RCCC inaugural poem ‘To the College President’
To the College President
Respect, Renewalótwo values we hold
To serve the students well springs from the earth
Like yellow daffodils, to show rebirth
And good fortune, new beginnings from old.
Doctor SpaldingóKeep the doors open by grace
To all beyond what money might allow.
Give hope to the jobless with sweat dried brows,
And guide our hands to a successful place.
Today, we shower you with poppies, the air
Fragrant with the chrysanthemums and white
Lilies. We give you high regard outright,
And we expect your commitment to care.
We invoke Robert Hutchins to wake
Our minds, “the best education for all”
Implies the teachable is meant for all.
As we accept this tenet, we may shake
Away complacency to sing a song
That proclaims equality. As the dust
Of the crisis settles, we place our trust
In you as president to act with strong
Measures to make student learning central
And keep the teaching standards high. One day
your mantle will pass on, and we will say,
“The college acts as ‘first-responders’ to all.”
We take up our passports to the future,
Unafraid and confident the journey
Does not end in the ruins of a factory,
But steps toward endless learning that endures.
ó Robert C. Abbate
RCCC English faculty member
May 1, 2009