Culminating 50th Anniversary event celebrates the past, looks to the future with first major gifts campaign

Monaca, PA – Community College of Beaver County (CCBC) brought an end to its yearlong 50th anniversary in grand fashion Saturday evening with the “50 Shining Stars” Golden Gala and Dinner at the College’s historic Golden Dome. Nearly 400 students, faculty, staff, trustees, alumni, donors, and community members attended the event that was held in a transformed Dome filled with star-studded lighting and other special effects.

The event began at 5 p.m. with an outdoor reception and campus transformation dedication as the ribbon was cut on an $8 million capital project that has resulted in campus renovations, upgrades, and a new, inviting atmosphere where students, faculty, staff, and the community can meet, learn and network.

“These recent changes to our campus’s look and feel will accommodate future growth and improve our ability to expand offerings to the community in the years to come,” said Scott Monit, Associate Vice President and Director of Facilities and Grounds.

Following the dedication ceremony, alumni, retirees, community leaders, employees, students, and friends of the College enjoyed a catered, sit-down dinner featuring selections such as “Airline Chicken,” “Titan Short Ribs,” and “Center City Ravioli” (a nod to CCBC’s aviation program, athletics teams and location), and were invited to reflect on CCBC’s anniversary theme, “Reaching Back, Looking Forward” through a series of special remarks.

Video presentations told the CCBC story through vignettes featuring founding faculty member Thomas Heasley, community leader Jack Manning, alumna Susan Yorns, and student Taylor Beardmore; showcased the College’s Process Technology program and industry partnership with Shell Chemicals and other petrochemicals industry leaders; and provided a glimpse into the future as students, employees, partners, and alumni gave their predications for CCBC 50 years from now, in the year 2067.

The reception and dinner music was provided by the Rosewood String Quartet of Pittsburgh.

The event also welcomed back to CCBC three past presidents – Dr. William Bauer (serving from 1985-1990), Dr. Peggy Williams-Betlyn (serving from 1990-1999), and Dr. Joe Forrester (serving from 1999-2014), who were recognized for their leadership and vision during their service to the College. The Honorable Keith Rothfus, United States Congressman, provided greetings, and State Senator Elder Vogel, Jr., State Representative and CCBC alumnus Robert Matzie, and Beaver County Commissioner and CCBC alumna Sandie Egley offered proclamations and citations in honor of the College’s 50th anniversary.

“As we look back on where the College started and where we are headed, I feel enormous pride for all that everyone connected to CCBC’s past and present have accomplished in service to students, Beaver County, and the region,” said CCBC President Chris Reber. “As we embark on our next 50 years, together we will move to a new level of partnership and achieve a bold vision for future growth and transformation.”

Faculty members Elaine Strouss, Professor of Nursing, and Paul Rogers, Professor of Business, offered reflections on CCBC as a center for education and a college focused on the individual student, while 2013 graduates Alex and Haley Brnjilovic shared their CCBC love story and how attending the College led them to success, both personally and professionally.

A growing need for an educated workforce and a transformational vision that develops partnerships and pathways for progress have prompted the CCBC Foundation to launch a comprehensive major gifts campaign entitled Expanding Pathways – Achieving Success. The five-year campaign, officially announced at the Golden Gala by Foundation Board Chair George Pacinda, includes a goal of raising $12 million by June 30, 2022 for three main initiatives – “Expanding Student Access and Success,” “Supporting Workforce Development,” and “Transforming Campus Spaces”.

During the program, Pacinda recognized and thanked the Foundation’s current “shining stars,” those donors who have contributed gifts of $50,000 or more.

Dan Donatella, Chair of the Beaver County Board of Commissioners at the time of the College’s move to county sponsorship, and a current CCBC scholarship donor, led the assembled group in a champagne toast to CCBC’s next 50 years.

To end the celebration on just the right note, the CCBC Alma Mater, which, until very recently, had been lost, was performed under the direction of Ted Nevin by the Beaver County Symphonic Wind Ensemble.

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About CCBC

CCBC transforms lives through personalized education, dynamic partnerships, and high impact practices. The college has an annual enrollment of 6,800 credit and non-credit students. CCBC is an Achieving the Dream Leader College and offers 75 degree, certificate and diploma programs, hundreds of Continuing Education and Workforce Development programs, seamless transfer to a wide variety of baccalaureate and graduate institutions, and a nationally distinctive high school academy dual enrollment program. In 2017, the Aspen Institute named CCBC one of America’s Top 150 community colleges.

Honoring the past and looking to the future, Community College of Beaver County celebrated its 50th anniversary and launched its first major gifts campaign on Saturday evening at a star-studded Golden Gala and Dinner in the iconic Dome.