Dear Readers:

On Aug. 2, voters in Washtenaw County went to the polls and overwhelmingly approved Washtenaw Community College’s 0.85 operating millage renewal and restoration ballot question.

The millage, which will raise about $12.5 million in financial support, was approved by 70.4 percent of voters – one of the highest approval percentages in our 50-year history.

On behalf of our Board of Trustees, our faculty and staff – I’d like to offer a sincere thank you to Washtenaw county taxpayers for this remarkable support.

The millage vote outcome re-enforces our determination to “Keep Up the Good Work,” the theme of our millage campaign. The trust taxpayers have shown will be returned through our continuing efforts to serve the community with affordable, first-rate programs and services.

The dollars the millage will provide are crucial, but the approval signifies more than dollars. It will allow WCC to continue to make a difference in the lives of our students and give them the resources and opportunities to realize their educational goals and dreams.

Each WCC student comes to our door with a footprint and timetable unique to their personal and professional journeys. It’s our job to assure their needs and priorities are met and that they leave our doorstep knowledgeable, highly skilled and job ready.

What a year it’s been! The college celebrated its 50th year with a theme of “Opening Doors.” The anniversary year closes with the burial of a time capsule and a community open house on Sunday, Sept. 25, which you’ll be hearing more about in the weeks ahead.

While we celebrated our impressive past, we also continue to look ahead. There’s much about which to be optimistic.

WCC remains an affordable and accessible institution of higher learning, with a talented and dedicated faculty and staff ready to serve our students and the wider community.

Their work is reflected in the success of our students. Did you know, WCC students ranked higher than the national average in 10 academic areas, including math and English?

Also helping students and their families, we have held the line on costs. Tuition for in-county students for the new academic year currently underway is the same as it was last year. And student fees remain frozen for the fifth year in a row. That’s an accomplishment that few colleges and universities can match.

Through strong relationships with business partners, we continue to repeat confidently our long-standing message: “What do you call someone who went to Washtenaw Community College? Employed!”

The millage approval is a wonderful way to end our 50th anniversary celebration and assure future generations of WCC students that there is great value in an education from Washtenaw Community College.

Let’s all continue to “Keep Up the Good Work!” Our students and community members deserve nothing less.