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A Newsletter for Alumni, Parents, and Friends of Greenfield Community College and the GCC Foundation

Jim Lawlor ’64 Reflects on GCC’s First Graduating Class

Posted on Tuesday June 5th 2012

GCC's original Federal Street building
GCC's original Federal Street building
GCC's original Federal Street building

“I wish I could be there,” said Jim Lawlor GCC ’64, UMass ’67.  “I was in the first graduating class at GCC. I was a member of the Student Council as Treasurer my first year and President my second year, and worked with Directors Taylor and Turner. GCC was instrumental in getting me on the right track, opening my eyes to a future beyond my home town area and gave me the confidence to move ahead. I reinvented myself at GCC.  Have a great celebration.”

GCC's original Federal Street building

Those were the words Lawlor used when replying to the invitation from GCC to attend the Community Celebration for GCC 50th following Commencement activities on June 3rd. He has been a long way in time and distance since he joined the stalwart group who enrolled in GCC’s very first classes in September, 1962, but his heart and memories are clearly anchored to his first college experience.

“The Federal St School wasn’t quite ready when classes began, so we had to meet in the hall at nearby St. James Church for a few weeks,” he recalled. He describes GCC as a “learning experience that was truly that” and noted how that set it apart from both his secondary and subsequent post-secondary educational experiences. He recalls fondly the ability to interact with peers, faculty and administration in a very collegial atmosphere.

In looking back at the half century that has passed since his GCC days, Lawlor is confident that his successful career as a consultant to US Defense Department clients found its roots at GCC, where he learned to learn and comprehend beyond the obvious. He is currently employed by Booz Allen Hamilton in Virginia and over the decades has worked in different parts of the country with national firms such as Wang, Proctor & Gamble, IBM and PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLC. At these, and during his time serving in the National Guard, Lawlor has been able to put to use the academic, communication and leadership strengths that GCC discovered hidden inside him and brought to forefront.

GCC receives VIP treatment from Springfield Armor


GCC President Bob Pura hosted a great evening of “GCC Night at the Springfield Armor” with a road trip on March 21st to a basketball game at the Mass Mutual Center. Members of our community joined GCC alumni and employees for a wonderful night of VIP treatment, including reserved courtside seating, dinner and great camaraderie while watching this area’s minor league basketball team play to win. This sold-out game was the Springfield Armor’s final home game of the season.

GCC Art Program: Welcome to “Face Nook”


For the past 5 years, an anonymous donor has supplied a $100 award to a GCC painting student each semester to be used to purchase painting supplies. In return, the students have created a miniature self-portrait on a canvas supplied by the donor. Award recipients are art program majors, nominated by the painting faculty, who have demonstrated a commitment to the medium and are producing work of a high standard. We are pleased to announce two exciting opportunities related to this initiative:

1. A collection of these mini portraits will now be offered for sale as part of a unique fundraising exhibit to benefit GCC’s Art Department, hosted by Nina’s Nook in Turners Falls in November 2014.

2. In addition to the existing collection, current and former painting students of the college are also invited to submit their work in this event using 6″ square canvases. The exhibit, to be called “Face Nook,” will open November 14 and close December 6. All work must be delivered to Nina’s Nook by November 5, either in person to the gallery or shipped to: Nina Rossi, 21 Central St, Turners Falls MA 01376. For details contact Nina Rossi,