December 4, 2023

Evolution of leaders over 80 years


CEU made national news in 1996 when the Board of Regents hired Utah’s first female and first black president, Grace Sawyer Jones, to head the two-year college as its seventh president.
A tenured professor and VP for multicultural affairs at State University of New York, upon coming to Utah, Jones said, “I believe the community college is an essential ingredient in our changing world, now more than ever. It is both the educational and training center for the community.”
Eastern had grown to 2,560 students when Jones arrived. Her goal was to increase enrollment and retention issues. “Recruitment is everybody’s job, and hopefully we will have that a kind of commitment from everyone . . .it will be this year’s most important activity; there has to be a commitment on the part of the entire college community.” Creating a unity between the Moab and San Juan campuses was another concern. “CEU is a college that enjoys the distinction of having the greatest land mass in the state of Utah.”
She admonished students to maintain the seriousness she sees in their learning and be curious to take a class that you are somewhat intimidated by its title.
The Jennifer Leavitt Student Center was funded while Jones was president and she left Eastern to become president of Three Rivers Community College in Norwich, Connecticut.

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