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Executive Director’s Greeting

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Greetings Donors and Friends!

Graduation season really warms my soul, with the anticipation of bright futures ahead.  Two highlights of Polk State’s recent event particularly stand out on reflection. One was when a student excitedly proclaimed to President Holden, “It only took me 10 years, but here I am!” Another was hearing a student’s children screaming “Way to go Mom!” as she walked across the stage. These moments just take my breath away. I also found the speeches of our Distinguished Alumnus, Steve Hogan, and Commencement Speaker, Kasongo Butler, Assistant Chancellor of the Florida Department of Education to be exceptionally powerful.

Steve focused on being passionate, believing in one’s self, and having faith in others – all of these elements are key to our students’ and graduates’ successes. These are also attributes of Polk State College Foundation donors whose passion about student success and elevation of our community, coupled with the faith of the potential of Polk State students is unparalleled and inspiring.

Chancellor Butler talked about superheroes. When she said that word, I thought to myself, “I am surrounded by them – my colleagues, our students, and our community.” She referenced the recent Iron Man 3 movie by asking Tony Stark’s insightful question: Does the suit make the man, or does the man make the suit? This led me to an epiphany – it is the people of Polk that make it truly great. Although the actions we take, the donations we make – may seem minor to us, they are truly small acts of heroism, because the outcome of our efforts changes lives forever! We play a vital role in the ten-year scholar’s walk across the stage, the single mother gaining the skills and economic potential to provide opportunities for her children, and the proud cheering family moments as moms, dads, children, grandparents and friends get to shake Dr. Holden’s hand and accept the degree that becomes a transformational key to a new and better life.

My whole-hearted gratitude for your tremendous acts of heroism and philanthropy that continue to allow Polk State College students to leap tall barriers in a single bound to create a new tomorrow and better world around us!

All the very best,



Tracy M. Porter
Executive Director