Daily News

New HCC President Receives Community Welcome, $5,000 Donation from Gary Rome

HOLYOKE — Holyoke Community College (HCC) President George Timmons received a warm community welcome during a reception on Sept. 12 at the Gary Rome Hyundai dealership on Whiting Farms Road in Holyoke.

It was the first public reception for Timmons, who began his tenure as HCC’s fifth president on July 13.

“As a business leader in the community, it is an honor to host President Timmons and introduce him at our dealership,” Rome said. “Together, we can join forces and accomplish great things for the future of HCC.”

The reception followed the quarterly meeting of the HCC Foundation board of directors, on which Rome and Timmons both sit.

“We are excited to work with President Timmons,” said HCC Foundation board chair Corey Murphy, president of First American Insurance Agency. “He is clear about wanting HCC to be acknowledged nationally for its efforts to support and inspire students, and he is eager to connect with donors to help us get there.”

The reception included the presentation of a $5,000 check from Rome to the HCC Foundation for the benefit of HCC’s Thrive Student Resource Center, which provides essential resources and support to students dealing with challenges such as food and housing insecurity.

“Mr. Rome has clearly shown his dedication to HCC and to the work the college is doing to help students achieve their academic and career goals, and we are very grateful for his donation,” Timmons said.

Those in attendance included members of the 27-member HCC Foundation board, as well as members of the HCC board of trustees and others from the community.

In addition to being on the HCC Foundation board, Rome is a regular donor, vocal advocate for HCC, and partner in HCC’s annual April “Together HCC: Drive to Change Lives” 24-hour fundraising campaign.

“The money we raised that day goes to the President’s Student Emergency Fund and Thrive Center to help students facing food insecurity and housing insecurity,” Rome said. “It’s very important that we give everybody the tools to go to school, and it’s important to bring awareness to Holyoke Community College because it is a hidden jewel right here in our community.”