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MCCC Scholarship Fundraiser Draws Enthusiastic Crowd for 25th Anniversary


WEST WINDSOR – A capacity crowd came out in support of the silver anniversary of “Spring Into Student Success,” the signature fundraiser by the Mercer County Community College (MCCC) Foundation in support of student scholarships.

More than 250 guests attended the evening event at Mercer Oaks, which featured entertainment, floral arrangements, and photography provided by MCCC student volunteers. MCCC President Patricia C. Donohue noted that the turnout was a clear indication of what the college means to the people of Mercer County.

“We are so grateful to have such terrific support,” Donohue said. “It makes a huge difference in what we are able to do.”

Dr. Gwendolyn Harris, chair of the MCCC Board of Trustees, said the college is more than just an institution of higher learning – it’s a community resource. And that resource serves everyone from pre-school summer camp participants to retirees.

“For me, my Trustee colleagues, and all the faculty and staff at the college, everyone who lives and works in or around Mercer County are potential students,” Harris said. “We embrace our educational mission of service to the community.”

Speaking on behalf of the Mercer County Board of Freeholders and County Executive Brian Hughes, Board Chair Andrew Koontz, a teacher at Hightstown High School, said he has firsthand knowledge of MCCC’s important role in the community. 

“I see how important Mercer is to my students and to their futures,” Koontz said. “You should all feel good about what you are doing to help these students.”

In addition to providing musical entertainment, Celina Hicks, a Music and Education student, spoke on behalf of the six scholarship recipients who attended the event. As the youngest of three sisters to attend Mercer, Hicks said her college choice was an easy one.

“I honestly didn’t even apply for any other colleges but Mercer,” Hicks said. “On top of having the best music program of any New Jersey community college – I’ve checked – Mercer was able to provide me with an NJ Stars scholarship, and other scholarships which have been an amazing help for me.

“Not only is my education a quality education, it is also affordable and close to home.”

The evening was also a time to recognize individuals, businesses, and organizations that have proven to be important partners in MCCC’s mission to provide educational opportunities for all Mercer County residents.

Donohue and Tenzer

MCCC President Patricia C. Donohue high fives Foundation Board member Melissa Tenzer during the 25th anniversary of the "Spring Into Student Success!" scholarship fundraiser.

Student Musicians

From left, MCCC student musicians Jesse Becker on guitar, Chase Connolly on drums and Kenny Hamilton on bass. Celina Hicks, foreground, performed vocals.

NJM Staff

Staff members of New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance, recipients of the Distinguished Corporate Partner Award are, from left, Diane Brendley, John Hardiman, Susan Gummel, and President Bernie Flynn, with MCCC President Donohue and MCCC Foundation Chair Nina Melker. Photo by Sam Foster.



The recipients of the Distinguished Benefactor Award were Bob and Leslie Doll of Princeton, who are widely recognized among central New Jersey’s most generous philanthropists. Both are loyal supporters of MCCC’s radio station WWFM The Classical Network, and are active in numerous not-for-profit organizations.

Honored with the Spirit of Education Award was the New Jersey Business & Industry (NJBIA), an organization that has partnered with MCCC and the New Jersey community college network to provide literacy and workplace training, in cooperation with the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. The Distinguished Corporate Partner Award recipient for 2014 is New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company, which made a generous $100,000 gift to support the development and expansion of MCCC’s Trenton campus.

Serving as co-chairs for the event were Nina Melker, chair of the MCCC Foundation Board and senior vice president at Hopewell Valley Bank, and Mercer County Freeholder Pasquale “Pat” Colavita Jr. Both expressed their thanks to the event attendees, as well as the sponsors and donors for making the evening a success, and for their support of scholarships for Mercer students.

“You may never know the students you have helped with your generosity,” Colavita said. “But you should know that you have given a gift that can never be taken away from them – an education that will last a lifetime.”

The major corporate sponsors for the event were Dow Jones & Company (Sterling Silver Sponsor), New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company, Investors Bank, PNC Bank, Borden Perlman Salisbury & Kelly, Jamil Faridy, New Jersey Business & Industry Association, PSE&G, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton, Spiezle Architectural Group Inc., Thomas Edison State College, Wells Fargo, The Bank of Princeton, Princeton management Development Institute Inc., and Tuchman Group. Other corporate and community donors include Advanced Food Systems, Anna Lustenberg, Donald Loff of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, Eden Autism Services, Heath Lumber, Hopewell Valley Community Bank, Mason Griffin & Pierson PC, Mercadien, Phoenix Advisors LLC, Robin and Alan Anspaugh, Roddenberry and Associates, Sait Francis Medical Center, Dr. and Mrs. Y.S. Sim, Donna Penn, Eugene Marsh, Helen Marie Dolton, Leigh Visual Imaging Solutions, Robert Humes, Van Note-Harvey Associates PC, AAA Mid-Atlantic, and Hamilton Jewelers.

View additional photos on Facebook here.


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