The Clark State Community College Board of Trustees has designated four former members of the Board of Trustees as Emeriti. Cathy Balas, Alicia Sweet Hupp, Than Johnson and Fred Leventhal will be honored at Clark State’s annual Charter Night in February.
“The former trustees selected as Emeriti have demonstrated dedicated service to Clark State and its students,” said Clark State President Dr. Jo Alice Blondin. “Not only are they deserving of this honor, but they are true servant-leaders in their communities.”
Than Johnson served on the Clark State Board of Trustees from 1991 to 2008. During his tenure, Clark State extended full community college access to residents in Greene County through the establishment and purchase of the Greene Center. Johnson said community colleges play a significant role in communities, and Clark State is an important seat of higher education in our area. “Clark State is an access institution for students wanting to obtain a degree,” he said.
Johnson said he was impressed with the level of leadership on the Board of Trustees upon his appointment, and he gained a tremendous understanding of commitment and purpose for Clark State’s mission and values. “The camaraderie among the trustees was unique and purposeful.”
Johnson encourages current trustees to continue looking to the horizon for positive outcomes in higher education. He said Clark State is keenly aware of the needs of the students. “Our local communities benefit so much from having Clark State Community College in its midst.”
Alicia Sweet Hupp, owner of Sweet Manufacturing Company in Springfield, Ohio, served on the Clark State Board of Trustees from 1996 to 2006. During her tenure, Hupp served as vice chairperson and played a critical role in the search process for a new college president in 1997.
Appointed to the Board of Trustees by then Ohio Governor Bob Taft, Hupp said it was an honor for her to serve. “Education was always a community service interest for me, and I have always been an advocate for education at all levels,” she said. “This was a huge opportunity for me to give back to my community and support a great institution dedicated to educating a diverse group of individuals and provide great workforce training to meet the needs of local and regional employers.”
As a Board member, Hupp said she enjoyed assuring opportunities for students through scholarships, financial aid, current technologies and proper alignment of curriculum to workforce needs. She encourages current Board members to always make students the priority, continue to build the Clark State Foundation to meet the demand and need for student scholarships, support capital growth in alignment with curriculum needs and “Collaborate, collaborate, collaborate for success.”
Cathy Balas, owner of Balas Consulting Services, served on the Clark State Board of Trustees from 1994 to 2001 and 2003 to 2006. During her tenures, Balas served as both chairperson and vice chairperson. She shared the Board’s commitment to high quality facilities for students through the construction of the Sara T. Landess Technology and Learning Center and improvements to the Early Childhood Education Center and Shull Hall.
“Clark State is key to the future of Springfield and Clark County since it prepares people for careers in our region,” she said. “My biggest pleasure in serving on the Board was to help with keeping Clark State very closely connected to the employers and other organizations to prepare students for opportunities available to them in our local community.”
Balas said being selected as a Trustee Emeritus for Clark State is a great honor. “I will continue to be a part of the College not just for things done in the past, but also contributions which can be made in the future.”
Local business owner and entrepreneur Fred Leventhal served on the Clark State Board of Trustees from 1971 to 1977. During his tenure, Leventhal served as the Board vice chairman in 1976 and Board chairman in 1977. It was during his time on the Board that the campus expanded with the addition of the LRC (formally known as the Library Resource Center) and the Applied Science Center.
Leventhal believes Clark State plays a valuable role in the community. “I am extremely proud of Clark State, and it is a great asset to the City of Springfield and students in this area. I look forward to seeing the continuous growth of this great organization,” he said. Leventhal continued to be involved with Clark State Community College long after leaving the Board. He was instrumental in the successful fundraising campaign to build the Clark State Performing Arts Center and received the Performing Arts Center Founder’s Award in 2005.
The appointment of Balas, Hupp, Johnson and Leventhal brings the list of distinguished Trustee Emeriti to 15. Campus privileges for these honorees include library and wellness center access, room rental benefits, employee discounts, complimentary tickets to College sponsored events and representation at various academic processionals such as graduation.
Clark State’s 54th Annual Charter Night will be held Tuesday, February 16 at the Hollenbeck Bayley Creative Arts and Conference Center, 275 South Limestone Street in Springfield, Ohio. Social hour will begin at 5:30 p.m. with dinner served at 6:15 p.m. and the program, hosted by Clark State students, will follow.