What’s a college to do when it turns 85?
by Lisa Brooks, Glendale College Foundation Executive Director
Throw a party, of course. But not just any party. An elegant on-campus gala affair that will raise money for the college, and not just from the “usual suspects” either. We are throwing a wide net to capture any businesses that partner with the college, or would like to, as well as all our past, generous donors, the many thousands of alumni who attended GCC, and anyone in the surrounding community who cares about the future of community colleges—as well as Glendale, in particular!
The theme: Stars Among Us speaks as much to our stellar faculty, staff, students, board members and alumni, as it does to our state-of-the-art planetarium. And you couldn’t ask for brighter stars—those who have helped make this college great: Dr. Davitt and Gael Davitt are the Honorary Chairs. We are putting our Honorary Committee together now.
Philanthropists of Distinction Award will go to Bhupesh and Kumud Parikh. You can clearly see the results of their generosity in our Health Sciences building and our amazing nursing department. Our hope is that they will inspire other philanthropists to come forward. What a difference $1m can make on this campus! Outstanding Alumnus Award will be presented to Professor Sevada Chamras. He is a shining example of someone who got his start as a student at Glendale Community College. The Community Lifetime Achievement Award will go to Ruth Charles, who has been a long-time supporter of our college. Over 50 years ago, Ruth Charles and her husband Dick opened a music store in Glendale called Charles Music. They enjoyed a long life together as music makers and teachers and retailers of musical products. Today, Ruth remains active in the community as a philanthropist and mentor to so many.
Our plan is to hand over all the undesignated money we raise to the college for an 85th Anniversary STUDENT SUCCESS FUND where donors can invest in our students and help keep us Number One in Student Achievement*. This fund will help in the following ways:
· Instructional computer labs
· Essential instructional equipment, e.g. skeletons for anatomy, science lab equipment, etc.
· Upgrades to facilities such as music, dance, and athletics
· Student Book & Library Fund
· Instructional offerings
The cost for a seat at our formal dinner event is $250, though we have a special college rate of $125 for employees. We understand that even this is a stretch for some. A small number of free seats will be reserved; details about eligibility will be communicated to the campus closer to the event.
Please keep in mind that there will be other events celebrating our 85th Anniversary that will be low cost or free. The primary goal of this event on Saturday night, October 20 is to raise funds for our college through corporate sponsorships ranging from $3,000 all the way up to $100,000. It is also a way to showcase the best of our campus to the outside community. Happy birthday GCC!
For more information, call Glendale College Foundation at (818) 551-5199.
*According to the statewide ARCC (Accountability Reporting for the Community Colleges) data for 2011, GCC had the highest student progress and achievement rate among the 14 community colleges in our geographic region.