A New Chapter

DATE: Tuesday, March 26, 2024

HCC to celebrate President George Timmons with April 19 inauguration ceremony

President George Timmons outside his office at HCC

Holyoke Community College will mark a new chapter on Friday, April 19, with the inauguration of George Timmons as its fifth president.

The investiture ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. in the Leslie Phillips Theater on the second floor of the HCC Fine & Performing Arts building.

Timmons, who lives in Amherst, started working at HCC in July. He is the fifth president in the  78-year history of the college and the first African-American man to serve in that position.

The ceremony will start in the theater lobby of HCC's Fine & Performing Arts building with a procession of faculty, staff, and distinguished guests, including presidents from many other Massachusetts community colleges and four-year colleges and universities in the region.

Also attending and offering brief remarks during the ceremony will be: State Sen. John Velis; State Rep. Patricia Duffy; Holyoke Mayor Joshua Garcia; Patrick Tutwiler, Ph.D., Massachusetts secretary of education; Robert Awkward, Ph.D., assistant commissioner of academic effectiveness at the Mass. Dept. of Higher Education; Carlee Drummer, Ph.D., president of Columbia-Greene Community College; Quintin Bullock, DDS, president of the Community College of Allegheny County; and Briana Beaver-Timmons, President Timmons' eldest daughter (accompanied by her two younger siblings).

Barney Garcia of Northampton, the student representative on the HCC Board of Trustees, will offer remarks. The event will also feature performances by several HCC students: Ally Carnes of Westfield will sing the national anthem; William Rodriguez-Otero of Belchertown will give a spoken word performance; and Chestina Thrower of Springfield will give a musical performance.

Vanessa Smith, interim chair of the HCC Board of Trustees, will present the presidential medallion to President Timmons, who will give a special address.

A community reception will immediately follow the inauguration ceremony in the HCC Campus Center.

For those interested in attending, please visit and follow the link to RSVP.

Before coming to HCC, Timmons served as the provost and vice president of Academic Affairs and Student Affairs at Columbia-Greene Community College in Hudson, N.Y. He holds a Ph.D. in higher education administration from Bowling Green State University, a master's degree in higher education from Old Dominion University, and a bachelor's degree in financial management from Norfolk State University.   

He succeeded President Christina Royal, who retired in July 2023. 

PHOTO: President George Timmons