By the time Genesee Community College celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2017, the campus will have opened a new Student Success Center and an events center, President Jim Sunser told a gathering in the Stuart Steiner Forum yesterday evening.
These will help GCC continue to grow and serve students better, Sunser said.
"Colleges are constantly evolving and student success is at the core of the values that we have at Genesee," Sunser said.
Construction is expected to begin in the spring thanks in part to a successful fundraising campaign chaired by local farmer and businessman Craig Yunker.
The goal of the campaign was to raise $5 million. The committee did better than that. It was comprised of people from Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties.
"We're really proud that this community is a generous community and people stepped up with a smile," Yunker said. "I'm proud to be a member of this community, and I'm proud to report to you that as of 2 o'clock this afternoon, we raised $5,214,213."
The two buildings along with a new scholarship fund is a $42 million project. More than half of that money will come from state grants. The county will also back a bond to help close the gap in funding.
A total of 475 individuals, couples and businesses from throughout the GLOW Region contributed money to the campaign, called "Building Our Future Together."
The project is the largest undertaking by the college since its founding, Yunker said.
"Fifty years ago, GCC was just talk," Yunker said. "I remember how the talk about how it would move the region forward. It took a lot of volunteer effort. It took a lot of effort to bring it about."
A big reason the campaign was successful, Yunker said, was the support of the effort by the Call family.
"It's hard to imagine how this campaign wouldn't have gotten off to a great start without the Call family, and I just want to acknowledge Dick Call's leadership, Dick Call's vision, but the whole Call family, it was really important the leadership that the Call family has shown," Yunker said.
GCC President Jim Sunser