Bolt for­mally takes reins at Ce­cil Col­lege cer­e­mony

First grad­u­ate to serve as pres­i­dent



— The Satur­day be­fore the lat­est crop of Ce­cil Col­lege graduates cel­e­brated their achieve­ments, the col­lege cel­e­brated its new pres­i­dent.

An in­vesti­ture cer­e­mony for­mally handed the power, du­ties and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of the pres­i­dent to Mary Way Bolt. Af­ter serv­ing as in­terim pres­i­dent fol­low­ing W. Stephen Pan­nill’s de­par­ture,


Bolt be­gan her pres­i­dency on July 30, 2015. She is the first Ce­cil Col­lege grad­u­ate to serve as pres­i­dent of the col­lege.

“My vi­sion for Ce­cil Col­lege is to re­spond to our ex­ist­ing stu­dent body and build the ca­pac­ity for fu­ture needs for our stu­dents and for our em­ploy­ers,” Bolt said on Satur­day. “This will not oc­cur with­out in­sti­tu­tional com­mit­ment, in­no­va­tive strate­gies that re­spond to our ex­ist­ing and emerg­ing con­di­tions.”

The in­vesti­ture cer­e­mony oc­curs within the first year or at the end of the pres­i­dent’s term in of­fice. Dur­ing the cer­e­mony, Bolt re­ceived the col­lege’s pres­i­den­tial medal­lion dur­ing the cer­e­mony, which sym­bol­izes tak­ing on the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties to the col­lege. The medal­lion has dif­fer­ent sym­bols, in­clud­ing ducks, which stand for the East­ern Shore, Ch­e­sa­peake Bay and the nat­u­ral re­sources of the Bay. The sec­ond sym­bol is a torch, which stands for knowl­edge be­ing passed on. Lastly, a map stands for the county.

Bolt said the col­lege’s “great­est suc­cess” is en­sur­ing stu­dents leave the col­lege with the cre­den­tials to trans­fer to an­other school and seek and se­cure em­ploy­ment.

She said stu­dents will learn in adap­tive and in­ter­ac­tive en­vi­ron­ments, at­mos­pheres and class­rooms to cre­ate an en­gag­ing learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

Bolt said “these strate­gies are re­al­ized in part by the col­lege’s ef­fort to con­tin­u­ously strengthen our com­mu­nity al­liances” through pub­lic di­a­logue about ed­u­ca­tion, among other ways.

Bolt said stu­dents will have hand­son ex­pe­ri­ence through col­lab­o­ra­tive part­ner­ships. She said the col­lege will con­tinue to cre­ate op­por­tu­ni­ties for stu­dents to be in­volved in their stud­ies such as re­ceive hands on work through pro­grams such as in­tern­ships, field­work, work ex­pe­ri­ence and work­place projects, sup­ported by lo­cal em­ploy­ers.

“A col­lege ed­u­ca­tion is an in­vest-

ment in the fu­ture and qual­ity of life in our com­mu­nity,” Bolt said.

Sev­eral guests spoke dur­ing the cer­e­mony, rem­i­nisc­ing and con­grat­u­lat­ing Bolt.

Christy Dryer, dean of nurs­ing and health pro­fes­sions with the col­lege, told a story about how she for­got to in­tro­duce Bolt dur­ing two pin­ning cer­e­monies. She said she apol­o­gized to Bolt both times, and Bolt was not upset or mad.

“Af­ter teas­ing me a lit­tle bit, she told me, ‘It’s OK. It’s not about me, it’s about the stu­dents.’ That state­ment sums up a lot about Dr. Mary Way Bolt. She truly does not feel it is about her, but it’s about the stu­dents, the fac­ulty and the com­mu­nity,” Dryer said.

She said this story, as well as an­other time Bolt en­ter­tained Dryer’s young son while his sis­ter was at dance class in the col­lege’s theater, de­pict her as a kind per­son with a great sense of hu­mor, among other pos­i­tive traits.

Gabrielle Alexan­der, who grad­u­ated on Sun­day with a de­gree in bi­ol­ogy, said her time at the col­lege has in­creased her con­fi­dence.

“Dr. Bolt’s pas­sion for ed­u­ca­tion and fo­cus on the needs of the county, in

terms of skill gaps in the work place and work­force de­vel­op­ment, has made the value of a Ce­cil Col­lege de­gree so much richer,” Alexan­der said.

Sarah Colenda, chair of the col­lege’s board of trustees, said the board re­ceived many ap­pli­ca­tions for the pres­i­dency, but Bolt “rose to the top through­out the process.”

Bolt has not only been a stu­dent with the col­lege, but has held nu­mer­ous jobs within the col­lege, earn­ing the re­spect of many.

She re­ceived her as­so­ci­ate’s de­gree in nurs­ing from Ce­cil Col­lege in 1986. Bolt then went on to earn a bach­e­lor’s de­gree from the Univer­sity of Mary­land, Bal­ti­more County; a mas­ter’s de­gree from Univer­sity of Mary­land, Bal­ti­more; and a doc­tor­ate in higher ed­u­ca­tion and lead­er­ship from Wi­dener Univer­sity.

Bolt grew up in Conowingo and grad­u­ated from Ris­ing Sun High School. She lives in Colora with her daugh­ter, Emily, and son, Daniel.

Ref­er­enc­ing the stu­dents who tell their Ce­cil sto­ries each month dur­ing the board’s monthly meet­ings, Colenda said: “I be­lieve Dr. Bolt is our Ce­cil story.”


Ce­cil Col­lege graduates Stephanie For­rest and El­iz­a­beth White pose out­side the col­lege on Sun­day af­ter­noon.

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