The State College of Florida hosted a welcome reception Thursday for their new president, Carol Probstfeld.
Probstfeld is SCF's sixth president and succeeds Dr. Lars Hafner, whose exit last October came after several months of arguments with trustees over the cost of construction projects for the school.
The welcome event for Probstfeld was organized by the host committee, which included members of the board of trustees and the board of directors. Beverly Beall and Charlene Neal were co-chairs for the event.
Current and former members of the State College of Florida Foundation, as well as newly sworn-in Manatee Schools Superintendent Rick Mills, attended the event. The school's third president, Stephen Korcheck, also made an appearance and said he believes Probstfeld is making valuable connections within the community.
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"The college needs to get more involved in the community again. The new president is doing that already
and getting out to meet people, which is very important," Korcheck said.
Neal, Probstfeld, and SCF freshman Tessa Allyman spoke at the reception.
"As a college president, I get to see the values that my parents instilled in me every day," Probstfeld said. "I get to see lives change and dreams come alive everyday. That is why I love SCF."
Probstfeld said her vision for the college is to meet the needs to get students career-ready so they do not have to leave the community for higher education.
"Dr. Probstfeld is one of the most welcoming people I know," said Allyman, a member of the SCF volleyball team, adding that Probstfeld has a great connection with students and student athletes. She said that Probstfeld took the time to talk with her privately in her office about her academic and career goals. "I felt honored that she wanted to know who I was."
Probstfeld has been serving as president since Jan. 22, and she has a set a list of legislative priorities.
She is working on a matching grant program, in which benefactors see their investments grow by matching scholarship gifts dollar-for-dollar. She also is working on expanding the college's east campus, gaining funding for renovations and finding support for the dual enrollment program to offset foregone tuition.
"I want the community to get to know Probstfeld and realize that there is a new administration at SCF and a new day," Neal said.