Seventeen trustees, alumni and friends of community colleges – including three nominees from Lorain County Community College – were recognized for their support of and commitment to Ohio’s community colleges during the 2009 Excellence Awards Luncheon Friday, May 15 in Columbus.
Hosted by the Ohio Association of Community Colleges (OACC), the Excellence Awards provides an opportunity for each of the state’s 23 community colleges to nominate and honor individuals deserving of special recognition for their continued commitment and service.
This year LCCC nominated Jane Norton, State Senator Sue Morano and Michael Bass for the awards.
Norton received the Outstanding Achievement in Trusteeship Award, which recognizes the exemplary service of a present or past trustee for a specific event or for actions taken over the longer term as a board member.
Norton was first appointed to the LCCC District Board of Trustees in October, 1992 and reappointed for two consecutive terms, providing 15 years of dedicated service as member of the board. Norton served as the voice of the community and advocated for the creation of an unprecedented community-based strategic planning process to ensure community participation and engagement, resulting in the development of Vision 21 and Vision 2015
"Her steadfast commitment to ensuring affordable local access to higher education for our community led to the creation of the University Partnership which provides more than 3,000 students each semester with innovative paths to bachelor’s and master’s degrees," said LCCC President Dr. Roy A. Church.
She has generously donated personal resources towards non-traditional student scholarships and other areas of critical need, which has established her as a recognized philanthropic leader within the community and she is currently serving as an Honorary Chair of the LCCC Foundation’s Major Gifts Campaign, which is working diligently to secure additional resources on behalf of the Foundation.
Norton has also served as a Director with the Lorain County Community College Foundation Board and as a valuable member of the Foundation’s Finance and Investment Committee where she ensured prudent and responsible management of the Foundation’s assets; and her passion for the arts helped to advance the C. Paul Stocker Fine Arts and Humanities Center into one of the finest performing arts venues in the region that now serves more than 50,000 people annually.
Morano was presented the OACC’s Distinguished Alumnus Award, which is presented to individuals who have graduated from a certificate or degree program of an Ohio community college and who have exhibited qualities of community and professional leadership.
Sue Morano graduated from Lorain County Community College with an associate of arts degree in Nursing in 1982. Following graduation, she immediately began her career as a Registered Nurse at St. Joseph’s Community Hospital in Lorain.
Since the launch of her nursing career, her compassion and dedication to others led her on a path of advocacy, where she helped create the Community Health Partners Hospital in Lorain. After this tremendous accomplishment, Sue realized the depth of impact she could have by working on behalf of others and began a career in politics. On January 2, 2007, Morano was sworn in as the first female Ohio State Senator for the 13th district, which has 330,000 constituents among Lorain, Huron, and parts of Seneca Counties.
Morano is currently serving on the Health, Human Services and Aging Committee, the Ohio Retirement Study Committee, and is the ranking minority member on Environment and Natural Resources. Last year, Senator Morano was appointed to chair the Nursing Education Study Committee, a wonderful tribute to her healthcare background and her belief in the role of higher education.
"Senator Morano has been an avid supporter of LCCC for many years, and often tributes her early start at this community college as the launching pad for her success. She is a wonderful LCCC success story, and we are honored to have her working at such a high level on behalf of our community," said Church.
Senator Morano has also been actively involved with OACC; serving as a keynote speaker several years ago. She is a true role model for our community as she juggles the role of wife, mother, state senator, and weekend nurse. Despite her complex life, Sue has remained connected to her constituents while staying abreast of changes in the Health Care field, and ultimately making a significant difference on a local level.
Michael Bass was awarded the Terry M. Thomas Friend of Community Colleges Award, which is given to individuals who have significantly advanced the cause of community college education in Ohio on a statewide basis.
Bass has served as a dedicated supporter and advocate of LCCC throughout the past 20 years, including a tenure on the Lorain County Foundation Board of Directors and he is a respected leader in our community, demonstrating the critical importance of supporting community college education by personally donating significant resources to LCCC in support of non-traditional scholarship support.
Further demonstrating his trust and belief that LCCC can serve as a solution to growing community needs, Bass created "The Barbara and Mike Bass New Opportunities Fund" which supports the college’s role as a regional catalyst for change by providing funding for the college to pursue new initiatives designed to meet the needs of the greater Lorain County region.
Bass and his family also used personal resources to create "The Barbara and Mike Bass Community Cornerstone Fund" which supports LCCC’s role in community growth and development.
The Lorain County Community College District Board of Trustees and Lorain County Community College Foundation Board of Directors publically recognized Barbara and Michael Bass for their donations by dedicating the newest campus facility as "The Barbara and Mike Bass Library/Community Resource Center" on September 22, 2008.
"Mike Bass’ humble and generous nature and belief in the strength of community support are aligned with the values of Lorain County Community College and have contributed to generating increased interest and respect for Lorain County Community College from the local leadership community," Church said.
The Ohio Association of Community Colleges (OACC) is a voluntary association of Ohio’s 23 public community colleges. The Association was founded in 1993 as a single forum for advocacy, communication, recognition, trustee education and trustee-president cooperation. The OACC is the recognized voice of the community college movement in Ohio.