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

We find the most hope for change at the local level

Posted on Monday May 12th 2014

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

On January 8, 1964, in his first State of the Union Address as President, Lyndon B. Johnson, said “Unfortunately, many Americans live on the outskirts of hope.” He was talking of course about the large number of Americans living in poverty. He then declared “unconditional war on poverty.” Fifty years later poverty remains a national problem.

Poverty is the most violent force in our world today. It is the cause of more death, destruction and disease than any war or act of nature.

GCC President Robert Pura – photo by Gerald Martins

In that same State of the Union speech, LBJ went on to say “Our task is to help replace their despair with opportunity.” That is what we do every day at GCC by opening the doors to higher education for all who seek to create a better life for themselves and their families. Our faculty and staff replace despair with hope.

We do not do that alone. GCC’s ability to keep our doors open to all is made possible by each and every member of this community. GCC is but a fiber in the tapestry of this collaborative and caring community.

Over this past year, 3154 students enrolled in one of GCC’s credit programs and another 3363 students were enrolled in one of our community education/workforce programs; 405 students graduated with a degree or certificate; 359 transferred; and over 1700 incumbent workers received the training and education needed to get or keep good jobs at family sustainable wages. Of the 3154 students in our credit programs, over 53% receive financial aid and the GCC Foundation provided 298 scholarships totaling $281,978. Let there be no doubt that lives have changed for the better as a result, families have then grown stronger and so too our community. Not one of those outcomes would have been possible were it not for your support.

Nelson Mandela wrote that “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” You might not feel that we can do anything about the level of poverty in the world, nation or even in this state. But we can make a difference here in our community. It is in fact at the local level where we can find the most hope for change. Access to a quality education for all who seek a better life for themselves and their families will reverse that dark downward spiral of poverty to one of light, hope and that of a widening gyre. You have made, and can continue to make, a significant difference in the lives of many, right here in our community—at its college; Greenfield COMMUNITY College. Together, we are changing the world.

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,