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CCRI Foundation Board of Trustees and Alumni Association earns national leadership award

January 31, 2022

FOUNDATION

The Community College of Rhode Island Foundation Board of Trustees and Alumni Association Assembly (CCRI Foundation) was selected to receive the 2022 John W. Nason Award for Board Leadership by the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB), the premier organization representing higher education governing boards. The Nason Award, established in 1992, is presented in partnership with TIAA to higher education governing boards that demonstrate exceptional leadership and initiative.

This year’s honorees were chosen from a diverse array of nominations illustrating the crucial work of boards from both public and private institutions, statewide systems, and institutionally-related foundations. The award selection committee placed special significance on boards focusing on justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The CCRI Foundation Board, the first community college foundation to receive this national award, was recognized by AGB for having demonstrated considerable leadership; it effectively served students, having volunteered during the ongoing pandemic and recession, and provided courageous oversight to drive objectives and its equity agenda to advance the mission of CCRI in service of its students. In partnership, the Trustees and Alumni Association have raised record funds for CCRI and its students.

“This award recognizes the exemplary leadership of the CCRI Foundation and the intentional actions it has taken to put equity and student success at the center of its work,” said CCRI President Meghan Hughes. “I am deeply grateful to all those who serve on our Foundation and Alumni Association Assembly for their service to our college and their commitment to our students.”

Jaymin Patel, president of the CCRI Foundation Board of Trustees said, “Our trustees and alumni focus their philanthropy and volunteerism on supporting CCRI students and the college team.” Patel also thanked the Board’s leadership when he said, “I am particularly grateful for the tireless work of Governance Chair, Kim Barker Lee of IGT, and Alumni Association President, Toni McGuire of JSI; together, they aligned our Board’s service and work.”

Toni McGuire, president of the CCRI Alumni Association said, “CCRI’s more than 80,000 alumni are the diverse talent our region needs, and our Foundation launched the Student Emergency Relief Fund and Comeback Scholarships, among other programs, to help hundreds of students complete their degrees and enter the workforce. This national award highlights the powerful work underway at CCRI.”

Barker Lee, Board Vice Chair and equity agenda architect acknowledged, “The backgrounds and experiences of our trustees and alumni members represent the rich diversity of the CCRI community and we have worked hand-in-hand to drive an equity agenda for our students that has proven results in Rhode Island.”

Executive Director of the CCRI Foundation, Bobby Gondola, said, “Our Trustees and Alumni Assembly reflect the incredible diversity of CCRI students and alumni. The Board has demonstrated a relentless commitment to equity in Rhode Island and, together, our trustees and alumni have raised new scholarships and support programs that help meet the growing needs of community college students.”

CCRI is one of six Nason Award recipients. Others include the Adler University Board of Trustees, Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education Board of Governors, The Southern California University of Health Sciences Board of Regents, the University of Memphis Board of Trustees, and Virginia Commonwealth University Board of Visitors.

“Strategic governing boards are critical to higher education’s success – not only to the financial vitality of the institutions and foundations that higher education boards oversee, but also for the millions of students who enroll and graduate every year. It is also evident that boards have an important role to play in elevating justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion throughout campus and in the board room. We hope that recognizing boards who serve as dedicated, strategic thought partners with chief executives and leadership teams will give others the courage to lead in a similar fashion,” said Henry Stoever, AGB president and CEO. “I am excited to share and celebrate the great work and success that these honorees have achieved when we hold our upcoming events.”

The CCRI Foundation will receive its award at the AGB Foundation Leadership Forum in Orlando, Florida on January 31, as well as an upcoming board meeting, and will be recognized throughout the year at AGB events and programs.

The Nason award is named for higher education leader John W. Nason, who served as the chair of the National Japanese American Student Relocation Council and helped more than 4,000 interned students continue their college studies across the nation during World War II. Learn more about AGB's Nason Award at www.AGB.org/Award.

The CCRI Foundation is comprised of the Board of Trustees and the Alumni Association Assembly, established in 1979 to raise funds to support students and the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI). The CCRI Foundation encourages and provides support from individual, corporate, foundation and government funding sources for CCRI and its students. Funds are used for student scholarships, book awards, emergency relief, strategic programs, professional development, capital improvements and educational equipment and resources. Today, philanthropic partners are critical to the growing community of CCRI students and more than 80,000 alumni.

The Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) is the premier membership organization that strengthens higher education governing boards and the strategic roles they serve within their organizations. Through our vast library of resources, educational events, and consulting services, and with nearly 100 years of experience, we empower 40,000 AGB members from more than 2,000 institutions and foundations to navigate complex issues, implement leading practices, streamline operations, and govern with confidence.  AGB is the trusted resource for board members, chief executives, and key administrators on higher education governance and leadership.

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