Naugatuck Valley Community College faculty, staff, and community members gathered for the end-of-semester All-College Meeting on May 2. While providing a forum for the college community to learn about updates and the progress of new and existing initiatives, three very important community members were recognized during the meeting for their generous service to the College and its students. As recognition for their generosity, the three honorees also toured the spaces in Founders Hall that were named after them.
Mr. Nicholas M. Donofrio, former Chairman and member of the CT Board of Regents for Higher Education (2012-2016), and IBM Fellow Emeritus & Executive Vice President of Innovation and Technology (Ret.) was honored for his generous establishment of a fund for the Jobs on Campus program to support NVCC students who work on campus while studying for a degree. The project is based on the existing Jobs on Campus initiative established by NVCC President Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Ph.D.in 2014. Donofrio’s gifts have supported the placement of students into campus positions that support their academic goals.
Donofrio expressed his gratitude for the good fortune he has had in his life, recalling his mother’s advice, “to those whom much has been given, much is expected.” He told the audience that he has dedicated his life to “being an enabler,” for those students who need help while recounting a childhood where he was one of four children, and both of his parents worked very hard to keep the family’s needs met. “I know how hard it is to make a difference and to break out and to be the difference,” he said.
Dr. Peter Jacoby, Chairman of Emergency Medicine, Saint Mary’s Hospital and Mrs. Kristen Jacoby, MPH, President and Chief Professional Officer of the United Way of Greater Waterbury, were honored for their generosity to the College and leadership during the Capital Campaign which made the completion of the newly renovated Founders Hall possible. Opened in 2017, Founders Hall houses NVCC’s Allied Health programs such as nursing, radiologic technology, respiratory care, and physical therapy along with being the base for NVCC’s non-credit lifelong learning workforce education and safety programs.
“What an incredible honor,” said Jacoby recalling the beginnings of serving as the Chair of the Capital Campaign. “How could I not support the President and this college and the health sciences that give so much back to our community and to our health in our community?” Jacoby asked.
“Our ultimate goal and expectation is student success,” said NVCC President Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Ph.D. in her opening remarks, “Your work, presence here, and generosity of so many who support the work we do is a testimony of your belief in the value of our very democratic community college.”
The meeting continued with approval of applicants for May conferral, a progress report on the initiatives completed for Doing Our P.A.R.T. (Paying Attention to Retention Today!) updates on the New England Commission of Higher Education, Inc. report, and voting on a block of proposals led by the College’s Curriculum and Educational Affairs Committee. Updates were also shared by individual units of the college such as the student government, faculty senate, academic affairs, student services, the Danbury campus, administration, community engagement, development, and human resources. The next All-College meeting will take place in September at the beginning of the fall 2019 semester.