Meet Garden Grove CP Nicholas Ewell
Jul. 22, 2016
In this installment of “Meet Your Campus Presidents (CPS),” we spend some time with one of the newest CPs in the Concorde stable – Nicholas Ewell, JD, head of our campus in Garden Grove, Calif. In this brief-but-entertaining look at another of our Concorde CPs, we learn that, while his title once was Nicholas Ewell, Attorney at Law, his real dream title might just be Skipper Nick Ewell.
What’s been your journey to becoming a Concorde CP?
In 1996, I graduated from law school and started practicing. I began working for a mid-size firm and ultimately started my own practice. After working 60-plus hours a week … and watching my kids grow up so quickly, I knew I wanted a change. I began looking at various options and, almost on a lark, took an adjunct paralegal instructor position at a local private post-secondary college. After the first week … working with students to affect positive change became my passion.
In 2015, I met with Ken Guerrero (Market President) and Bill Hale (then Academic Dean) and was intrigued with what I saw as a fresh approach here at Concorde. They not only “talked the talk” but also “walked the walk” of a student-centered education. I started as the Academic Dean at the San Bernardino (Calif.) campus, then moved to Director of Operations at Garden Grove, then Campus President.
What’s the best part about being a Campus President?
I love feeling like I’m making a difference in my students’ lives. For many of them, this is the first time that anyone in their family has attended college.
In some cases, they are the first to even finish high school. I always say that I am privileged to see students move such a great distance, from when they arrive to when they graduate.
What is it that makes the Garden Grove campus stand out?
Our campus is in a beautiful location, just down the road from Disneyland. What really makes it special, though, is the team of faculty and staff that I am privileged to work with. The vibe here on campus is one of respect for the students and genuine dedication to their individual and collective success.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever were given?
I used to have a saying on a paperweight, but I paid it forward by giving it to my former Academic Dean. The saying was, “There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn’t mind who gets the credit.”
Although the actual origin is unknown, the saying is thought to have originated in the 1860s by a Jesuit priest named Father Strickland. This was advice given to me by my mentor when I was first hired as an instructor, and it’s stuck with me ever since.
What’s a favorite TV show, recent movie you’ve seen or book you’ve read?
I tend to like the escapism of shows like Amazing Race. I enjoy most of the popular films, such as the Star Wars series, the recent round of superhero films and the like. Basically, I usually see what my teenage sons are into at any given moment. As for books, I tend to prefer political thrillers and spiritual/apologetic writing.
What is a hidden talent, favorite hobby or little-known fact people don’t know about you?
In my off time, I enjoy sailing. Currently, I do more local small boat racing. In the past, though, I’ve crewed on races to Ensenada, Mazatlan and all up and down the coast of California.
I was happy to have been able to attend several of the America’s Cup races in San Francisco a couple of years ago, which were very exciting to watch. Whether sailing for recreation or in competition, being out on the water always has a calming effect.