A Triple Celebration for Tri-C: A Recap of the 2023 Presidential Scholarship Luncheon

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A Triple Celebration for Tri-C: A Recap of the 2023 Presidential Scholarship Luncheon 

Written by Isabella Cerveira 

Photo provided by Tri-C Foundation
Students at the luncheon

The college event that salutes students, staff, partners, and the Northeast Ohio community had delightful updates in 2023. The Presidential Scholarship Luncheon is the annual award of the Cuyahoga Community College, it is an event to celebrate the students, staff, and partners of the Tri-C; it also includes a special guest to provide helpful information and inspire the audience with their life stories and acknowledge expertise.   

The 2023 Presidential Scholarship Luncheon happened on Wednesday, September 27, at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel in Downtown Cleveland. The event was moderated by Dr. Michael A. Baston, President of Cuyahoga Community College, and had as the special guest Alex Rodriguez, the World Series Champion Baseball player and successful businessman. The objectives of the ceremony were to commemorate and reinforce the partnership among the College Tri-C, especially the 2 million dollars donated by The KeyBank, had Mr. Rodriguez inspired and provided valuable business and successful strategies using his experience as a successful professional for the guests, and celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the institution, and raised fund for the Tri-C Foundation.   

The first part of the celebration was an interview with Mr. Rodriguez moderate by Mr. Lou Joseph, Past Chairperson of the Tri-C Foundation Board of Directors President & CEO, Brewer-Garrett, where students from the Hispanic Heritage Council and students’ members of the Tri-C baseball and softball teams gave a private speech from Mr. Rodriguez and questioned him about subjects such as his childhood and baseball passion, discovering, techniques that he learned as an athlete and that he applies in the corporate world, advice for future generations.  In Mr. Rodriguez words “Follow your passion, and also stay in your circle of confidence that’s my great advice.” Succeeding the questions and answer event, students were invited to take a picture with Mr. Rodriguez. 

Photo provided by Tri-C Foundation

The second part of the event started with Mrs. Ava Preston, a JazzFest Academy student, performing the National Anthem. The event’s public was sponsored by companies such as PNC Bank, AT&T, and Cuyahoga County Solution. While the guests appreciated the lunch, Dr. Baston presented a tribute video that showed the Tri-C trajectory timeline of the college events till the present and a celebration of the 60 years of the oldest and largest community college of Northeast Ohio. After giving tribute to the Tri-C 60th anniversary and the and the 50th anniversary of the Tri-C Foundation, the conductor thanked the partners for raising funds for the college and how important those donations positively impact the students who are fortunate by the scholarships and how the community also benefits from it. According to Cuyahoga Community College, eighty-five percent of the Tri-C students who graduated remain living in the region; consequently, they contribute to the community and the economic growth of Northeast Ohio.    

Subsequently, the paid tribute, Dr. Baston, made special announcements to celebrate Mrs. Megan O’Bryan and Mrs. Margaret Wong, the Vice President and the Board Director of the Tri-C Foundation, respectively. Moreover, the inaugural award, called the Presidential Legacy Award, aims to contemplate people who made a significant impact on the lives of Tri-C students; the first recipient was the Ph.D. Jerry Sue Thornton, former President of Tri-C and a pioneer in introducing festivities to raise scholarship funds. For instance, according to Cuyahoga Community College, it was reported an estimated collection of $ 24M during 30 years through the festive promoted by the institution; the money was converted into scholarships. 

The final act was the discussion with Mr. Rodriguez, moderated by Dr Baston, about topics related to leadership, resilience, focus, and success in his words Mr. Rodriguez said “That is my passion. I like to build things that I called VCP, which is vision, capital and passion, and if you have those you will have done things really well,”. After having the event, the special guest helped the Tri-C Foundation to raise $1.1M in funds. The Alumni student, Mr. Martell J. Jackson, hosted the closing event.  

In summary, the 2023 Presidential Scholarship Luncheon was a remarkable and meaningful event that celebrated students, staff, and Tri-C partners. In addition, the festivity honored unique people who impacted their lives through education and passion and helped the community with solidarity acts. 

***Both photos were provided by the Tri-C Foundation, via their representative Mrs. Coon. 

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