Pierce College President Patrick Schmitt will be leaving after graduation June 15 to prepare for his new appointment as chancellor of West Valley-Mission Community College District in Santa Clara Valley.
Schmitt has been looking for a new position because of the affect of the weather on his fiancée.
“I’ve really enjoyed, not just the faculty and staff, but also the students,” Schmitt said. “I try to make it my task in life to get out and talk with people and students. We have a great student body here and it’s been a pleasure getting to know them.”
The West Valley-Mission District, like Pierce College’s District, has two colleges, which are about 10 miles apart. However, in Silicon Valley traffic, the distance can seem father. As chancellor, Schmitt will be seeing over both campuses.
“For me, whenever I’ve left once place for another place, I leave good friends and colleagues,” Schmitt said. “Life is a series of hellos and goodbyes.”
Schmitt has been a supporter of the art and music programs and saw the opening of the new Arts and Allied Health building in fall 2010.
“I think that while I’ve been here, I’ve helped the college and the district farther. I leave a lot left to do…as higher education is changing…rapidly and radically. There is always work left to be done,” Schmitt said.
He also has helped make the campus a brighter place…literally. Schmitt’s involvement in improving the lights in the library building, which students used to call “the dungeon,” has created a new place for students.
Schmitt says that he has learned a lot while working at Pierce.
“My attitude is that I always have to be learning,” Schmitt said. “If I’m not learning, then there’s something wrong with my life.”
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