Last weekend Genesee Community College welcomed more than 300 alumni, students, friends and community members from all around the GLOW region and the world to celebrate Homecoming Weekend in Batavia.
From the annual Cougar Crawl to the Car Cruise, plus the Alumni Soccer Game and the 5K Race for the Future -- the perfect weather gave way to a perfect weekend at GCC.
This year, the occasion also kick-started something new -- the Cougar Pride Campaign -- which officially began on Saturday evening at the "Tap Off" -- a term with a double meaning that is used in basketball but also in beer brewing. Therefore, event planners borrowed the term for Cougar Pride kick-off, inviting the Smokin' Eagle BBQ & Brew of LeRoy to provide appropriate refreshments of locally brewed Roger's Beer and a few wings.
The program is chaired by Mickey J. Hyde, GCC Class of 1987, a 2010 inductee of GCC's Athletic Hall of Fame, and vice president at the Bank of Castile's Le Roy Branch.
The goal of the Cougar Pride Campaign is to raise the necessary funds to create a new Athletic Hall of Fame inside the Richard C. Call Arena to recognize the accomplishments of past and future student-athletes, coaches and GCC sport teams.
Guests at the "Tap Off" were the first to see the proposed design of a new Athletic Hall of Fame destined for the second floor of the Arena, and also a short video about the campaign.
The major components of the new design will include: a 10-foot-long header to welcome visitors; a timeline of athletic achievements dating back to 1967; many photographs; a dynamic display in the trophy case; and an interactive, digital kiosk full of information and photographs about GCC's athletic program.
"Our student-athletes have always been a source of great pride at GCC and now, through the generosity of the Call family, the College has an amazing sports complex with high-tech PE classrooms, a state-of-the-art fitness center, a regulation turf field with a press box, the field house and so much more," Kristen Schuth, GCC's athletic director said.
"An Athletic Hall of Fame worthy not only of this facility, but of our students' accomplishments is truly needed to round-out this incredible space."
Donations to support the Cougar Pride Campaign can be made online here, by mail with checks payable to Genesee Community College Foundation and mailed to GCC Foundation, C212, One College Road, Batavia, NY 14020.
To discuss specific arrangements, contact Assistant Director of Alumni Affairs, Jennifer Wakefield at (585) 343-0055, ext. 6265, or via email: [email protected].
"The 'Tap Off' was the perfect kickoff. Stepping out of the heat on Saturday for a cold beverage from The Smokin' Eagle and to hear about this campaign was exciting," Wakefield said. "Our student- athletes work so hard and deserve to be recognized appropriately.
"The GCC coaches do so much to support them and help them succeed not only on the fields and courts, but in life overall. I'm excited that this new Hall of Fame will be able to tell these stories in a relevant and interactive way."
(Photo above from GCC of an artist's rendering of the college's proposed Athletic Hall of Fame inside the Richard C. Call Arena.)