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First Impressions

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Glendon Forgey
President, Frank Phillips College

First impressions are important.  While a book should not be judged by its cover, many people are unlikely to read it if the cover is not appealing.  And as Will Rogers once said, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”  That sounds like something Yogi Berra would say.

It has been my good fortune to have visited the Texas panhandle on a few occasions.  My mother grew up in Dalhart and graduated from Dalhart High School.  All the Texas panhandle countryside that was experienced during those visits was flat.…. until my first visit to Borger.  What a very pleasant and appealing surprise!

The scenery of the hills and canyons around Borger is amazing.  Flat can get boring and dull.   When driving into Borger the beautiful topography emerged like a diamond in the rough.  The area around Borger is reminiscent of a miniature Arbuckle Mountains, in the southern part of Oklahoma.  There is just something about rock formations that have always been attractive to me.  Perhaps geology should have been my calling. 

The area topography was not the only thing that made a good first impression.  Having lived in East Texas and having been president at another Texas community college, it was known that Frank Phillips College was one of the smaller community colleges in Texas.  Furthermore, having visited some of the smaller Texas community colleges my expectations were not high.  However, the campus and facilities of Frank Phillips College are extraordinary. 

From the inviting, elegant library to the spacious, charming auditorium; from the dynamic community center to the technology-enhanced classrooms, the Borger campus is second to none.  Not to be outdone, the FPC campuses at Dalhart and Perryton also have exceptional facilities and are beacons of educational enlightenment in their respective communities.

Being new to campus, it was inspiring to communicate with eager and engaging students.  Although the students come from all over the world, they have bonded together to create a familial environment where everyone knows everyone’s name.  These bright, polite, and positive young people give hope for the future. 

The FPC faculty and staff are perhaps the biggest impression.  One can immediately tell that students are first in everything done on the FPC campuses.  The expression “We love our students” can be frequently heard.  Helpful, friendly, and caring, are just a few attributes to describe these wonderful people.  The hospitality exhibited by the dedicated employees at FPC extends into the communities as well.  One would expect nothing less in Texas! Several community members have stopped by the campus and extended a warm welcome to Borger. 

It is a well know fact that things are bigger in Texas.  Frank Phillips College and the communities it serves has certainly left a BIG Texas first impression and better things are sure to come.