The month of August is named after Augustus Caesar, the first emperor of the Roman Empire. In the year 8 BC, the Roman Senate decided to rename the eighth month of the year in honor of Augustus because he had defeated Marc Antony and Cleopatra and brought Egypt under the authority of the Roman Empire. Additionally, Augustus had ended the civil war in the eighth month of the year. Augustus Caesar reigned as emperor from 27 BC until his death in AD 14.
In Texas, the month of August is often referred to as the "dog days of summer" because of the extreme heat. Surprisingly, this phrase too has Roman origins. The Romans associated the hottest days of summer with the star Sirius, which was known as the Dog Star. Sirius was the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major (which meant large dog). During the month of August, when Sirius rose and set with the Sun, the Romans thought Sirius added heat to the Sun's heat and caused the August temperatures to be even hotter. The phrase “dog days of summer” was born and remains with us today.
At Weatherford College, the month of August marks the end of the academic year. This academic year has been a truly exceptional year at WC! New student enrollment records were set in each of the fall, spring, summer I, and summer II semesters. Weatherford College experienced historically high increases in philanthropy with a 112 percent year-to-date increase in the first quarter of 2019, and an impressive 171 percent increase in the first six months of the year. Additionally, the foundation set another record for the number of scholarship dollars distributed to WC students. Weatherford College was named “Educational Partner of the Year” by Workforce Solutions for North Central Texas, and was named “Large Business of the Year” by the East Parker County Chamber of Commerce.
New academic program applications, including a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing Program and an Associate of Arts Degree in Veterinary Technician Program, were submitted for accreditation body approval. A “Corporate College” program was launched in an effort to further support our area businesses with low cost/high quality professional development opportunities. Collaborations with the City of Weatherford, Workforce Solutions for North Central Texas, and the Council of Governments were reached which brought sizable sources of external funding to Weatherford College. A robotics grant from the National Science Foundation, a student success grant from the U.S. Department of Education, and a collaborative Jobs and Education for Texans grant with Mineral Wells ISD also brought significant external resources to Weatherford College. WC was the host site for professional academic conferences, a college trustee conference, a regional FFA conference, and a regional athletic tournament. Additionally, performance milestones were reached in academics, agriculture, the arts, and in athletics. Collectively, the students, faculty, and staff of Weatherford College had a banner year!
August also marks the beginning of an exciting new academic year. Enrollment projections are once again trending toward record high numbers. Third quarter philanthropy is off the charts. Weatherford College Foundation (WCF) President Bob Glenn, WFC Executive Director Brent Baker, and the entire Weatherford College Foundation Board are bringing in a plethora of new permanently endowed student scholarships.
Additionally, the curb appeal of our beautiful Weatherford campus is markedly improved. Repairs are being made, newly donated trees are being planted, and forward momentum is evident. A spirit of pride and optimism has permeated our campus culture. Both new and returning students are buzzing around the campus with the excitement of the new school year looming. The beautiful new roundabout at our main campus entrance is nearing completion, a new parking lot is being built, and a new collaborative workforce facility is in the planning stages. A new technology backbone is being utilized to further enhance student success and reduce paperwork. Additionally, this new technology system will help WC become even more fiscally responsible in the process. Amazing things are happening on multiple fronts, and it is exciting to be part of the action.
This August, please know that you are appreciated for what you do to support our community’s college. Whether that means financial support, simply attending one of our arts or athletic events, participating in one of the many civic organizations that meet on our campus, or merely providing a few kind words of encouragement to one of our students—your help makes a difference! You are an important part of our team. If Emperor Augustus Caesar could build a Roman Empire that would span continents and last for centuries, the great people of Parker County can certainly rise to elevate our community to even higher levels through our collective efforts. This August, we embark on yet another exciting new chapter in our community’s history that will undoubted improve the human condition.
Thanks to you, things are heating up at Weatherford College!
Tod Allen Farmer
President, Weatherford College