LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Students attending Angelina College not only have new schedules, friends, and goals this semester, but they also have a brand new president. Dr. Michael Simon had his first day as the official president at A.C. today.
On Dr. Michael Simon's first day of work holding the title of the third president of Angelina College in its 47 year history, he was welcomed by a large banner.
"Coming in they had a sign up for me. It was such a fun thing to see that," Simon said.
Hailing from Michigan, he brings with him 20 years of experience in higher education on both the student affairs and academic sides of the house. Simon said Angelina College has definitely been on the road to success.
"I grew up in Michigan and lived there all through my childhood. I worked there for the first 16 years of my career in higher education," Simon said. "I think we have an incredibly strong base and foundation from which to grow."
He plans to work closely with staff for continued success.
"One of my goals is to get to know the process, the system, and the people here and really start to work together to develop plans for the future," Simon said.
His predecessor, Dr. Larry Phillips, served 24 years at A.C.
"I get to benefit from his institutional knowledge and experience," Simon said. "He actually will serve as a special assistant to the president for the next three weeks."
Simon said he's impressed by Texas's Southern hospitality.
"People are so friendly. They don't know me, but they've come up to me saying welcome to the community. That's been fantastic!" Simon said.
He's also adjusting to the changes coming from states like Michigan, Montana, and Colorado.
"It is a little different, the heat. I played 9 holes of golf and called my wife and said, yes, they are serious, it's hot!" Simon said.
Most importantly, Simon said his first day was a success. He's excited about what the future holds.
"The college and the community are everything I thought they would be, and that's always nice," Simon said.
Simon was elected by a 14 person presidential screening committee. They said, they "believe we will all find his warm nature and good sense of humor to be welcomed here in Angelina County and beyond.