Naugatuck Valley Community College President Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Ph.D. informed students, faculty and staff that she will be retiring as President of Naugatuck Valley Community College effective August 1, 2020. President De Filippis noted “This has been a difficult decision, but it is time for us to move back to New York to be closer to family, and for me to accept with gratitude an invitation to return to my CUNY family.”
President De Filippis reflected on some of the images and moments she will take with her from NVCC: children in the Child Development Center; students in music, dance performances, and theater productions; All College meetings, SGA meetings, community meetings, Foundation Board meetings, and faculty senate convenings; visiting classes, walks in the gardens, the creativity of so many, including our Librarians, the ACE, the Social Justice series, the Center for Teaching, and the Center for Racial Dialogue; poetry readings and the powerful open mic events at Confluencia.
The President made special references to the joy of seeing the evening bus service and the NVCC Danbury campus, both were initiatives which she led during her tenure at NVCC. She concluded her announcement by reminding the campus “this is a time to stay focused on moving NVCC forward as we support one another and facilitate the course completion process using a new modality for our students. For that, and for many gestures of student support coming from the NVCC family, I will be eternally grateful.”
Mark Ojakian, President of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities System (CSCU) commented on the departure of President De Filippis. “Over the past 12 years, Dr. De Filippis has presided over an important period in the College’s history, with a massive expansion of the school’s advanced manufacturing center – which, as she likes to point out, has a job placement rate of 100 percent – the opening of the Danbury campus, and new investments in the college’s infrastructure. It is clear that NVCC is a better and stronger institution because of Daisy’s service.”
Ojakian described President De Filippis as a “brilliant and compassionate leader, someone who cares deeply and has always gone out of her way to make sure the needs of her students are met.”
Tabitha Cruz, President of the NVCC Student Government Association (SGA), commented that President De Filippis would be missed, “The news has come as a shock. President De Filippis has done such a great job here at NVCC. She has really made our community flourish, made every student feel welcome and included. I am happy that President De Filippis is moving onto a new chapter in her life, but I know that myself and many students will miss her warm presence here at NVCC. We wish her the best of luck on her new adventures and may she bring poetry everywhere she goes.”
Waldemar Kostrzewa, Dean of Community Engagement commented on the announcement. “President De Filippis has served the college's 22-town service region and beyond with responsive workforce programs and social services. Under her leadership, NVCC truly became an engine of change. We will miss her passion for students and our communities.”
Ron Picard, NVCC Faculty Senate President noted the advocacy and passion that President De Filippis represented in our communities. “For more than a decade, President De Filippis has been a powerful advocate for Naugatuck Valley Community College and our students. She has been a major force in the greater Waterbury and Danbury communities. Through her transformative leadership, the College has won national awards and hosted international Fulbright Scholars -in-Residence, as well prominent literary figures and business leaders. Her passion for our mission will certainly be missed. We congratulate and thank her as she returns to her other home, Hostos Community College.”
Lisa Dresdner, Dean of Academic Affairs, spoke of the humanity and understanding that the President inspired at the College and in the community. “Among the many things we will miss about President De Filippis are the ways in which she infused her sense of humanity and understanding of life's great beauty into all she did for our students, the College, and the community.”
Dean of Student Services, Sarah Gager, remembered the way President De Filippis celebrated student success. “The commitment towards students and the wonderful celebrations of their success was a gift President De Filippis brought to our campuses that will forever be in our memories. She will remain a guiding light for so many throughout their lifetime. “
Naugatuck Valley Community College serves Beacon Falls, Bethel, Bethlehem, Bridgewater, Brookfield, Cheshire, Danbury, Middlebury, Naugatuck, New Fairfield, New Milford, Newtown, Oxford, Prospect, Roxbury, Sherman, Southbury, Thomaston, Washington, Waterbury, Watertown and Woodbury. The College is located on a 110-acre campus at 750 Chase Parkway, Waterbury, Conn., and in Danbury at 190 Main Street. The College is one of 17 institutions governed by the Connecticut Board of Regents for Higher Education. Visit nv.edu for more information.