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“Floyd Fest” Draws Outpouring of Support for Scholarships

10/24/11

West Windsor, N.J. – With education as its theme, 150 friends, family members and elected officials gathered on a high note at Princeton’s Nassau Inn Sunday, Oct. 16, for Mercer County Community College’s (MCCC) second “Floyd Fest for Education.” It was a celebration to honor the rich legacy of long-time Princeton area community volunteers Jim Floyd and his late wife Fannie, catalysts for the Jim and Fannie Floyd Scholarship Fund.  Jim has been a member of the college’s Foundation Board for more than 30 years.

The first Floyd Scholar, Gwendolyn Alexander, a Funeral Service major, received her award this semester from funds raised through last year’s Floyd Fest. This year the event will net more than $70,000 for the endowed scholarship.

Princeton resident Hendricks Davis and MCCC Foundation Board member Robert Humes co-chaired the Floyd Fest Committee, which included members of the college Foundation Board and community volunteers. “We are honored that so many have come out to build upon Jim and Fannie’s good names and good will,” said Davis. “The money raised will help students utilize all the college’s resources to be all that they can be.”   

The first African-American elected to the Princeton Township Committee, and the first to serve as mayor of Princeton, Jim Floyd has been an active volunteer for decades.  He and his wife, Fannie, who passed away in 2008, worked throughout their lives to foster educational opportunities, and to combat discrimination in housing.  Jim Floyd’s wide-ranging career included serving as vice president of Human Resources for Electric Storage Battery Company and Educational Testing Services.

Jim served on the Princeton Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Housing and the Board of Adjustment, while Fannie’s primary focus was the Princeton Committee of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. Later Jim became a charter member of the Princeton Community Housing group. Now 89, Jim continues to serve on many boards in the nonprofit sector.

From left, MCCC President Patricia C. Donohue talks with County Executive Brian Hughes and Jim Floyd.
Enjoying Floyd Fest, from left, are Foundation Board members Joseph Ridolfi, Jim Floyd, Foundation Chair E. Karen Kennedy, Robert E. Humes, Ruth Rosser, MCCC President Patricia C. Donohue and Debby D'Arcangelo.
The MCCC Jazz Quartet.

Special guests included County Executive Brian Hughes, Princeton Township Mayor Chad Goerner, and Princeton Borough Mayor Mildred Trotman, who reminisced on what the Floyds have meant to the community at large.  “Jim and Fannie have truly been the voice for the voiceless,” Trotman said. “They have provided much-needed stepping stones for educational advancement.”  

The college’s Advertising Design students created posters to depict the mission of Floyd Fest, and their submissions were judged by several Floyd Fest committee members and local members of the community of the arts, hand selected by Jim Floyd himself. Other highlights included music provided by a jazz quarter composed of MCCC students and a graduate, with vocal accompaniment by William Carter III, minister of music at First Baptist Church, Princeton. 

Mr. Floyd spoke about his commitment to the MCCC’s students. “I drove out recently to the college and watched students hustle to and from their classes,” Floyd said.  “’I thought to myself, if we all could help one student in need, our lives will be a lot richer.”

Funeral Service major Gwendolyn Alexander, second from left, is the first student to receive a Jim and Fannie Floyd Scholarship. She is pictured with, from left, MCCC Vice President Guy Generals, her grandson Kevin, Jim Floyd, and MCCC President Patricia C. Donohue.


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