Manchester Community College celebrates its 50th birthday

By Lisa Stone - ReminderNews
Manchester - posted Thu., Sep. 19, 2013
Manchester Mayor Leo Diana cuts Manchester Community College’s birthday cake. Photos by Lisa Stone.
Manchester Mayor Leo Diana cuts Manchester Community College’s birthday cake. Photos by Lisa Stone.

Manchester Community College took time out from classes to enjoy a celebration for its 50th birthday on Sept. 17. Several dignitaries joined students and faculty to commemorate the event.

Bells rang out in celebration at the beginning of the day.  The director of student activities, emcee TJ Barber, addressed the crowd with appreciation for all that has happened over the past 50 years.  The governor’s proclamation was read by state Rep. Geoff Luxenberg (D-Manchester).  Other dignitaries included Yvette Melendez of the Board of Regents for Higher Education, Brian Nwafor, president of MCC Student Government Association, Manchester Mayor Leo Diana, state Sen. Steve Cassano (D-Dist. 4), Alex Tetty, Jr., a representative from the office of U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and MCC President Dr. Gena Glickman.

Ricardo Aragon is the instructor of the Culinary Arts Department of MCC.  He and his students were responsible for all of the snacks at the party, which included cupcakes, cookies, cotton candy and a variety of soft drinks. The most important creation was the huge birthday cake. Aragon and a couple of his students wheeled the cake out for the mayor and Glickman to cut, after Dr. Deborah Simmons, professor of music and Dr. Carolina Flores, assistant professor of music led the crowd in singing the happy birthday song.

Music and dancing accompanied the distribution of the birthday cake;  a rock climbing wall was available for anyone daring enough to try it, and a face painting area welcomed guests as well. “We are having such a great time,” said Natasha Echevarria, who had come with friends.

“I really love it here. I am in my second year of the social services program,” said Laura Warash. “This is my fourth year here. I have two majors, and I really love my classes.”

Shaleen Barrett is in her first semester at MCC. “I am going for the occupational therapy assistant program,” said Barrett. “I really like it here. Everyone is so friendly and the campus is beautiful.”

Keith Barile is also in his first semester at MCC. “I think this celebration is amazing,” said Barile. “I am going for the drug and alcohol counseling program. My sister went here years ago and then got her degree at Trinity. Life experiences have brought me to this point in my life. I feel this will be a great career, and MCC is my first step in that direction.”

Mayor Diana said, “I am very proud of MCC. They have come a long way over the past 50 years. This is a major milestone for them.  They are a very respectable college and an asset to our community.”  Diana also said, “This celebration is amazing.  I’m so glad that so many people are here today to help celebrate this wonderful achievement.”

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