Daniel M. Asquino, president of Mount Wachusett Community College and the longest serving public higher education president in the state, will be awarded the President’s Medal at Fitchburg State University’s undergraduate commencement exercises on Saturday, May 21 on the main quadrangle.
Asquino is retiring in January after a remarkable tenure at the Mount.
“Dan Asquino has been a champion of education and community engagement throughout his distinguished tenure at Mount Wachusett Community College,” Fitchburg State President Richard S. Lapidus said. “He has been a loyal partner and generous community servant for decades, giving his time and talent to countless organizations and thousands of students.”
Since arriving at Mount Wachusett Community College in 1987, Asquino has focused his efforts on improving curriculum, community outreach and economic development. Under his leadership the College enrollment has grown to over 12,000 credit and non-credit students. Satellite campuses have been established at Devens, in Leominster and Fitchburg, and the number of academic programs has expanded to over 75 associate degree and certificate options.
During his tenure, Asquino has established the college as a state and national leader in the areas of workforce development and economic development; dual enrollment and K-12 partnerships; civic engagement; veteran services; and renewable energy.
Asquino began his career in public higher education in 1971 as assistant to the president of the Massachusetts Board of Regional Community Colleges. He went on to serve as assistant dean of administration at Bristol Community College, and dean of administration and development at Cape Cod Community College before being appointed MWCC’s second president.
He is a charter member of the Massachusetts College Success Campaign, The Democracy Commitment and the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC).
He currently chairs the Massachusetts Community College Council’s Labor Relations Committee and Distance Education Committee. In addition, he is a member of the American Association of Community Colleges Commission on Communications and Marketing. He has twice chaired the Massachusetts Committee of Community College Presidents and is a past chair of the College Board’s National Community College Advisory Panel. He is a member and past as two-term chair of the New England College Council, and a member of the Massachusetts Campus Compact Executive Board of Directors.
Locally, Asquino serves as an officer and past chair of the United Way of North Central Massachusetts Board of Directors, officer and past chair of the Boys & Girls Club of Fitchburg and Leominster and past chair of Greater Gardner and North Central Massachusetts Chambers of Commerce. He is a member and past chair of the Board of Trustees for Heywood Hospital, and the GFA Supervisory Board.
He is the recipient of many community and national awards, including the Community Leader Award from the UMass Memorial-HealthAlliance Hospital Foundation; the Distinguished Citizen Award from the Nashua Valley Council Boy Scouts of America; the Dr. Robert H. Goldman Community Service Award; the Greater Gardner Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year and Community Service Awards; the Nashoba Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Award; the Governor’s Pride in Performance Award; Enterprise Bank’s Celebration of Excellence Community Service Award; and the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations Pacesetter Award.
Asquino holds a Ph.D. and M.P.A. in Public Administration and Political Science and a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and Southeastern Massachusetts University, now UMass Dartmouth. He has taught public administration at the high school and college levels, including at the baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral levels.
The father of four and grandfather of nine, he enjoys spending time with his family, numismatics, music, fitness and reading.