The long-standing tie between Tompkins Cortland Community College and the Dryden Mutual Insurance Company began quietly, and rather slowly, about 16 years ago.
Bob Baxter, chief executive officer and general manager of the company, began introducing a basic insurance-education course called InVEST to local high schools. Many of the students in the program were also dual-credit (now referred to as concurrent enrollment) students at the College. Naturally, some veterans of the InVEST program became full-time Tompkins Cortland students.
Eventually, Dryden Mutual hired its first graduate of both InVEST and Tompkins Cortland. "It occurred to us that this was the ideal training for a potential employee," Baxter says. "It didn't happen all at one time, but eventually we began to hire significant numbers from the college. It's a very beneficial relationship."
Baxter has also played a significant role in College Foundation efforts, so much so that in 2010 he was recognized as a Friend of the College, bestowed upon community members and others who have served the College with special loyalty and dedication.
"Under his leadership, Dryden Mutual Insurance has been a lead partner in sponsoring scholarships through the College Foundation," said Tompkins Cortland Community College Board of Trustees Chairperson Roxann Buck while announcing the honor at the 2010 commencement ceremony. "Also under the leadership of Mr. Baxter, approximately 50 percent of the employees of Dryden Mutual Insurance Company are graduates or current students of Tompkins Cortland Community College."
He was also co-chair of the 2004-05 College Foundation Annual Campaign, and Dryden Mutual Insurance Company was a pacesetter for "Think of the Possibilities, The Campaign."