More Than 450 Gather for DCC Foundation Gala

March 27, 2012 – The Dutchess Community College Foundation’s annual Gala - Community’s Bridge to the Future - was held on Saturday, March 24 at the Grandview in Poughkeepsie. The event drew more than 450 guests to honor five outstanding individuals and raise more than $165,000 for student scholarships.

Charles Liscum, Michael McCormack and Raymond VanVoorhis from DCC’s class of 1978 were inducted into the Alumni Hall of Fame and the Bernard Handel Community Leadership Award was presented to Steven V. Lant. In addition, DCC President Dr. D. David Conklin was honored for 20 years of service to the College.

Liscum, McCormack and VanVoorhis are the principal architects in the Poughkeepsie firm that bears their names. They met while at DCC, continued their education together and started their own architectural firm in 1987. Their work includes municipal buildings throughout the Hudson Valley, including the new DCC residence hall and other academic, commercial and health care facilities.

“The careers of Chuck, Mike and Ray are a testament to the remarkable opportunities afforded by a Dutchess Community College education,” said DCC President Dr. D. David Conklin. “Their friendship began at DCC, and it grew into an extremely successful professional partnership. And the fact that their firm is responsible for designing the College’s new residence hall, demonstrates how Chuck, Mike and Ray have come full-circle.”

Lant, who has been Chairman, President and CEO of CH Energy Group since 2004, has enhanced the quality of life in the mid-Hudson Valley through volunteer service with many not-for-profit organizations including the Astor Children’s Fund, The American Heart Association, the Hudson Valley Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Abilities First, United Way of Dutchess County, the Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation, Health Quest, Vassar Brothers Medical Center, Business Council of New York State and Edison Electric Institute. 

“The extensive list of organizations to which Steven has given his time speaks for itself,” said Bernard Handel. “Many in the Hudson Valley have benefited from his service, and he is without question extremely deserving of this award.”

Handel is a longtime supporter of the College and a current member of the DCC Foundation board and has funded a faculty endowed chair, among many other contributions to DCC. Each year Handel presents a $1,000 scholarship to a deserving DCC student in the award recipient’s name.

Dr. Conklin became president of Dutchess Community College in 1992, and for the past two decades his vision and leadership have been instrumental in making DCC the college of choice for residents of Dutchess County. A record number of students are taking advantage of the quality education offered at DCC, while paying the lowest tuition in the state for the 12th year in a row. The opening of the Washington Center for Science and Art, the creation of the President’s Scholarship for Academic Excellence, the renovation of the Francis U. and Mary F. Ritz Library and multiple awards for DCC’s campus art and green initiatives are just some of the achievements made under Dr. Conklin’s tenure.

“Dr. Conklin’s commitment and leadership have helped create an outstanding educational institution that has positively impacted tens of thousands of students,” said DCC Board of Trustees Chairman Thomas LeGrand.

Gala sponsors included 100.7 WHUD, the Poughkeepsie Journal, Central Hudson, United Country Auction Services, Rhinebeck Savings Bank and The Grandview.