If you encounter the misfortune of getting into an accident, if you suffer a heart attack, or if you become the victim of a crime, chances are pretty strong that the first person on the scene to help you will be a graduate of Garden City Community College.

If you find yourself recovering in a southwest Kansas hospital, thanking the fire department for saving your home, or reviewing your child's straight A report card, there is also a pretty good chance that a GCCC graduate had something to do with that beneficial outcome.

The reason behind these realities is simple. In carrying out our mission of helping southwest Kansans become positive contributors to society and the economy, GCCC is producing the majority of the paramedics, law enforcement officers, nurses and nurse aides who protect our well being, lives and property, not to mention the firefighters, educators and others whose skills, knowledge, preparation and understanding stem from their experiences in our labs and classrooms.

It is my honor to be leading the longest serving community college in Kansas, and I believe GCCC plays an important role in educating the people who make Garden City, Holcomb, Finney County and southwest Kansas a region of powerful potential. In addition, I salute the tradition and legacy of service that this college has maintained for nearly 93 years, going back to our origins in 1919.

Accountants to welders

In addition to emergency responders, medical professionals, teachers and principals, the ranks of GCCC graduates and former students range from accountants and administrators, artists and attorneys to business owners and managers, counselors and contractors.

Among our alumni some who transfer successfully to the state's universities and some who enter the workforce directly you will also find cosmetologists and coaches, doctors and farmers, journalists and legislators, mechanics and musicians, medical technicians and meteorologists, ranchers and researchers, stock brokers and industrial technicians, information technology professionals and welders, not to mention leaders at every level from locally-elected commissions to state and federal government.

With that in mind, and the fact that the presence of GCCC provides a benefit of more than $66.5 million each year to the local economy, I want to invite you and your family to take advantage of the learning and advancement that this institution offers.

Our fall semester classes will be getting under way on Aug. 22, and that includes a large number of courses scheduled during the daytime, as well as a significant total that will be offered in the evenings.

Information and registraion

We've been conducting public registration from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. each Monday through Thursday, and 8 a.m. to noon on Fridays all summer at the Student and Community Services Center. Effective on Aug. 13, those hours for fall term enrollment now extend to 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Fridays.

You can call the GCCC Admissions Office for information at 276-9608, or try our main line at 276-7611. In addition, you can explore opportunities or search for classes at www.gcccks.edu. Please note, by the way, that services and assistance will be somewhat limited on Aug. 17, when our full-time faculty and staff are involved in fall semester inservice.

Whether you or other members of your family have previously attended GCCC or not, I am confident that you can benefit. Our high-quality instruction and individual attention are underpinned by:

* extremely affordable tuition;

* a new automatic payment plan;

* ample availability of scholarship assistance.

I hope you will come and join us this fall at the home of the Broncbusters. From here, you can go anywhere.