air, beautiful sunshine.  Take another breath.  Allow yourself to begin to think about what you want to accomplish here.  Imagine yourself already graduated, doing what you want to do professionally.  Set that goal now to accomplish that vision.  When you are ready, open your eyes and write down the goal on the card.  Put the card back in the plastic and put it in your wallet.  Take it out and look at it.

Keep in mind that what you put your energy into is what manifests.  Let me explain.  The more you attend, the better you will do.  Showing up counts.  Many studies have shown that students that actually attend classes achieve higher grades and more importantly, learn more – experience what they need to be successful.  And school is a microcosm for life.  Make it one of the best experiences you can…..and you don’t have to do it alone.

Of course you have to do the work, but there are many of us who are here to support and guide you.  We are all here to support your efforts in many specific ways. You will have the opportunity today to meet many of those people.

Parents and loved ones who are attending today – we thank you for taking the time out of your busy lives to be here.  There are specific opportunities you have to support your student.  Students will learn today that there is a release form that they can sign to give you access to best help them in this educational experience, in order to make it as successful and beneficial an experience as possible.

Our B students want to be A students!  There are great opportunities for intellectual achievement, internships, professional organizations, clubs, part time and full time job and career opportunities, while you are in school and beyond.  Aim to join the academic honors program, become a member of the dean’s list and president’s list for high academic achievement.  Apply for foundation scholarships and participate in all that a college has to offer.

Today, you will meet our professionals including our highly qualified and enthusiastic faculty, career services, the library, the Learning Center, the Counseling Center, as well as Student Financial Services and Student Academic Services, your academic advisors, your success coaches, online and technical support, and the rest of us!

One more thing I will stress is the need for you to communicate.  Don’t be afraid to share your needs, your struggles in class, or your desire to do even better.   Ask your instructors, your advisors, your coaches.  Let us know as early in your semester as possible where you need the most assistance. 

For student messages, check the CW Everywhere App for all things practical.  You will be hearing more about everything I have shared here. 

Again, my personal welcome to The College of Westchester.  I look forward to seeing you on my very favorite day of the year – Commencement!  Meanwhile, I’ll see you in the halls!  If you have feedback, email me at president@cw.edu    Have fun today, and enjoy your education at CW!