Middlesex County College Foundation donors connect with student scholars

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Scholarship recipients met their benefactors at the Middlesex County College (MCC) Foundation annual Scholarship Reception. The program allowed those who donate to foundation scholarships to connect with students, learn about their goals, and understand how scholarship support has assisted them.

Approximately 300 people attended the event on Nov. 7, according to information provided by MCC.

“This evening will celebrate the fact that last year over 350 students received scholarship support totaling $630,000,” foundation Chair Diane Conboy said in the statement. “Most importantly, we are here this evening to congratulate our scholars. You were selected to receive an award because you met the qualifications and worked hard to achieve your goals. As you continue down your path, we hope you will remember tonight’s celebration and the impact that MCC and the MCC Foundation had on your success, and how the assistance provided to you by generous, caring individuals and corporate leaders helped you along the way.”

The evening included remarks from Middlesex County Freeholder Director Ronald G. Rios, whose charitable trust fund created five scholarships for MCC student-veterans in 2018.

“I’ve always believed that it’s our duty as Americans to assist and care for our veterans when they return home,” Rios said in the statement. “We owe our safety to their courage and hard work. Caring for our veterans can take many forms, from providing them with healthcare or housing to helping them find employment.”

Rios introduced the five recipients and then disclosed an increase for next year.

“I am proud to announce that, moving forward, I will be doubling the number of recipients of this scholarship to 10 students,” he said. “This is an issue so close to my heart, and I am honored to have the opportunity to give back to those who have given so much to all of us.”

Engineering Professor James Finne also spoke about what motivates him to support MCC students through his donations to the MCC Foundation. Finne has established three endowed scholarships: the Florence and Gilbert Finne Endowed Scholarship for Women in Engineering and Technology in honor of his parents; The Marianne Lewerth McGarrity Memorial Endowed Scholarship in memory of his late wife; and The Stanley Spikes Memorial Scholarship, in memory of a childhood friend.

College President Mark McCormick noted that Finne’s generosity is a testament to his belief in MCC students and an affirmation of the mission of the college and the MCC Foundation, according to the statement.

Coincidentally, the student speaker, Genesis M. Torres Arbildo, was a recipient of the Florence and Gilbert Finne Scholarship. Born in Peru, the 19-year-old arrived in the United States two years ago to study engineering. After beginning her studies in Miami, she moved to New Jersey and enrolled at MCC. Actively involved in community service on-campus, Arbildo noted that she joined the YMCA in her home country as a child, and is dedicated to helping others, according to the statement.

In addition, McCormick thanked The Provident Bank Foundation for its support, including sponsorship of the evening’s program, as well as all the donors who contribute to scholarships.

“We thank all of our donors for their generous support of students on their journey to a better life through higher education here at Middlesex County College,” he said in the statement.