Friends, Colleagues Say Farewell to Vice President

Jenifer Bernardo
El Vaquero Editor-in-Chief

Dr. Chris McCarthy, the outgoing Executive Vice President of Instructional Services, received a warm and hearty send off from students and staff at a luncheon in the Aviation building Thursday.

“It was wonderful,” McCarthy said. “Everyone has been warm, and they’ve been that way from day one.”

McCarthy leaves for Napa Valley College to begin his term as president in January and will be replaced (on an interim basis) by Steve White, Social Science division chair and economics instructor.
“In my community, he is known as a `mensch,’ a man amongst men,” White said. “He is a special stand-up guy.”

The luncheon started at 11:30 a.m. and was followed by speakers who wanted to bid farewell and good luck to McCarthy.

“GCC is going to miss his leadership, enthusiasm, and love of education,” said ASGCC President Dan Wengert. “It is a loss for us, but a gain for Napa Valley College.”

Wengert said in his speech that the first time he went to speak with McCarthy in his office he did not have an appointment, but McCarthy openly admitted him to his office and they ended up talking for nearly an hour. For Wengert that incident served as an example of McCarthy’s level of commitment.

“Dr. McCarthy knows why he works here and why he’ll work at Napa Valley College: to serve the students,” Wengert said.

Among McCarthy’s well-wishers was Board of Trustee member Dr. Armine Hacopian. “I met him before I decided to run for office,” Hacopian said. “I met with him to discuss my plans, and he was very supportive and helpful. I am very impressed with his intellect and modesty.”

McCarthy has been in his current position since 1995. During his term, he developed programs such as digital animation, Project for Adult College Education (PACE), a weekend college, and the Tutors Today, Teachers Tomorrow program.

McCarthy’s last day in office is Monday and he officially starts his term at Napa Valley College on Jan. 3.

“He will be greatly missed because of his leadership and concern for others,” said GCC President Dr. John A. Davitt.

A nationwide search will be conducted to replace McCarthy. Applicants will go through an interview process with a committee and the Board of Trustees, and the finalists will meet with students, staff and members of the community.