Middlesex Community College Foundation Honors Donors at Virtual Annual Meeting

Nov. 20, 2020 (Middletown, Conn.) — The Middlesex Community College Foundation is pleased to announce the recipients of their donor recognition awards, presented during a virtual annual meeting on Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020. In addition to the awards presentation, the MxCC Foundation elected two new members of the board of directors and selected the winners of the Red Moon fundraising raffle.

Joe SerraRetiring Connecticut State Representative Joseph Serra, 33rd District in the General Assembly, received the Distinguished Alumni Award. This year is also the 50th anniversary of his graduation from Middlesex Community College in 1970. A long-time advocate for community college education, Rep. Serra was also instrumental in finding the property for the college’s Middletown campus on Training Hill Road.

Gerard Kerins was presented with the Donor Recognition Award for his significant support of the David Champion Memorial Scholarship. Established in 2017, this scholarship is awarded to a hardworking veterinary technology student each year.

“It’s nice to think in a small way these donations help students,” said Kerins.

Middletown community leader Patti Anne Vassia received the Corporator Award. This award recognizes her long history with the MxCC Foundation as a dedicated corporator. Corporators serve as ambassadors and advocates by helping to increase public awareness and support for the college.

“Patti has an amazing ability to network with people and has extended her relationships to include faculty, staff, and leadership at MxCC to ensure we are part of the conversations that address community concerns,” added MxCC CEO Steven Minkler.

donor plaquesFormer MxCC Foundation board officer James Probolus was acknowledged with the Legacy Award. The late Portland resident passed away earlier this year and is recognized for his many years of service to the foundation. In 2018, the Community Foundation of Middlesex County presented James and Catherine Probolus with the Unsung Hero award to acknowledge their work with the MxCC Foundation and other community groups.

“Advocating for the community college model is important for the community and the state,” Catherine Probolus remarked after accepting the award for her husband.

MxCC Foundation board chair Laura Krueger presided over the meeting, and Dean of Administration Kimberly Hogan and Minkler gave informative presentations about the state of the college and the foundation’s activities of the past year.

Riley McConnell, a communications student from Middletown, summarized her experience as a student representative on the MxCC Foundation board by stating, “Good leaders create a good community.”

Laura Pieper, secretary of the MxCC Foundation, introduced the two new board members, Chris Dibble and Richard Lenoce. Dibble is a financial advisor with Morgan Stanley in Madison, and Lenoce is the program coordinator and professor for digital media production at Middlesex Community College.

Red Moon prize drawingRight after the meeting, Hogan and MxCC professor Rick Eriksen selected the winners of the Red Moon raffle, which was also livestreamed on Facebook and YouTube from the college’s broadcast studio in the Center for New Media. The Red Moon virtual kickoff event took place on October 3 and so far has raised nearly $40,000 to help fund scholarships and more for students. Vassia took home the top prize, an outdoor pizza oven. MxCC staff member Paul Carmichael won the Town Fair Tire package; a 40” monitor with Apple TV device went to Lauren Katusha; and other prizes were won by Elizabeth Wagner, Christine McCormick and Leonel Carmona.

To donate to the Middlesex Community College Foundation, click here.

Created as a separate 501(c)(3) organization in 1979, the Middlesex Community College Foundation supports the college by encouraging and managing charitable contributions; directing funds for scholarships and academic development; and creating collaborations and partnerships with area business, civic, educational and professional leaders.

Since 1966, Middlesex Community College has provided high-quality, affordable, and accessible education to a diverse population, enhancing the strengths of individuals through degree, certificate, and lifelong learning programs that lead to university transfer, employment, and an enriched awareness of our shared responsibilities as global citizens. A part of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system, MxCC offers more than 70 degree or certificate programs at the main 38-acre campus in Middletown, MxCC@Platt in Meriden and online.