Blue Bell/Pottstown , Pa – As Dr. Karen Stout officially took the helm as President and CEO of Achieving the Dream, Inc. on July 1, Montgomery County Community College (MCCC) celebrates her legacy as the institution’s fourth president. That legacy is vast, and her impact, on both the institution and on individuals in the community, will reach far into the future.
The core tenant of Dr. Stout’s presidency has been her steadfast commitment to improving student access, success and completion. Under her leadership, Montgomery is recognized nationally as an Achieving the Dream Leader College for many of its student success efforts. Examples include a Minority Student Mentoring Initiative, financial literacy education, reimagined student entry and advising processes, educational planning tools, peer mentoring, and a new approach to developmental education, to name only a few.
To honor her contributions and commitment to community college students, 15 former student leaders spanning Dr. Stout’s 14-year tenure returned to Montgomery’s Central Campus in May to unveil a very special tribute: the naming of the Karen A. Stout Student Success Center. A week later, the Board of Trustees presented Dr. Stout with an honorary associate’s degree in letters during the 2015 commencement ceremony, making her an official alumna of the College. The Board also bestowed on her the title of President Emerita, effective July 1.
In addition to renaming the Student Success Center, one of the Foundation’s hallmark events—the Leading Women Symposium and Golf Experience—will also bear Dr. Stout’s name in honor of her commitment to philanthropy. The annual Karen A. Stout Leading Women Symposium and Golf Experience, held each spring, raises funds for women’s scholarships and programming while facilitating valuable networking opportunities for its participants.
Dr. Stout also leaves behind a personal philanthropic legacy for future MCCC students through two contributions to the Foundation’s comprehensive “Futures Rising” campaign, which raised $10.5 million in two years. She has established a Phi Theta Kappa Challenge Fund, which helps qualifying, Pell-eligible students pay half of the honor society membership fee, and an Endowed Scholarship Fund awarded annually to a student pursing a career in Communication.
On July 1, both Dr. Stout and Montgomery County Community College embarked on next chapter of their journeys. At the helm of Achieving the Dream, Dr. Stout has the opportunity to co-design the next generation of student success reform work alongside community college leaders from across the country. Meanwhile, Montgomery is positioned to continue growing the many seeds Dr. Stout planted during her tenure.