Joseph Hankin, Ed.D.
President of Westchester Community College
The nation’s longest serving community college president, Dr. Joseph Hankin, has led Westchester Community College (WCC) institution since 1971 and will retire after 42 years of leadership and service.
From many perspectives, Dr. Hankin is Westchester Community College. His work ethic and visionary leadership have resulted in one of the nation’s finest community colleges and the largest educational institution in the county of Westchester. His influence goes beyond programmatic changes and brick-and-mortar improvements. Through his positive leadership, example and influence over the people of WCC, he has inspired others to do their best on behalf of the college. Dr. Hankin was a significant member of the team that expanded the WCC Foundation. During his tenure, the college’s faculty and professional staff have received more SUNY Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence than any similarly sized institution.
Dr. Hankin’s various efforts to educate immigrants and new citizens have resulted in the expansion of the English as a Second Language Program. More than 4,000 individuals now learn English language skills at the college (approximately 45,000 over the past 11 years). Dedicated to active student life, Dr. Hankin has encouraged the expansion student clubs to more than 70.
Under Dr. Hankin’s leadership, the college has expanded its resources for mature adults, and now offers classes through Mainstream, the Institute for Mature Adults, and Collegium, which offers high-level educational options for lifelong learners. With the addition of new buildings on the main campus and an expansion through the county (the college has five freestanding extension hub sites), students learn in more locations than ever before. Honors students also study in Cambridge, England, each summer. An early proponent of online learning, Dr. Hankin’s support of distance education has resulted in a rapid expansion in this area.
At the age of 26, Dr. Hankin became the nation’s youngest college president when he assumed leadership of Harford Community College in Maryland. He joined WCC in 1971. Dr. Hankin earned his BA from City College of New York, and his MA and Ed.D. from Columbia University, and has been awarded four honorary degrees. He has received over 100 honors and awards, including being named one of the Top Fifty Community College Leaders in the Nation and one of the Most Effective College Presidents in the United States.
Dr. Hankin’s mission to expand upon the college’s educational offerings has resulted in more than 60 academic programs being offered. In May 2013, Dr. Hankin addressed 1,550 degree recipients, a record number of graduates at the college’s commencement ceremony. Under his leadership, WCC has increased the opportunities for professional development for faculty and staff who expand their knowledge by attending conferences and workshops in-person and online. Encouraged by Dr. Hankin’s interest in supporting students, the Westchester Community College Foundation has raised millions of dollars for scholarships, including more than $1 million now distributed annually.