LAST week, the faculty and staff from Northern Marianas College gathered together to revitalize an important area around the college. Despite how busy our team has been preparing for the start of the Spring 2022 semester, they still made time for this important project. The camaraderie they developed as a result of this shared project is matched by the pride of ownership they feel in helping beautify our community.
For the NMC tribe, it’s all about the resilience and strength they have demonstrated time and time again in the face of natural disasters, economic uncertainty, and the current pandemic. Without fail, no matter how turbulent the waters have been, NMC’s proa sails ahead. Consistent with the college’s renewed focus on stewardship, the Marianas Village Pride Campaign is a great example of how we can all become better stewards of our environment. If it takes a village to raise a child, then it will take all our villages to give future children a better world.
The GCEA theme “Together, We Can!” echoes what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said: “We may have all come on different ships, but we're in the same boat now.” In our case here in the Northern Marianas, we may have all come from different shores, but we sail ahead in the same proa now.
NMC has been working endlessly to adjust to how each generation works and how we accommodate our students so they can be academically successful. To do that, we made sure that our facilities master plan continues ahead. Leveraging tens of millions of dollars in grant funding, we are on track to build at least five new buildings in the coming years. To build momentum for the whole facilities plan, we remain committed to breaking ground on the first building in the plan, the student center, by this summer.
Overall, the college is finalizing a new strategic master plan that will focus on taking care of our people, taking care of our resources, and taking care of our community. Much of this is embodied in a renewed effort to foster a spirit of stewardship.
Living on such small islands, it is tempting to feel helpless and hopeless against the titanic forces of globalization and the devastating effects of climate change. However, after each disaster and calamity, we don’t respond with violence and unrest. Instead, we come together as a community to help each other recover and build back stronger. In other words, we are not just victims; we are agents of change. We have a lot to teach our global community about how to take care of our environment and how to take care of each other.
That, to me, is the core of stewardship. It’s also the key to the college’s next strategic master plan as we all become better stewards of our Commonwealth and our planet. As I have been saying for quite some time, as we sail ahead with a focus on learning, let us lift the tide for everyone.
I am incredibly honored to serve alongside such committed public servants.
With that, stay safe, stay calm, and sail on!