October 1, 2021
Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY) raised more than $400,000 during a virtual fundraiser on September 30, which was livestreamed to audiences. The event included up close interviews with BMCC students, and performances by the BMCC and Downtown choirs.
Speakers during the event included BMCC President Anthony E. Munroe, who said, “Making the transition to attend, or return to, college means parents and students are both keyed into the same reality–-that the cost of higher education is often more than what they can afford.
“Every student’s story is different, but the financial gap in paying for college is still evident,” he said. “By providing sufficient scholarship assistance, BMCC can enable greater student success in college and provide backing for deserving students who want to graduate with their degree and give back to society.”
Munroe amplified the importance of the transitional $30-million gift BMCC received from philanthropist and author MacKenzie Scott adding, “This gift is an opportunity for you to join our campaign in elevating BMCC’s efforts to help students ‘Start here’ so they can ‘Go anywhere.’”
Ms. Scott selected BMCC as a gift recipient in December 2020, in recognition of the College’s leadership, vision and commitment to advocate for initiatives that include addressing food insecurity; equity, race and inclusion; economic mobility; support for Black, Latino and LGBTQ communities. The gift was utilized to establish the President’s Fund for Excellence and Innovation to support projects and initiatives in line with the donor’s intent to support student retention and assist underrepresented populations.
The fundraiser honorees were Deirdre Featherstone, Founder and CEO of Featherstone Jewelry, award-winning gemologist and BMCC parent; and John Dunleavy, Global Chief Client Ogilvy Group/WPP Global Client Leader, IBM.
“I think our world will be improved tremendously by the students who attend BMCC,” said Featherstone, who also applauded BMCC’s many student support programs including the Melissa Riggio Higher Education Program, which helps students with developmental skills.
“This fundraiser is also an opportunity for donors to re-affirm BMCC’s on-going commitment to advance equity and the intellectual and personal growth of students,” Dunleavy said. “Your contributions matter and they help increase degree completion, successful transfer and career achievement for students who are more than deserving of the opportunity to enhance their lives and the lives of their families.”
BMCC Foundation Board Chairman Anthony Portannese invited audience members to show their support for BMCC students who come from diverse backgrounds and are full of potential.
“Whether it’s in business or the liberal arts; music or science, BMCC students have the talent and the drive to be successful,” Portannese said. “I hope you will make an investment in their education so they can make a difference in the future.”