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New president to take over OCC this summer

Warren Hilton will take over as president of Onondaga Community College July 1
Ellen Abbott
Warren Hilton will take over as president of Onondaga Community College July 1

Warren Hilton will take the reigns of Onondaga Community College, at a time when enrollment at community colleges across the country is falling.

As a graduate of Indiana University, Drexel University and Harvard University Graduate School of Education, for Hilton, education is life-changing.

“It can take from you, like myself, a young man in Philadelphia, first-generation college student, to places that I could never imagine being," Hilton said.

And after administrative stints at Kutztown University, the Community College of Philadelphia, Drexel University and other schools in and around Pennsylvania, Hilton finds himself leading OCC following the retirement of Casey Crabill. He will be the college’s first Black president. Hilton said that he wants this to be an example for others.

“I want to be able to be an example for someone else who’s thinking they couldn’t do something and seeing the first, trigger in their mind, I can do it, I can be the first," Hilton said.

Hilton is expected to focus on enrollment, student retention and student success. This comes at a time when community colleges across the country are facing declining enrollment following the pandemic. Hilton said he sees community college fitting in to a post-pandemic world.

"If you’re an individual who has stopped out of the workforce and is looking for an up skill," Hilton said. "We provide up skill in a manner that in many instances is flexible and shorter than other institutions."

Hilton will take office July 1.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.