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January 12, 2016 – Almost 200 local business and community leaders, donors and friends gathered last week for the 23rd Annual President’s Breakfast, which was hosted by the Dutchess Community College Foundation and featured a state of the college address by Dr. Pamela Edington, DCC president.
“Education is more than a benefit to the individuals who attain a degree, it is a public good that is advantageous to the entire community,” said Edington. “An educated population attracts business and investment, has a better quality of life, less poverty and lower crime rates. People also are more likely to move to a place with good schools, including post-secondary options.”
She advocated for increased investment in the College by the county and state, and talked about the Stand with SUNY campaign that would include an additional $250 of base aid per community college student and a rational tuition plan that would enable students to know the cost of their attendance over multiple years.
Edington’s remarks highlighted many of the College’s accomplishments over the past year, including the ETECH partnership between DCC, the City of Poughkeepsie School District, Central Hudson and the Chazen Companies that gives 50 current ninth-graders the opportunity to earn a high school diploma and an associate degree in engineering or electrical technology in six years. The program eventually will serve 300 students.
Another new initiative discussed was the College’s service learning program, which combines community service with classwork to enrich the student experience and support local organizations. This past fall, more than 200 students provided almost 1,650 hours of service to 11 community groups.
Also, Edington talked about the increased support services for disadvantaged, low-income, first-generation and/or disabled students at DCC that will be funded by a U.S. Department of Education grant of $1.1 million over five years.
In addition, it was announced that community leaders Susan Doyle, William Beale, John O’Shea and the Eleanor Roosevelt Center at Val-Kill will be honored at the DCC Foundation’s Annual Gala on March 19.
The gala is just one event in what will be a busy year for the Foundation, which has increased its fundraising goal to $1.5 million for 2016.
The President’s Breakfast was sponsored by TD Bank and hosted by the Dutchess Community College Foundation.
For more information, call DCC Foundation Director Diana Pollard at (845) 431-8403.