Erie Community College’s Men of Merit Program—established to foster excellence,
distinction and integrity in the school’s male African-American, Hispanic and
Native American students—continued its 2017-18 Distinguished Speaker Series
with Bernie Tolbert, former special agent with the FBI and current candidate
for Erie County Sheriff, inside the College’s City Campus Auditorium on
worked with the Federal Bureau of Investigation before career stops handling
security for Coca-Cola in Atlanta, Buffalo’s HSBC headquarters, and as Vice
President of Security for the National Basketball Association—talked to student
attendees about the importance of finding people to look up to as they carve
their personal and professional paths. For Mr. Tolbert, one of these
individuals was his mother, who raised five children in a single-parent
household, and taught each of them to be the best—regardless of circumstances.
He spoke of his life growing up in the City of Buffalo and professional start
as a social worker; his time in the FBI, which included a rise in the ranks to
become the first African–American male to oversee the Buffalo office; and his
experiences heading security for the NBA, which included stories about
traveling for the 2004 Olympics in Athens, as well as discussions with
basketball greats such as Magic Johnson, Charles Barkley, and LeBron
expressed the common thread through these experiences was his unrelenting
desire to be the best he could be. This obligation to serve has adhered to an
intense loyalty to his community and family, and has led to his efforts to give
back—whether with service or guidance—to such organizations that are developing
the future leaders of tomorrow like SUNY Erie’s Men of Merit.
programs like these that help our men remain open and engaged with their
community,” said Tolbert.
Men of Merit program provides ambitious minority male students the chance to
pursue excellence through a wide array of services designed to maximize
academic success; and the opportunity to chart a course to graduation often
hindered by poverty, crime and unemployment within local and national minority
communities. Members have access to advisers, mentors and leaders—from both
SUNY Erie and the school’s extended community—who strive to prepare students
for college success.
members also have access to a support network comprised of vital College-guided
services like academic readiness workshops, crisis counseling and career
development necessary to achieve their desired goals. With this backing and a
strict adherence to the aforementioned program tenants of excellence,
distinction and integrity, members are guided to stay in college, advance
academically and serve their community, as they become the men they aim to be.
more information on this event, future Distinguished Speakers Series guests or
SUNY Erie’s Men of Merit Program, please call (716) 851-1939 or email Dr.
Marvin Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since 1946, Erie
Community College has met the needs of a diverse student body while
contributing to the economic vitality of Western New York. As a member of the
state’s SUNY system, the three-campus college provides flexible, affordable and
accessible educational programs in an accommodating academic environment.
Equipped with the knowledge of these programs, ECC’s faculty, staff and
students strive to enrich their host communities through skill, service and
partnership. For more information, visit www.ecc.edu
or call (716) 851-1ECC.