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Published: Wednesday, 8/20/2003

Growth at Owens fuels enthusiasm

With the sound of a motorcycle engine growling in the background, Owens Community College President Christa Adams told faculty and staff yesterday that she is revved up about the coming year.

“We have much to celebrate,” she told an enthusiastic audience of nearly 500 faculty and staff during a gathering to help kick off the fall semester.

She appeared on the theater stage of the college's new Center for Fine and Performing Arts in full motorcycle regalia - black leather jacket and pants, sunglasses, and carrying a black helmet - while a snippet from “Leader of the Pack” blasted from speakers.

Dr. Adams, who owns a Harley-Davidson motorcycle and is learning to ride, had a tough act to follow. Minutes earlier, Provost Paul Unger moonwalked across the stage to a Michael Jackson song.

The president focused her remarks on the college's continued growth. Student enrollment is expected to rise significantly again this fall, due in part to more than 1,600 registrations for classes in the fine and performing arts, she said.

The college, which is working on strategic planning, has more growth on the way, Dr. Adams said. It has several new labs and continues to work on creating a fire, police, and homeland security training center at its main campus in Perrysburg Township.

In Findlay, groundbreaking for its new campus is scheduled for next month. Classes at that campus, needed to replace its overcrowded facilities there, should begin in 2005, she said.

Dr. Adams also said she would like to create a “rising star” program to help develop leadership on campus.

“One of the things we would like to accomplish is professional development and more of it,” she said.

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