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— Last week I had the privilege of attending a joint meeting of Camden’s civic clubs at SAU Tech for Student Appreciation Day.

While being served a great hamburger, we all heard Dr. Jason Morrison speak about the expansion of the campus and exciting programs Tech has to offer. Morrison made it clear that SAU Tech isn’t simply “the Tech,” an out of the way rural college, instead it was “THE Tech,” a bustling and successful two-year university that gives students the foundation to succeed in all areas of life.

I knew nothing about SAU Tech before I moved to Camden, other than that my sister-in-law worked there once upon a time. However, within a few OPED meetings, I learned quite a bit from the chancellor. I learned it was an integral part of the training that happens at Highland Industrial Park. I also learned that its biggest and most vocal champion was its chancellor.

I had a traditional view of college chancellors, and that view was that they stay entombed in their offices like an Egyptian pharaoh, until they are unearthed to glad hand and pretend to care. Once the photo op was over, they are interred again and the stone door of their office is sealed.

Jason Morrison shattered that notion for me. Fervent is the only word to describe his passion for the institution he guides. It’s almost a running joke how willing he is to talk about the college, but it’s not a joke. It’s real life. The man eats, sleeps and breathes for SAU Tech.

I also have to commend Dr. Morrison on his availability. There’s a lot of frustrations in the newspaper business, but at the top of the list is trying to contact a source and waiting for days to hear back from them. That’s not the case with him. He’s always been prompt and transparent anytime I’ve needed anything from him, even if it’s just a quick quote.

I know it sounds like I’m gushing, but it’s just to highlight how different this chancellor and indeed the college he supervises is from any other institution I’ve ever known.

And it’s not like he does it alone. SAU Tech is full of administrators and workers that strive to provide the very best for its students and the community. I’m friends with a lot of workers at SAU Tech and they always have a smile and a handshake ready.

Not too terribly long ago, I did a feature on SAU Tech’s non destructive testing program, which is exactly what it sounds like. The program uses x-rays to find defects in material that can’t be broken apart. I was escorted to a room with what can only be described as a chamber that bombards materials with x-rays. Tech’s non destructive testing classes not only allow students to gain high levels of employment and pay, it’s plain to see why you’d need rockets and other ordinance in one piece, as well as defect free.

One of my favorite activities at Tech is the annual Quiz Bowl hosted by the Camden Rotary club. For two years I’ve been apart of a team called “The News Hounds” and I get to participate in a trivia competition against literal rocket scientists. We do better every year and in a few years…maybe we can win.

All these things make SAU Tech a top notch institution. I have to agree with Dr. Morrison. It’s not just a tech, it’s “The Tech.”

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