Association of Community College Trustees President J. Noah Brown Keynotes Hudson County Community College Commencement

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Brown reminds 850 graduates to “be lifelong advocates for community colleges.”

J. Noah Brown

Be prepared to learn everything you can, find your passion, know what makes you happy, and be entrepreneurial in your outlook.

Yesterday, J. Noah Brown, President and CEO of the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) delivered the keynote address at Hudson County Community College’s (HCCC) 35th Annual Commencement Ceremonies at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark. Brown encouraged graduates to “be prepared to learn everything you can, find your passion in life, know what makes you happy, and be entrepreneurial in your outlook.”

A nationally recognized authority on community college governance, Brown has more than thirty years of experience working in the nonprofit sector in Washington, D.C. He has written extensively on community college governance and spoken on a broad range of related topics, and was profiled in PARADE magazine’s “Intelligence Report.” His recent book, First in the World: Community Colleges and America’s Future, was awarded the 2013 Bellwether Book Award from the Community College Futures Assembly.

“Trustees play a very important role in the College and within the community,” said HCCC President Dr. Glen Gabert. “As the leaders of tomorrow, [our graduates] very well may be seated on this college’s board of trustees at some point in the future.”

Reminding graduating students of their potential, Brown pointed to community college graduates who have gone on to accomplish great things, including Dr. J. Craig Venter, the first individual to map the human genome; Lt. Colonel Eileen Collins, the first female space-shuttle commander; and Vice Admiral Richard Carmona, the 17th Surgeon General of the United States.

“Passion,” Brown said, “is a key ingredient for success and achievement.” He also encouraged graduates to move ahead in their lives with confidence, to “be an agent for change,” and to be lifelong advocates of community colleges, suggesting that they “help others understand community colleges put wings on dreams.”

“Congratulations,” said Brown, “on your wise decision to place your faith in the community college, and for honoring the Hudson County Community College administration and faculty through your accomplishments.”

Brown’s entire commencement address is available via the ACCT website.

About the Association of Community College Trustees

The Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) is a non-profit educational organization of governing boards, representing more than 6,500 elected and appointed trustees who govern over 1,200 community, technical, and junior colleges in the United States and beyond. For more information, go to Follow ACCT on Twitter at

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