Last night at Gateway Community & Technical Colleges community reception celebrating donors and the launch of the Were with Gateway campaign, community members, boards, faculty, staff and students pledged: Were with Gateway!
"The support expressed is consistent with what I've heard on my listening tour," said Dr. Fernando Figueroa, Gateway president. "My gratitude to our community continues to grow as I see that Gateway is able to serve our students because this community supports our mission."
The evening, sponsored by the Gateway Community & Technical College Foundation, began with the unveiling of the Wall of Gratitude, just outside the Gallery in the Center for Technology, Innovation and Enterprise (TIE) building. This wall is tribute to the generosity of all donors, especially the Presidents Circle members: BB&T, R.C. Durr Foundation, Oakley and Eva Farris, St. Elizabeth Healthcare, The Duke Energy Foundation, Belcan Corporation, Dr. Anthony and Gerry Zembrodt, Citibank, Robert M. Butler Memorial Foundation, Fifth Third Bank Foundation, and The Drees Company.
Tonight is a milestone for Gateway and the Foundation, said Jim Parsons, chair of the Gateway Foundation. We are here to unveil our first ever donor appreciation wall that illustrates the commitment and contributions of our volunteers and donors who have helped change so many lives in our region.
In addition to the unveiling of the wall, a public announcement was made of the $500,000 donation to the Gateway Foundation from The Drees Company for the Urban Metro Campus. Drees Homes knows the importance of a strong foundation. Education is the first step to empowering individuals and opening up opportunities. Our investment in Gateway makes a difference not only in the lives of those being educated but to the community as a whole, said Ralph Drees, chair of the Drees Company.
Another first occurred as the Gateway gallery, The Gallery, opened its initial art exhibit, Celebration of Community, also in the TIE building. The exhibit showcased artwork from students, staff and community members, such as works by Heather and Conner Abbott, Monica Green, Ben Kaczmarek, Brenda Keene, Patricia Mahabir, Claire Muller, Chris Meyer, Jennifer Myka, Steve Oldfield and Donny Roundtree.
Following the unveiling, numerous guests penned their support for Gateway by signing the Were with Gateway banner. Others spoke their commitment in the program. Michael Monks, editor and publisher of the River City News shared, Gateway lights the way in a literal and metaphorical sense.
This school has a story to tell, and it just needs to tell it. And we need to tell it too. Staff Council chair, Heather Abbot said, Im proud that my journey has taken me here, and Im excited to see how far we can go together. And that's why Im with Gateway. According to Sam Collier, faculty representative to the Gateway Board of Directors, The faculty is with Gateway because we know were making a difference in the lives of our students. This point was validated by Gateway student, Jill Reide, The reason Im with Gateway is because Gateway is with me.
This event is the kick-off of a social media campaign that opens the conversation about Gateway and the many ways it touches Northern Kentucky. The college invites the community to share via Gateway's social media channels why they are #withGateway.