All employees from custodians to vice presidents assembled in the Brownstone Center for the Arts to hear Breerwood base a message on the exploits of Hernan Cortez.
The Spanish explorer ordered his crews burn their boats when they landed in Mexico to conquer the Aztecs and explained they would return home in boats seized from the Aztecs.
“That’s the level of committment we need to get Pearl River Community College where we need to be,” Breerwood said in a short video. “We’re going to burn the boats, no retreat, no surrender.”
He came to PRCC as a first-generation college student on a baseball scholarship and has served the college as a coach, teacher and administrator while completing his degrees.
“There’s no place I’d rather be,” he said. “Why can’t Pearl River Community College be the best? I’ve never understood the concept of it’s ok to be second best.
“I think about our students a lot, different ways to alleviate the challenges, the obstacles. I believe we can change lives here. I wouldn’t be standing here today if I didn’t.”
Breerwood acknowledged PRCC faces budget challenges but said he and his administration will deal with them without lots of complaining. But he promised to communicate with employees, leading to transparency and responsibility.
“Everybody has a role in this,” Breerwood said. “There’s only so much room on this boat. Give me an opportunity. I guarantee you we’ll change lives on a daily basis.”
The faculty also heard from Dr. Sam Jones, motivational speaker and vice president for student affairs at Jones County Junior College. Jones also spoke to a breakfast for members of the PRCC Leadership Classes of 2011-2017.
Classes begin Monday, Aug. 14. Registration continues Thursday and Friday at all three PRCC campuses.