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

Thank you

Posted on Tuesday June 5th 2012

GCC President Robert Pura - photo by Gerald Martins
GCC President Robert Pura - photo by Gerald Martins
GCC President Robert Pura - photo by Gerald Martins

During this, GCC’s 50th anniversary year, more than ever, I would like to thank you for your support. It has been my privilege to serve as President of this college for 11 1/2 years and during that time I have seen the extraordinary level of support GCC receives from individuals and businesses, alumni and community members, faculty and staff.

GCC President Robert Pura – photo by Gerald Martins

I have been involved with the Massachusetts community college system since 1978, having worked at three community colleges.  I can say without hesitation that I have not seen a college work as hard in support of its community and I have not seen a community support its college more.

Imagine the cumulative effect of more than 1,200 people making a gift to the GCC Annual Fund each spring. Imagine further the impact those gifts have had on the college’s ability to meet students where they are and bring them to a new level of understanding of the possibilities that await them. Imagine that happening every year, for five decades. GCC alumni are now the leaders in our community and they are stepping up to pass forward the opportunity that was given to them.

In a recent interview with the MA Department of Higher Education, three community leaders commented on the role GCC has played in their organization’s success.  Baystate Franklin Medical  Center President Chuck Gijanto was clear that they would not be able to staff their hospital without those who have come through GCC’s “outstanding nursing program.”  Sandri Energy Companies’ President Tim Van Epps noted that GCC has “responded to employer needs around new technologies and is always looking to prepare students for the skills needed in the next 5-10 year period.” And Phil Lemere, Executive Vice-President of Greenfield Savings Bank and a GCC alum, said that many of the bank’s employees came through the doors of GCC as well. He observed that GCC is “critical to our community for access to education and because its economic resources circulate through and support the community.”

In addition to the thousands and thousands of individual gifts made to support this community’s college over time, the recent state-funded renovation of GCC’s Core building has also presented an opportunity for some to step up on a larger scale and participate in naming opportunities. As a consequence, I am pleased to let you know that GCC’s main campus building now includes the Hammond Family Entryway, the Cohn Family Dining Commons, the Robert Mugar Yacubian Advising Center, the Greenfield Savings Bank Math Studio, the Sandri Energy Companies Science Studio, the Mary Stuart Rogers Women’s Resource Center, the Greenfield Cooperative Bank President’s Conference Room and the Channing L Bete Co., Michael & Joan Haley and Sinaur Associates Publishers Library Study Rooms. These naming opportunities, along with those that remain available, demonstrate the depth of caring and commitment made by the members of our community who get the impact GCC has on students, their families, area businesses and the community.

The message is clear: GCC would not be what it has been for 50 years without the support of our communities and our communities would look very different without the GCC students who became bankers, nurses, outdoor adventure leaders, teachers, PTA parents, human service providers, business owners, photovoltaic installers, lawyers, accountants, firefighters, musicians, police officers, artists, real estate brokers, actuaries, television & film producers, financial advisors, community board members, engineers, computer scientists, librarians, therapists, graphic designers, newspaper columnists and all of the others whose work is an integral part of the community in which they live. GCC has been changing lives for the better for 50 years and as a result, families grow stronger and so, too, our community.  You help to make that possible and on behalf of the students, faculty and staff, I thank you.

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,