Lilenthal speaks to Rotary on MCC’s assets

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO MCC Provost Robin Lilienthal with Rotary Club President Bill Fitzgerald. Lilienthal presented a program on one of Marshalltown’s greatest assets.

After some fine dining at Elmwood Country Club, President Bill Fitzgerald rang the bell to get the Tuesday Marshalltown Rotary meeting underway. Carrie Barr opened with prayer and Pledge of Allegiance and also brought everyone up to date with a news report.

Matt Garber introduced Heather Thomas, the newest addition to CGA as his guest. Tami Lichtenberg introduced Louise Jesina with Members First Credit Union. Curt Hoff introduced visiting Rotarians from Grinnell, Dan and Jo Becker. Jacque Wyant reintroduced the student Rotarians that were part of the meetings during the month of January and thanked them for their fellowship, challenging each to continue to develop their leadership skills. Lay Htoo, Alex Gallentine and TJ Snyder were all presented certificates and a coin symbolizing the Rotary four-way test.

Fitzgerald reported the tally of dollars raised for the Salvation Army exceeded $2,700. Bonnie Lowry reviewed the club’s involvement with the Penseti clubfoot correction project. She announced that an Iowa Rotarian has come forward to match $125,000 of new money for this cause. Lowry asked club members to earmark something for this worthwhile effort.

Chris Duree then introduced friend, colleague and fellow Rotarian Dr. Robin Lilienthal, who has been Provost at Marshalltown Community College since 2010. She received a B.A. degree from Iowa State University in Journalism Advertising, M.S. in Student Affairs and Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. Lilienthal’s program centered on MCC, which she described as one of Marshalltown’s greatest assets. By way of a pop quiz, she rolled out the pertinent facts about this college that consists of 70 academic programs.

Often times, students that complete their program transfer to schools all over the map, however most continue with either Buena Vista or Iowa State University. The statewide educational attainment goal calls for 70 percent of the population to have a AA degree or higher by 2025. That level in Marshall County currently stands at 29 percent.

Lilienthal noted that nearly half of the roughly 2,000 students are high school students taking college credit hours and represent a significant portion of tuition dollars. She also gave an overview of tuition and fees, the six athletic programs and some student loan statistics. The audience was particularly interested in hearing about the extent to which MCC works closely with local business and industry to create new programs and meet workforce needs.

To close the meeting, President Fitzgerald led the group in reciting the Four-Way Test that was minted on the coin given to the students earlier: Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build good will and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned?