History Maker: Dr. Lovell Pugh-Bassett Named President of Camden County College

Photo of Dr. Lovell Pugh-Bassett courtesy of Camden County

AC JosepH Media

GLOUCESTER TOWNSHIP – The Camden County College Board of Trustees on Tuesday (May 17) named Dr. Lovell Pugh-Bassett as the college’s sixth president during a special meeting, making history as the first person of color to lead the institution in its 54-year history.

Pugh-Bassett has served as the vice president of institutional effectiveness, advancement and strategic initiatives at Camden County College since August of 2019. This marked her return to higher education after 20 years with the New Jersey Department of Education, having served in several roles, including Camden County Executive County Superintendent of Schools. 

She replaces current President Don Borden, who has led Camden County College for the last seven years and did not seek reappointment. Pugh-Bassett will officially become president on July 1.

“There is a part to play for all of us in impacting and changing the lives of those we serve,” Pugh-Bassett said in a statement released by the college. “We can only dream that we are able to have an opportunity to use our gift to impact our work.

Camden County College. Photo courtesy of Camden County College

“I am fortunate that my gifts don’t force me to silo my contributions into separate buckets. At Camden County College I am able to merge my passions so that my advocacy can manifest itself in my professional universe.” 

Her philosophy of leadership and education is the idea of merging education with advocacy. Pugh-Bassett said she believes that her positioning at Camden County College reflects the essence of her core commitment to community and considers herself fortunate to yet again be given an opportunity to work and serve. 

She said she believes that it is, after all, the inherent mission of a community college in its service to its community. Camden County College is one of the largest community colleges in New Jersey and ranks among the top nationwide in terms of associate degree graduates.

“This is an important day in the history of Camden County College, and I congratulate Dr. Pugh-Bassett on her appointment,” said Commissioner Deputy Director Ed McDonnell, liaison to Camden County College. “Her strong background, wealth of knowledge, and powerful skill sets make her uniquely qualified to serve as the college’s next president.”

John Hanson, chair of the college’s board, said her appointment is not only historic for the College, her exceptional leadership skills and dedication to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion in education will greatly benefit the college.

“Throughout her career she has worked hard to ensure that all voices are heard in every role she takes,” Hanson said.

Dr. Pugh-Bassett’s professional introduction to education began in higher education where she served as an instructor and program coordinator for the Math/Science Upward Bound Program at Temple University. After years with Temple, she served as the program director for Upward Bound at the Community College of Philadelphia and transitioned to her work in K-12 at the NJDOE.

“Camden County College not only provides the most affordable education in the region, it is also a great community partner, as demonstrated during the pandemic,” Camden County Commissioner Director Louis Cappelli, Jr.

“When the county needed a location for our vaccination center, the college stepped up right away. With Dr. Pugh-Bassett’s appointment, we will build on those community partnerships that were strengthened under the leadership of Don Borden,” Cappelli continued.

Camden County College sustains a vibrant academic community characterized by imaginative teaching, caring student services, energetic management and collegial discussion of diverse ideas and opinions.

“I can confidently leave this position knowing that Dr. Pugh-Bassett and the administrative team will continue to move the college’s mission and vision forward in order to provide affordable and accessible educational opportunities to our students,” Borden said.

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