The College of Coastal Georgia bid farewell to Belete Muturo, director of TRiO Student Support Services.
On Wednesday, Muturo was surprised with a reception in the Huie-Wilcox Gallery. Staff at the College celebrated Muturo and his seven years as director of TRiO.
The TRiO Student Support Services program is a federally funded program through the Department of Education. The goal of the program is to improve the success rates of college students who qualify to participate in the program. Students accepted into TRiO are either a first-generation college student, come from a low-income family, or have a disability.
Dr. German Vargas, assistant vice president for academic student engagement and associate professor of mathematics, talked about Muturo's dedication to his work.
"Some people say don't follow your passion, always bring it with you and that's what Belete has done all these years," Vargas said. "Belete is a very passionate man, a very passionate administrator, and has always been the best advocate for students in the TRiO program, not only here at this institution for more than seven years, but at many institutions with the TRiO program. He has been a great coordinator of student success and a driving force for many grants we have applied for. He's the reason we have the TRiO grant again. He's going to be missed dearly."
Interim President Meg Amstutz believes the beginnings and endings of when people arrive and depart are important.
"These are the moments where we get to express to colleagues both welcome to this campus and thank you for your service. As you head off across the waters to distant locations, we hope that you remember us fondly and we want to thank you for your service," Amstutz said.
Muturo said his time at the College has helped him grow.
"I'll miss this place, the people, the location, what we do," Muturo said. "I will keep you all in my heart. I really appreciate this. Thank you very much."
Muturo is very proud of the TRiO program at the College and said it has become a part of the routine for students.
"The services are first quality and we have a very committed staff—young and energetic. So it's amazing," he said.
Students currently in the program are considered to be its ambassadors, who are available to share their experiences and knowledge about the benefits of TRiO.