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Archive for April, 2011

The St. Petersburg Times covered several major initiatives, including a new job training program, created by President Bill Law and presented to the Board of Trustees, in an article Wednesday.

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The Lexington, Ky. HERALD-LEADER newspaper ran a good story over the weekend about 18-year-old Lucas Cannon of Flemingsburg, Ky., who lost his entire right leg in a farming accident in August 2009. Cannon says in the story that he plans to attend St. Petersburg College’s J.E. Hanger Orthotics and Prosthetics Program in order to learn how to help other amputees.

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John O’Hearn, a longtime supporter of the college, has made a $100,000 contribution to the SPC Foundation in memory of his late wife, Sue (Marlow) O’Hearn, an SPJC grad who once headed the Foundation.

The money will be used to provide tuition help to students in need.

O’Hearn, who retired in 1994 following a 36-year management career at the St. Petersburg Times, said his wife would have been delighted to be able to help students pursue their educations at St. Petersburg College.

“I think she would be ecstatic,” he said. “To be able to help someone who really needs it, I know she would be really excited about that.”

O’Hearn noted that he and his wife were married at a young age, and then had their two children early in their marriage. Sue O’Hearn worked during those years to help her husband finish college once he had completed his military service.

John and Sue O'Hearn

“She told me when I graduated that that was it – that she wasn’t going to work for a paycheck anymore,” O’Hearn said. “She became a wonderful full-time mother for our children, who both graduated from Florida colleges.”

“Some years later, she said, ‘Now it’s my turn to go to school,’” O’Hearn recalled. She enrolled at what was then St. Petersburg Junior College and earned a degree when she was in her 40s.

“I think she got nothing but As,” he said. “She was very proud of her accomplishment, as were our children and I.”

Sue O’Hearn served about three years as chairman of the SPJC Foundation. During that time, she helped raise about $3 million.

O’Hearn’s generous gift to the Foundation would have been in keeping with Sue O’Hearn’s support for education and deep interest in helping others, he said.

“It made sense to me to make this contribution because Sue took a great deal of interest in the junior college at the time,” he said. “Since she had been chairman of the Foundation, and since both of us had attended the college, it seemed a fitting place to make a meaningful contribution.”

Janice Buchanan, the recently retired director of the Foundation, noted that John and Sue O’Hearn were enthusiastic friends of the college over the years, donating money and time to make the institution stronger.

“This bequest is extremely generous, but it is not out of character for John and Sue O’Hearn, who have been great supporters of SPC and the St. Petersburg community for many years,” Buchanan said. “Many students will be able to complete their educations and contribute to our community, just as the O’Hearns have done, for many years to come.”

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The accolades continue to come in for Spenser Reed.

Monday the Clearwater Campus student was recognized in a full-page advertisement in USA Today as one of 20 members of the All-USA Community College Academic team.

SPC President Bill Law joined Clearwater Campus student Spenser Reed at the annual American Association of Community Colleges convention in New Orleans this week, where Reed was honored as a member of the 20-person USA Today All-USA Community College Academic Team. From left, Rod Risley, Executive Director, Phi Theta Kappa; John Sygielski, President of Mount Hood Community College and Chairman of the AACC Board of Directors; Dr. Law; Reed; Steve Pribyl, Vice President of Follett Higher Education Group; and Charlene Hale of USA Today.

The community college students honored from around the country were selected from more than 1,600 nominees. President Bill Law joined Reed and his family in New Orleans Monday for the ceremonies.

The team is sponsored jointly by USA Today, Phi Theta Kappa, and the American Association of Community Colleges, as well as by Follett Higher Education Group.

One of Reed’s accomplishments was authorship of an article that investigated the role of activated microglia and immune cells in the progression of HIV-associated dementia. That article was published in the Jan. 11 issue of Molecular Neurodegeneration.

Reed also is Florida’s New Century Scholar. A New Century Scholar is selected from each state and receives a $2,000 stipend. He was honored Thursday in Tallahassee but was unable to attend because he was ill. He prepared the adjacent video for the ceremony.

Last Wednesday, he was selected as one of the four finalists for the Apollo Award, given annually by the college’s Alumni Association to the outstanding two-year graduate. The winner will be announced at graduation.

SPC will receive $15,000 in textbook scholarships from Follett Higher Education Group as part of the All-USA Academic Team recognition.

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