A ribbon cutting ceremony was held on August 21, 2012, to celebrate the opening of the new University Center at 95 South Hanover Street, Pottstown. From left, alumnus Charles “Chip” Roberts, Pa. State Rep. Marcy Toepel, Chairman of the Board of Trustees Michael D’Aniello, Albright College President Dr. Lex O. McMillan III, President Dr. Karen A. Stout, State. Sen. John C. Rafferty Jr., Pa. State Rep. Tom Quigley, Montgomery County Commissioner Vice Chair Leslie S. Richards and West Campus Vice President Dr. Steady Moono. Photo by Sara Brams-Miller.
by Alana J. Mauger '97
For Montgomery County Community College alumnus Charles Roberts, the College’s University Center provided the accessible, convenient pathway he needed to complete his college education.
“I cannot begin to tell you where I would be without having the University Center. I was able to attend class as a working adult and as someone who could not attend class the traditional college way. I may never have attempted a bachelor’s program unless the University Center existed,” said Roberts, who has since earned a master’s degree from Gwynedd-Mercy College and who works in the College’s Enrollment Services department.
Roberts, along with community leaders, legislators and the campus community, celebrated the opening of the University Center’s new home at 95 South Hanover Street, Pottstown, on August 21, 2012.
First introduced in 2006, the College’s University Center offers an innovative approach to expanding higher education opportunities for residents of the Tri-County region. Through partnerships with four-year institutions—Albright College, Chestnut Hill College, Temple University and Villanova University—students can choose from eight bachelor’s degrees, two master’s degrees and one graduate certificate.
During the celebratory event, President Dr. Karen A. Stout addressed the importance of expanding access to higher education opportunities for the region.
“Before we introduced the innovative University Center model, our graduates had to travel to the greater Reading and Philadelphia areas to continue their education in baccalaureate and graduate degree programs. However, for many of our students and community members in the Tri-County region, this commute simply isn’t possible,”
she said. “Therefore, the University Center becomes more than a place where our partner institutions lease space to teach their classes on our campus. It becomes part of a much larger pipeline in terms of building student access to higher education.”
Dr. Lex O. McMillan III, president of Albright College in Reading spoke about the longstanding relationship with the College, describing it as a “thriving, healthy partnership.”
“Montgomery County Community College has the largest onsite degree completion programs of our satellite campuses,” he told the roomful of attendees. “In the 2011-12 year, 6,135 credits were transferred from MCCC, and 130 Albright students are enrolled in the degree completion program (at the University Center).”
The University Center project is made possible through a public-private partnership and lease agreement with Vesper Property Group, the building’s owner and developer. The newly renovated 10,500 square-foot facility includes six classrooms with smart and videoconference technology, a student lounge and reception area. The entire building is secured through electronic card access, and a front desk concierge is available to greet students and answer questions.
In addition to creating a new home and identity for the University Center, the new facility frees up existing classroom space at the College’s North and South halls—space that is greatly needed to accommodate an unprecedented 60 percent enrollment growth at the West Campus over the past five years.
For more information about the University Center, visit https://www3.mc3.edu/university-center/index.html.
College Alumnus Charles “Chip” Roberts spoke to the audience about how beneficial the University Center is for students who want to complete their baccalaureate degrees.
Photo by Sara Brams-Miller.
Through a public-private partnership and lease agreement with Vesper Property Group, the building’s owner and developer, Montgomery County Community College was able to move its University Center classes into the former AAA East Penn Motor Club building, where there is more space and parking. Photo by Diane VanDyke.