A seed planted more than 15 years ago came to fruition when the Alumni Clock was installed on the Dr. David J. Klinke Green last month.
At the unveiling ceremony on Sept. 25, Salem Community College President Michael Gorman called the 11-foot town clock "beautiful, perfect and a cornerstone." He thanked the SCC Foundation for its outstanding support, and praised the enthusiastic help from the SCC Campus Operations staff and Gregg Perry of Perry Clock Shoppe.
The nearly 50-year-old, cast-medal clock was a fixture in Charleston, S.C. before Perry bought it 18 years ago. Most recently, the clock stood in front of Perry's business at 68 North Main Street in Woodstown. Once the clock was purchased by the SCC Foundation this summer, Perry re-gilded the clock face with brilliant gold trim and re-painted the pole dark green.
During his presidency, Dr. Peter B. Contini oversaw the College Green's transformation into the Dr. David J. Klinke College Green, which was dedicated on Oct. 30, 2003. Dr. Contini envisioned a town clock on the Klinke Green's circular plaza one day. "It's so fitting that it's called the Alumni Clock," said now President-Emeritus Contini at the ceremony, "because they're our driving force."
The Alumni Clock project succeeded through a partnership between the Alumni Association and the SCC Foundation. The project began shortly after President Gorman took office in August 2015. Over the ensuing years, alumni donated to the campaign and proceeds from Casino Night last June brought the campaign closer to its goal. The Foundation's generosity enabled the Alumni Clock to become a reality.
“This beautiful clock stands as a tribute to the thousands of Salem Community College alumni and the high-quality education they received,” said SCC Foundation Chair Christina Humphreys.
Alumni Association President Candice Racite noted that the clock symbolizes SCC graduates’ appreciation to their alma mater. “Salem Community College represents the educational foundation in our lives,” she said. “It all started here."
In his remarks, Class of 2018 graduate Uziel Cortez paid tribute to SCC’s dedicated faculty and staff. “As a student, no matter what kind of day you're having, you know you can always count on the faculty and staff to be on your side,” he said. “The clock will always be there too, standing proudly in the middle of this beautiful green space…representing all the best things that SCC has to offer -- dependable, caring and knowledgeable faculty and staff.”
SCC gratefully acknowledges the Woman's Club of Penns Grove/Carneys Point for donating and planting mums and spring bulbs in the beds surrounding the Alumni Clock. The beautification project was also supported by the Woman's Club of Woodstown and the Penns Grove High School FFA program.