Erie County Community College Welcomes President Dr. Christopher Gray
College board hosts press conference for new president
On Thursday, July 8, 2021 the Erie County Community College Board introduced the first President of the Erie County Community College Dr. Christopher Gray.
The Erie County Community College Board of Trustees, County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper, as well as Chairman of the County Council Carl Anderson III gathered for a small audience to present the new President of the Erie County Community College at the Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership.
After a nationwide search, the Erie County Community College Board of Trustees announced the hiring of the college's first President, Dr. Christopher Gray. An entrepreneurial educator, Gray holds the current title of Vice President of Academic and Workforce Development at McHenry County College.
Gray takes on the new position with positivity, promising to follow a model of accessibility, affordability, and adaptability. A graduate of community college himself, Gray aims to promote a supportive community college that provides students with the ability to access an affordable education that increases access to workforce and academic opportunities within the community.
Gray stressed that students from "all walks of life" should have access to higher education. The Erie County Community College will be an open-access institution, welcoming all students. The goal of accessibility holds close to Gray's heart as he recalled an anecdote about his own father's GED achievement at community college when Gray was a young boy.
"We have to meet them where they are. We have to understand they're coming from different life experiences, different fears, different hopes," Gray said. He repeated, "we're going to have to meet them where they are and help them get to where they need to be."
Gray expressed that the college would work with student's schedules and personal experiences to fit their needs. The Erie County Community College will follow the Pennsylvania core curriculum while also partnering with local universities to continue to give back to the community.
"It is about getting people employable, giving them the skills, the confidence, the ability to believe in themselves so they can go out there and make Erie better," Gray said. "Because when they make Erie better, it's better for all of us."
The Erie County Community College (ECCC) will open in September 2021, in partnership with many local organizations, such as the Benedictine Sisters of Erie. The ECCC will have sites across the county with classes taking place at Corry Higher Education Council, the Tom Ridge Environmental Center, and the Erie Technical School Facility. The ECCC has also partnered with the Erie County Public Library as well as some library systems through Penn State-Behrend and Edinboro University.
For more information visit: https://ecccpa.org