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'Their story is my story,' says incoming president of Holyoke Community College

 George Timmons, the next president of Holyoke Community College, is expected to begin his new post at the end of June. He's currently the provost at Columbia Greene Community College in Hudson, New York.
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George Timmons, the next president of Holyoke Community College, is expected to begin his new post at the end of June. He's currently provost at Columbia Greene Community College in Hudson, New York.

Holyoke Community College has chosen its next president. George Timmons is currently provost and Senior Vice President of Academic and Student Affairs at Columbia Greene Community College in Hudson, New York.

Timmons said he looks forward to working with staff and faculty, but students are his priority. He wants to advance Holyoke Community College's mission to help students overcome barriers to their success, which for many at HCC include housing and food instability.

Like himself, Timmons said, many students are the first in their family to attend college.

"I'm a first generation and [Holyoke Community College] has a large first generation population," Timmons said. "They have a large minority population. As a member of a minority group I understand those challenges. So their story is my story."

Timmons is expected to begin his new post in late June, pending approval from the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education.

The announcement comes a week after the school announced it received a $10 million pledged gift— one of the largest gifts in community college history.

The school's outgoing president, Christina Royal, has been at HCC since 2017. She announced last summer she would retire at the end of this academic year.

Jill Kaufman has been a reporter and host at NEPM since 2005. Before that she spent 10 years at WBUR in Boston, producing "The Connection" with Christopher Lydon and on "Morning Edition" reporting and hosting. She's also hosted NHPR's daily talk show "The Exhange" and was an editor at PRX's "The World."

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