President Tom Neal and Development Coordinator Natasha Franklin gave me a personal tour of CCU this morning. I was blown away from the moment I walked in!!!!!! The place is huge (almost a block long, and they have their own underground parking lot, as well as parking areas for visitors), and the entry way is decorated with marble flooring, fine wood, and leather furniture. There was a 50-foot Christmas tree! But I digress. There are two floors (stairs and elevators). I met briefly with President Neal and Ms. Franklin before starting my tour. I would describe the Presidents office as "White House" like. Once again, custom made wood bookshelves built into the walls, leather furniture, window views all over the place, and those cool green lamps like you see on "Law and order". This building is in a historical area, so it has all the adornments (classic ceiling tiles); chandeliers are preserved in pristine condition. All the rooms still have the glazed glass panes! I was told this was a building for State Judges and their staff, and apparently hearings and the like were held here, so the history is incredible! President Neal and Natasha Franklin are very nice people BTW. So after the formalities, the tour starts. I kept seeing dissertations all over the place in bookshelves, from past to present. My friends, if anyone doubts the credibility of this school going back to its inception, just go there in person and take a look at their pre-DETC PhD dissertations. Most are finely bound, and one was four volumes long! Each was thicker than a phone book. I had to look through these!!!!! It was typewritten, and the content was HARDCORE!!!!!! I just remember the author's last name was Makuko. They are slowly moving all of the dissertations in, but by the shear volume involved, it will take a long time. Oh, I could also see where Mr. Neal Sr. signed off the dissertations, and an oversight committee from places like Harvard, Cornell, etc. So anyway, rather than do a room-by-room description, I will touch upon the highlights. Testing center - several individual testing rooms with computers and cameras to watch the students. There is even a camera to watch the test Administrator!!!!!! I have been to several CC's and Universities, but I have never seen a testing center with single rooms (several) for each test taker. Forms with doc check confirmations are provided in person, and are signed for on camera. Student/Counselor meeting rooms. These are rooms for anyone who is interested in attending CCU to meet with a Counselor, or personally meet with his instructor/Professor about a class they are currently in, or other such matters. IT rooms - One of the biggest most sophisticated IT rooms I have ever seen!!!!!!! I met the IT guys and they were cool. Mail room. I also met the young man who runs the mailroom. He was showing me (with some pride I might add), how he mails out lesson plans, grades, and book rentals, etc. A huge undertaking. This was also a state of the art mailroom. I told him he had one of THE most important jobs. Book storage/Student storage area. - Hundreds of huge metal file cabinets full of student records. Ms. Toto told me these will be stored on computer/digital - but it will be a HUGE undertaking. Another really cool thing - lesson plans can be printed out via computer, so all the paper does not have to be stored. It goes straight to the copier (digital printer quality) for professional results. CCU -signs - The cities historical district must approve the design of the signs, so that will take a while. It is not only a matter of shopping for signs; they must be approved and sanctioned by the city. This City has been undergoing a HUGE makeover the several years, and it shows. Oh, I will add, CCU's building is right across the street from a schools performing arts center, so the whole area has a campus feel to it. And last but not least: A full on hearing room upstairs. This room is absolutely magnificent! Graduations will be held here, and the student’s family can sit in this gigantic room and watch the whole thing. There is a "robe room" where students can robe up for their grad, and then there is a back entrance into the hearing room where the students and faculty can enter. This room is Presidential. Since I have a propensity towards verbosity, I will conclude my remarks shortly. Being a CCU alumnus, I am very proud of CCU and what they have accomplished. On the way out, Mr. Neal pointed to a white high-rise building, the place where the concept of CCU was born. It was all started by his father, in a suite building (Used to be Bank of America). Later, as things grew, they moved to the building on the corner (used to be a bank), and now they are in THIS building. He said it with a sense of pride and humility, and with a glimmer in his eye. I told him his father would be very proud of him for not only carrying on the tradition, but also expanding and improving it as well. Legit DL study can be provided worldwide! Let suffice it to say the tour took two hours! Once again, the place is HUGE. I am sure Professor Anthony Pina will have a few questions for me. Mr. Pina I believe grew up in the area, and remembers the early days of CCU with fondness. Respectfully, Abner P.S. Happy Thanksgiving!