News from the Gateway Community College Foundation
Take a look at our recent news releases, or subscribe to our electronic newsletter. It's full of the latest news so you can be up-to-date with the innovative academic programs, student achievement and recognition, and the impact that our students and the college are having on our community. And read about the many individuals and businesses that are making a difference for students at Gateway Community College by supporting the work of the Foundation.
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Gateway Foundation Donors Response to COVID-19
220 student inquiries received for the Helping Hands Fund, providing a minimum of $250 per student for expenses for food, rent, utilities and daily essentials.
642 laptop scholarships were awarded, raising over $266,248 to help students transition to distance learning.
126 students served by the Family Economic Security Program (FESP) a transformative retention program which provides vital services for low-income students.
Thank you to all the Foundation donors who generously donated to the Helping Hands Fund, the three rounds to award Laptop Scholarships and funding to support FESP. The Gateway Foundation and its Board of Directors remain committed to serving the Gateway community throughout the COVID-19 global pandemic.
Gateway Community College
2021 Commencement Ceremony
Gateway Community College’s 29th Commencement Ceremony honored and celebrated the Class of 2021 by returning to in-person at the Hartford Healthcare Amphitheater in Bridgeport on Thursday, May 29, 2021. The GCC Class of 2021 is abounding with stories of triumph over adversity.
Members of the Class of 2020, after foregoing the event in favor of a virtual ceremony, were invited to participate in this year’s ceremony donning a cap and gown and walking across the stage.
“Commencement is such an important and exciting milestone for our students”, said Dr. William (Terry) Brown, Chief Executive Officer, Gateway Community College, “We missed being with them and cheering them on, and now that so many are vaccinated and safety restrictions are relaxed, we are excited to celebrate with our graduates and our families.”
Of the 792 graduates that make up the GCC Class of 2021, 48% are the first in their family to graduate with a college degree. Thirty-two percent are graduating with a GPA of 3.5 or higher, and 47% identify as belonging to a minority group. This year’s graduates span an almost sixty-year age difference, from 18 to 67, and include 12 United States military veterans.
Both the Classes of 2020 and of 2021 will be remembered as the most resilient and determined graduates in the history of the college. Persevering in the face of unprecedented circumstances, this commencement celebrated the graduate’s victories over the multiple challenges that they overcame to complete their studies.
The Grand Marshall was Stephen Fries, one of Gateway’s longest serving faculty members and a widely syndicated food columnist and author who leverages his professional activities to raise scholarship funds and internship opportunities for Gateway students.
The Commencement Speaker was Braxton D. Darden, Sr, ‘09. After receiving his Associate Degree from Gateway, he earned a bachelor’s degree from Albertus Magnus College (Cum Laude), and a master’s degree in Criminal Justice from the University of New Haven. His message to graduates, “I stand before you, a Gateway Community College Alumnus. I was a high school dropout, turned college graduate. Understand, that this is only the beginning for you!”
The 2021 Student of the Year award was announced at the graduation ceremony to be Victoria Majewski, Vice Chair, Phi Theta Kappa Honor. Ms. Majewski meets or exceeds all criteria listed for this award and has a near-‐perfect 3.97 GPA. Ms. Majewski’s long term goal is to achieve a master’s degree in public health with a concentration in U.S. Health and Justice. Currently, Ms. Majewski is the medical office manager for a telemedicine naturopathic practice specializing in women’s health.
Two distinguished members of the community were recognized by Dr. Thomas Coley, President, Shoreline-West Region. An Honorary Degree was conferred on William P. Villano, Chief Executive Officer, Workforce Alliance for his exemplary accomplishments to advance the work and reputation of the college.
The President’s Community Leadership Award was presented to Mimi M. Lines, a lawyer with Robinson + Cole, LLP, and a past Board Chair and currently a member of the Gateway Community College Foundation Board of Directors.
The Gateway Community College 2021 Commencement Ceremony can be viewed on the colleges’ YouTube and Facebook portals.
Gateway Community College Foundation
Bridge to Equity
Listen to Paul McCraven and Dr. Brown talk about the 2020 Hall of Fame
Rahteisha Pittman, Gateway Community College's 2020 Student of the Year
6/23/2020 - When it came to achieving her dream of becoming a nurse, Rahteisha “Teisha” Pittman didn't let anything get in her way: not an abusive relationship, renal failure, kidney dialysis, and certainly not the COVID-19 pandemic.
The long journey neared its end as Pittman was recently “pinned” at a unique outdoor ceremony at Gateway’s North Haven campus. She has also received Gateway’s Student of the Year Award. As she awaits GCC’s virtual June 25 graduation and word on when she can sit for her NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination) to become a registered nurse, the 38-year-old mother of two is looking for nursing jobs and has been accepted into Quinnipiac University’s RN to MSN program.
Pittman’s first attempt at higher education was at Housatonic Community College, when she was 24. While carrying her second son, her high-risk pregnancy required her to leave school. Two years later, she enrolled at the University of Bridgeport to study accounting, which she thought would provide the regular hours she needed to raise her children. Then, Pittman had to relocate to New Haven to remove herself and her boys from an abusive relationship.
Family Economic Security Program (FESP)
A new addition to the Gateway Community College portfolio of support services is a grant-funded program that provides students with wrap around services – a mixture of academic, career, financial and personal support. The goal is to support students every step of the way
to degree completion.
The Family Economic Security Program, or (FESP), features rigorous criteria and significant benefits for student participants.
The Big Read 2019
5/8/2019 - The 2019 National Endowment for the Arts Big Read was The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri. The GCC Library hosted an event in partnership with the International Festival of Arts & Ideas that included a panel of international students and a staff member who spoke of their experiences in this country as immigrants and their cultural identities. Gateway has partnered with Arts & Ideas to host Big Read programs focused on a single book as a point of departure for conversations throughout New Haven.
Gateway Donor Scholar Reception
Click on the links below to view the donor scholar reception recordings.
Welcome Dr. William "Terry" Brown
The Gateway Community College Foundation Board of Directors welcomes William “Terry” Brown, Ph.D. to Gateway Community College.
“I'm delighted that such a vibrant and visionary leader has been selected as the new Chief Executive Office of Gateway Community College. Dr. Brown’s devotion and distinguished career in higher education places him in high regard in which he is held across the community college system. The Foundation Board believes he will strengthen the school’s resources and reputation, work on closing the equity and achievement gap, and create a better educated workforce and a stronger community. This is an exciting chapter for the College and the Foundation Board wishes him much success.”
-Paul A. McCraven, Board Chair
Gateway Community College Foundation.
23rd Annual Hall of Fame
Virtual Induction Fall 2020
Bridge to Equity was the theme for 23rd Annual Hall of Fame Induction, the Gateway Community College Foundation’s largest scholarship fundraiser, and was creatively redesigned as an online series held during the month of October. This year’s reformatted Hall of Fame honored and saluted extraordinary achievement and dedication by our honorees: Erik M. Clemons, Claire LaPia Criscuolo, AMR, Ena M. Williams, Alexis H. Smith, The Storehouse Project: Mobile Food Pantry; our students, faculty and staff; the Gateway Community College leadership; the Gateway Community College Foundation Board; and our passionate donors and sponsors who stand together to make Gateway and equitable learning environment.
The series included a featured Bridge to Equity video with students, faculty, staff, and donors sharing their voices and experiences that impacted their Gateway Community College and the Gateway Community College Foundation first-hand; Thirteen Student Success Stories; quotes from two Student Success Stories: Anthony Barrosa, ‘Gateway and the help I received from the GCC Foundation gave me a sense of perseverance to get to where I am today.’; Frances Rivera-Biaggi, ‘I’m gaining skills at Gateway that translate directly to the workforce.’; and Dishing It Back, a fun-filled new culinary adventure. Recognizing the challenges of the pandemic have taken a toll on local restaurants, Dishing It Back showcased 18 chefs with a signature dish for home-cooks to recreate in their own kitchens with a chance to win a $100 gift certificate to a local restaurant; and Laptop Scholarships to award more than 100 laptops to students to make sure online learning does not upend their studies or their educational goals.
Cooking with Chef Jean-Pierre Vuillermet
2019 Hall of Fame Honorees - DeCosta, Naclerio, Hummel, Pepe and Middleton inducted into the Gateway Community College Foundation Hall of Fame
10/17/19 - The Bridge to Excellence 22nd Annual Hall of Fame Induction & Reception was held on October 17, 2019 recognizing and honoring those who support the next generation of achievers. The Hall of Fame event is largest source of Foundation scholarship aid. Congratulations to the 2019 Hall of Fame Honorees: Alumni Honorees Keith T. DeCosta, Signal Maintainer Helper, Amtrak and Nicholas S. Naclerio, CPA, Vice President Corporate Tax, AllianceBernstein (AB); Corporate Honorees Jill Rubin Hummel, President and General Manager, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shiled and Gregory Pepe, Founding Principal, Neubert, Pepe & Montieth, P.C. and Community Honoree Faith Middleton, Two-time Peabody Award-Winning Journalist and Culinary Goddess.
LIVE from the ‘Big G”, CT Public radio broadcasting from the Gateway Community College campus in downtown New Haven
2/14/2018 - Connecticut Public announced an exciting new partnership with Gateway Community College that they have relocated their New Haven radio studio on our campus and will host live and taped programs and provide valuable internships for our students. Diane Orson, Connecticut Public’s local host for Morning Edition and the New Haven bureau chief will be on campus for live broadcasts. Diane is a longtime reporter and contributor to National Public Radio.
The opening event, “For the Love of Public Media, included live radio broadcasts; taping of a program later aired by the New England News Collaborative; and sessions for students, faculty and the public to meet and hear from Connecticut Public’s on-air personalities that included Faith Middleton, John Denkowski, and Colin McEnroe.
The partnership, first announced in 2017, is providing program and internship opportunities for Gateway students through Connecticut Public’s Institute for Advanced Media. In the internships, students learn about editing audio, developing journalist pieces, and ultimately covering local events for WNPR. Gateway is frequently mentioned on-air as the originating location for WNPR programs, raising the college’s profile across the region. WNPR is heard throughout Connecticut, Western Massachusetts and Eastern Long Island.
The Big Read 2018
In 2018, the NEA Big Read was "Citizen: An American Lyric"' by Claudia Rankine. Gateway partnered with the International Festival in bringing Ms. Rankine on campus to participate in a student led panel discussion.
The NEA Big Read broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book. A note of special thanks to the NewAlliance Foundation for their on-going support that provided 50 books for students and books for the Gateway Library collection.
Klaus, Melton and Chapman Inducted into Gateway Community College Foundation Hall of Fame, Along with 218 Alumni Employed at YNHH
10/5/18— The Gateway Community College (GCC) Foundation celebrated its 21st annual Hall of Fame induction, October 4 with over 200 donors and supporters who were on hand to celebrate and cheer on this year’s inductees.
Jeffrey A. Klaus (Jeff) was inducted as this year’s Corporate Honoree, along with Community Honorees, Elsie Blackshear Chapman and Ruby H. Melton. Distinguished Alumni honors were conferred on 218 Gateway Community College alumni that are currently employed at Yale New Haven Healthcare's (YNHH) Departments of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging and Radiation Oncology.
Join Us In Honoring And Remembering Our Friend, Dr. John Soto
10/8/18— It is with deep sadness that I share the news of the passing of John Soto, a great friend and supporter of Gateway Community College and its students. John was a self-made man who built a successful manufacturing company and was known throughout the State of Connecticut for his commitment to our community. He was appointed by the Board of Trustees to the Search Committee that hired Dr. Dorsey L. Kendrick as president of Gateway.
We will all miss his kindness, compassion and sense of humor. Our hearts go out to Gladys, Pedro and the Soto family.
Manufacturing Engineering Lab Named for Sotos and Family
8/8/15—Gateway Community College Foundation celebrated on October 7, 2015 the naming of the John and Gladys Soto and Family Manufacturing Engineering Laboratory.
A naming ceremony commemorated the event, which was attended by Thomas Griggs Jr., Chair, Gateway Community College Foundation Board; Dorsey L. Kendrick, Ph.D., President, Gateway Community College; and John and Gladys Soto. Eric Flynn, interim Department Chair, GCC Engineering Technology, Joseph Kardos, Manufacturing Instructor, and Wilson Luna, Dean of Students, were also on hand to celebrate. [Read more]
Scholarship Donors and Recipients Celebrate at GCC Foundation Luncheon
6/24/15—The Gateway Community College (GCC) Foundation celebrated Gateway’s scholarship recipients and the generous donors who support the scholarship program at a June 5 luncheon at the New Haven Lawn Club.
More than $111,000 in scholarships was made available to Gateway students—the largest amount awarded since the Foundation’s establishment in 1993.
Gateway Celebrates Naming of The Curran Community Center with May 20 Ceremony
5/21/2015—Gateway Community College (GCC) celebrated on May 20 the naming of The Curran Community Center, named for William E. Curran, philanthropist and retiree from Halsey Associates. The ceremony was held from 5:00-6:30 pm.
The evening's speakers were Thomas Griggs Jr., Chair, Gateway Community College Foundation Board; Dr. Dorsey L. Kendrick, Ph.D., President, GCC; William E. Curran; and Professor Lorraine Li, Business Department, GCC.
Scholarship Recipient’s Hall of Fame Remarks Underscore Vital Need for Financial Assistance
12/22/2014—When Sabrina Paradis stepped to the podium at the Gateway Community College Foundation’s 17th Annual Hall of Fame Induction & Reception on Oct. 18, her remarks demonstrated that the true meaning of the event wasn’t solely to honor deserving community leaders and outstanding Gateway alumni.
Rather, at its very core, the Hall of Fame is the Foundation’s largest fundraiser, and the proceeds help provide vitally important scholarships to deserving students, enhance the college’s learning environment, and help faculty and staff develop their professional and educational skills.
Gateway Honors First Niagara With the Naming of Its Library and Learning Commons
6/10/2014—Representatives from First Niagara Bank and Gateway Community College (GCC) celebrated the naming of the college’s First Niagara Library and Learning Commons with a June 10 ribbon cutting and reception.
The new library was made possible in part through a charitable grant from First Niagara Foundation, the philanthropic arm of First Niagara Bank, N.A.
GCC Celebrates Naming of The Regional Water Authority and The Watershed Fund Chemistry Lab
5/29/14—On May 29, the Gateway Community College Foundation celebrated the naming of The Regional Water Authority and The Watershed Fund Chemistry Lab at Gateway Community College.
Larry L. Bingaman, President and CEO of The Regional Water Authority, and Richard G. Bell, Esq., President of The Watershed Fund, were on hand to commemorate the event, as well as Dorsey L. Kendrick, President of Gateway, and Thomas S. Griggs, Jr., Chair of the Gateway Community College Foundation Board. Professor Robert E. Tremblay, Math/Science Department Chair at Gateway, closed the evening’s program.
Yale-New Haven Hospital Names GCC Nursing Suite
4/28/2014—Yale-New Haven Hospital and Gateway Community College (GCC) celebrated the naming of the college’s nursing suite with an April 28 ribbon cutting and reception. The ribbon cutting event punctuates Yale-New Haven Hospital’s longstanding commitment to Gateway’s nursing and allied health programming.
“Yale-New Haven Hospital has been a dedicated and generous partner since the beginning of our nursing program,” said GCC President Dorsey Kendrick. “We are so grateful for all Marna Borgstrom and her team have done to support the college’s mission to create a first-class healthcare workforce. Wherever you go for health care in this region, you are sure to meet a Gateway graduate.”
Gateway Celebrates NewAlliance Foundation Art Gallery Grand Opening with Holocaust Memorial Exhibit
4/10/14—On April 10, Gateway Community College celebrated the naming of the NewAlliance Foundation Art Gallery with a new exhibit, "Memory and Legacy," and a program of speakers.
The grand opening was the first of many naming ceremonies slated for Gateway's campus.