Dr. Michelle Schutt Inaugurated as GCC's 11th President

June 6, 2023

Greenfield Community College has officially inaugurated its 11th president, Dr. Michelle K. Schutt, on Wednesday, May 31. In attendance were representatives of the legislative delegation, GCC Board of Trustee, the GCC Foundation Board, members of the community, family, and friends, as well as staff and faculty from GCC.

The inauguration featured speeches from Professor Charlotte Gifford, who also welcomed guests to the event, State Sen. Jo Comerford, Franklin County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jessye Deane, GCC Board of Trustees Chair Hector
Toledo, Board of Trustees member and GCC alumna Judith Roberts, Interim Dean of Enrollment Management Patrick Tanner and Dr. Schutt’s daughter, Gwendolyn Schutt. Dr. Schutt provided concluding remarks.

Speakers highlighted GCC’s key role in the community, particularly as the needs of the region and education continue to change, and how Dr. Schutt’s leadership is integral in guiding the change.

“Michelle’s leadership style, her heart, and her vision for our students and our community can be summarized by her abilities as a fearless change leader. Yes, she is a good change manager, but more importantly, she is an amazing change leader,” Tanner said during his remarks.

“Dr. Schutt is a champion for Greenfield Community College, and, like us, she believes in its power to bring real positive change to the region,” Deane noted.

In addition, the theme of changing family trees, which has become Dr. Schutt’s inspirational guidance throughout her career and during her first year at GCC, permeated throughout the afternoon.

“My siblings and I always say that our parents walked so that we could run. I have been given so many opportunities in this life that I am forever grateful for and will never be able to repay,” Gwendolyn Schutt said. “In becoming an adult, I know that the strong educational foundation my mom has provided us opened the doors that will one day allow me to give my own children similar or even enhanced experiences.”

Following the presentation of the presidential medallion by GCC students Melissa Kuzmeski and Magin Nason, Dr. Schutt discussed her own journey to this point.

“I believe in the power of education to change family trees. Many of you know a bit about my own journey. I was a first generation, Pell-eligible college student. I always knew education was my path forward and the clarity by which my own education is impacting and influencing others is front and center, through my children’s aspirations of educational attainment and in the work I have the opportunity to do here at GCC every day,” Schutt said.

“This is because education has the power to profoundly impact not only individuals, but entire families and their future generations. In fact, when one person in a family attains a higher education degree, the effects can be seen two and three generations thereafter. Education changes the entire trajectory of a family tree.”

Did you miss Dr. Schutt’s inauguration and want to see it for yourself? You can see the archived livestream here!