More than 220 people turned out for a joyful celebration at the new Gateway Community College (GCC) campus November 17, honoring seven individuals who helped shape GCC as a “bridge to excellence.” The event featured a reception, silent auction and dinner and honored Matthew Nemerson, president and CEO of the Connecticut Technology Council; Richard C. Levin, President of Yale University; and five GCC alumni, the largest number of alumni honored at one time. The event raised a record amount for scholarships.
Carter Winstanley, honorary chair, Thomas S. Griggs Jr., event chair, GCC President Dr. Dorsey L. Kendrick and the GCC Foundation Board hosted the event and paid tribute to the seven individuals for all they have done for the college community and Greater New Haven.
The GCC alumni honorees were: Cheryl Granucci, director of Diagnostic Radiology at Yale-New Haven Hospital; Ronnell A. Higgins, chief of the Yale University Police Department; Judith Mut, owner of JM Equipment Services, LLC, located in West Haven; Joseph D. Thomas, vice president of Client Fulfillment and Electric Systems Operations at The United Illuminating Company in Orange; and Rep. David Yaccarino, who represents the 87th district in the State’s General Assembly and owner of DJ’s Sports Collectible & Comics in North Haven.
Senator Richard Blumenthal attended the event and lauded Gateway as “our future.” “The young people, some of whom are here tonight, who come through these halls, they are our future and so is the kind of coursework being offered here. This is our future,” Blumenthal said. He thanked the honorees and the donors and sponsors who were in attendance. “What is really important is your being here, your support in terms of time and resources,” he said. “Resources are very important at a time when federal funding is so much in doubt.”
The Hall of Fame event raised more $128,000, significantly increasing the event’s success. It is GCC’s main fundraiser for scholarships. Last year the Foundation raised $85,000.
“As the largest community college in Connecticut, the pressing need for financial aid has increased substantially,” said Mary Ellen Cody, GCC’s dean of Development and Community Partnerships. “The generosity of our donors helps these scholarship recipients progress through their academic programs and contribute to the vitality of our community, region and state.”
Event Chair Thomas Griggs noted, “Having this year’s event in Gateway’s new downtown facility gave us the opportunity to form new partnerships with donors and deepen connections with our longtime Hall of Fame supporters.”
Griggs continued that the Gateway Community College Foundation is deeply grateful to its sponsors, Winstanley Enterprises, LLC, First Niagara Bank Foundation, The Annie E. Casey Foundation, United Illuminating, Southern Connecticut Gas, Wells Fargo, AT&T, Yale University, Walmart, Yale-New Haven Hospital, Anthem BlueCross BlueShield, Robinson & Cole, Dimeo, Space-Craft Manufacturing Inc, Chamber Insurance Trust, Diversified Project Management, the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, the Connecticut Economic Resource Council, and the NewAlliance Foundation.
"We celebrate the achievements of this year’s inductees, whose exemplary leadership, vision and commitment to excellence serve as a model to us all, and help make Greater New Haven a better place to live, work, raise a family and get an education,” Dr. Kendrick said. “We are particularly proud of the expanded group of five Gateway alumni being inducted into the Hall of Fame. These extraordinary men and women serve local organizations and bring honor, prestige and distinction to their alma mater."