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Foundation’s Annual Close the Gap Reception Raised Over $50,000

CRANFORD – The Union County College Foundation raised over $50,000 at their 6th Annual Close the Gap Reception on July 14. Held in a virtual environment, this event is a strategic initiative to increase graduation rates among African American students. This year, the Foundation honored the brothers of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. Omicron Chi Chapter for their years of service as avid supporters and mentors of the College’s Project Achievement Program.

Since 2015, the Close the Gap campaign has raised nearly $300,000 which has been invested in scholarships, grant and program support, and has provided emergency funding to students who are on track to graduate. Since that time, the College’s graduation rate for African American male students has more than quintupled.

Otis Livingston, of WCBS TV, served as the Master of Ceremonies. Entertainment was provided by well-known jazz pianist Isaiah J. Thompson. Union’s Coordinator of Student Success Initiatives Dr. Lavon Williams shared his experience from working with our African American male students and the joy and excitement felt by the Project Achievement team and our students on graduation day. Finally, student speaker Ricard Charles shared the impact that the program has had on him and his fellow classmates.

The Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. Omicron Chi Chapter is from Plainfield, New Jersey. The Chapter was established in 1955 and is being honored for its commitment to building the next generation of leaders. They achieve this through their Omega Leadership Institute High School and Community College mentoring programs, essay contests, and scholarships. The Omicron Chi Chapter has been a dedicated supporter of the Union County College Foundation and was one of the first advocates of the Close the Gap Campaign.

“The Foundation is so thankful that the support of the Close the Gap event continues to grow each year,” stated Union County College Foundation Executive Director Doug Rouse. “This allows the College to continue to raise the graduation rate for our young male African American students.”

If you are interested in donating to the Close the Gap Campaign, or would like to learn more about how you can provide financial assistance for students at Union County College, please call (908) 709-7505, email foundation@ucc.edu, or visit www.uccfoundation.org.

Susan Hairston, Deborah Enix-Ross and Sandra Rice, Co-Chairs of the Close the Gap Campaign, celebrate another tremendous night in support of student success.