League for Innovation in the Community College
4505 E. Chandler Blvd.
Phoenix, AZ 85048
Phone: 480/705-8200 x 227
Kennedy Keynotes Innovations 2002: "You
Are the Miracle Workers"
Boston, MA - March 18,
2002 - Senator Edward M. Kennedy took time away from St. Patrick's celebrations
and a tumultuous political season to deliver a resounding message to the
Innovations 2002 Conference: "It is wrong dead wrong for your
budgets to be cut at a time when the nation's workers depend on training
to move into the future."
Addressing the 1,800 community
college professionals gathered at Boston's Marriott Copley Hotel, Kennedy
applauded the enrollment of "over 10 million students each year"
in community colleges and assured the audience, "You truly are America's
Kennedy was unflinching
about the challenges confronting higher education. He pointed to the strides
community colleges have made, particularly in the areas of access and
diversity. But the "common battle," he said, is now the issue
of funding. He emphasized the need for critical advances such as transportation
and child-care costs, naming the Hope Scholarship as a model innovation.
"The real cost of
attending college," Kennedy thundered, "should not be defined
only by tuition costs."
The keynote address, made
on the second full day of a conference buzzing with roundtables, special
sessions, and forums, came before community college professionals from
all 50 states and several foreign countries. The League for Innovation
in the Community College sponsors the four-day Innovations conference
each year to showcase the best programs and practices in community college
education nationally and internationally. The League's Innovations
2002 host college was Bunker Hill Community College (MA).
Carol D'Amico, Assistant
Secretary of the Office of Vocational and Adult Education, U.S. Department
of Education, introduced Kennedy with opening remarks that sometimes prefigured
the Senator's remarks. While D'Amico extolled the fact that community
colleges are "very well positioned to offer options" to the
expanding and diverse student body, she expressed an urgency about the
challenge of what she referred to as "an achievement gap." D'Amico
was particularly impassioned in her references to the No Child Left Behind
bill recently signed by President Bush.
Both D'Amico and Kennedy
emphasized the significance of the community college's role in higher
education and workforce arenas. "Your innovation means better lives
for millions of Americans," Kennedy told the assembly. "You
are today's miracle workers."
The complete text of Senator
Edward M. Kennedy's Innovations 2002 speech, as well as the introductory
remarks made by Carol D'Amico, will be available soon in abstract form
and on the League's website, www.league.org. The streaming video of the
keynote is available at www.league.org/inn2002/index.htm.
About The League for Innovation
in the Community College
The League for Innovation
in the Community College is an international organization dedicated to
catalyzing the community college movement. Nineteen CEOs from some of
the most influential, resourceful, and dynamic community colleges and
districts in the world comprise the League's board
of directors, and more than 750 institutions from 10 different countries
are members. In addition, the League partners with more than 100 leading
corporations, and works with a host of other nonprofit foundations and
government agencies. With this innovative core of directors, members,
partners, and collaborators, the League hosts conferences and institutes,
develops Web resources, conducts research, produces publications, provides
services, and leads projects and initiatives in a continuing effort to
make a positive difference for students and communities. For more information
on the League's award-winning programs, publications, and services, visit