By: Dr. Andrew Yox, Honors Director
NTCC opened its doors in 1985 with higher-than-expected enrollments, and by 1987 had gained an earlier-than-expected accreditation. With new programs, buildings, and a relatively young, highly qualified faculty NTCC, enjoyed a halcyon period of growth. That was, until the years 1994-1995, when some administrative turmoil left the young college in search of new leadership. It was in this context, that NTCC’s longest- serving president, Dr. Charles B. Florio, took the helm. Dr. Florio served as President of NTCC for thirteen years, from 1995 to 2008. During his tenure, enrollments, building, credentials of the faculty, and the stature of the college showed a steady increase.
During their recent visit to Fort Worth, where Florio now resides, two honors students who are both a part of the former president’s legacy here visited him at the Fort Worth Country Club. Neida Perez, winner of the 2022 Dr. Florio Award for leadership, and Michelle Calderon, president of the Honors Student Council, spent two hours with the former president. Florio, a long-term supporter of the National Collegiate Honors Council, was thrilled that both students would be presenting at the organization’s national meeting in Chicago this November.
“When talking with successful students like Michelle, and Neida, Dr. Florio lit up with a rare sense of wide-eyed enthusiasm, and delight. He was very touched that Neida is the college’s James and Elizabeth Whatley Scholar, winning a scholarship that he helped secure along with a mega-contribution to the college in 2007, and that Michelle was the recent winner of the $400 Northeast Texas Poetry Contest.”
Honors Northeast, NTCC’s honors program, resulted in large measure from Dr. Florio’s belief that a community college should have widely spaced bookends. Colleges should provide opportunity pathways to all high school graduates, and at the same time, sponsor the best in student excellence and achievement.