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Over the last several weeks, I have reflected upon the connections I have made over my lifetime.  Special moments remind me of how precious these are. This has never been truer for me than when several months ago I received an email from Ken and Lynn Marran, my New Jersey neighbors on Mount Paul Road, where we lived for 17 years, asking me to be the mentor for their 13-year-old son, Sam, as he was confirmed in the Episcopal Church. This was a special request of Sam’s, and it touched me greatly. Ken and Lynn moved to Mount Paul Road in Mendham, NJ, as young newlyweds, so I had the privilege of watching their family grow. That special family now includes not only Sam but also his sisters, 11-year-old Julianna and 7-year-old Cecelia (Cece).

I met Sam on day two of his life, and over the years, I have watched him become an extraordinary young man. He is very smart, curious, conversant and interested in many things. When I was 13, I had faith and commitment, but I had no clue about career or college. Sam, however, is very clear that he wants to be like his dad and become an engineer and attend the University of Pennsylvania.

My job in terms of his confirmation was to have a few one-on-one sessions with him to discuss faith, values, and commitment. These were amazing discussions, and I would say we talked about the theory of everything. All this reminded me of my conversations with many students over the years as they have struggled with the paths their lives are taking and how they get from here to there. Perhaps the most special activities for me as a college president are the chances when I get to have coffee and conversation with students during my weekend breakfasts with students each semester.

The path to the future begins very early in one’s life, and the privilege of helping shape Sam’s journey and sometimes that of students here at RCC helps me feel connected to the best part of our world and to the possibilities of a bright future for all who can be nurtured and supported—as I hope I supported Sam.

Suffragan Bishop of Dallas George Sumner, Sam Marran and me at Sam’s confirmation on Sunday, June 12, 2016.

This silver bookmark is the gift my parents gave me at my confirmation.  My initials “CLW” appear on one side and the date, 9-1-55, appears on the other.

Dr. Cliff L. Wood received the “Leader of the Year” Award from Leadership Rockland at their Class of 2016 Graduation Dinner on June 14, 2016

FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) visits the Herbert Kurz Automotive Technology Center
June 22, 2016
Pictured left to right:
Dan Ramirez, NC3 Director of Strategic Marketing and Development; Jeff Kuester, FCA/Mopar CAP Program Manager; Dr. Cliff L. Wood, President of RCC; Jeff Nielsen, NC3 Program Manager - Mopar CAP Local

Dr. David Jacobsen, Director of Rockland Independent Living Council; Dr. Cliff L. Wood, President, Rockland Community College; Dr. Allen Hershman, Clinical Coordinator of Vet to Vet Program


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