Award-Winning Actor Octavia Spencer Plays Lead Role at Tri-C Foundation Presidential Scholarship Luncheon
October 04, 2017
John Horton, 216-987-4281 email@example.com
Oct. 4 event raises $1.2 million for student scholarships
Academy Award-winning actor Octavia Spencer put the stars within reach for Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C®) students by helping the Cuyahoga Community College Foundation raise $1.2 million for scholarships.
The critically needed funds — the result of the Foundation’s 2017 Presidential Scholarship Luncheon — will help Tri-C students with financial need pursue higher education and achieve their academic goals.
Spencer served as keynote speaker at the event, held today at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel on Public Square.
The dollars generated at the luncheon create scholarships that turn students into graduates and dreams into success stories. The Foundation awarded $2.9 million in scholarships to nearly 2,200 students last year.
“These scholarships provide life-changing opportunities for students at the College,” said Trina Evans, chairperson of the Tri-C Foundation. “Every dollar given by the Foundation’s generous donors is an investment in our community and the future of Northeast Ohio.”
Since its inception in 1992, the Foundation’s Presidential Scholarship Luncheon has raised more than $18 million to benefit Tri-C students.
KeyBank served as presenting sponsor of the luncheon, which attracted a crowd of more than 1,000. Overall, more than 150 donors received recognition during the event for their support of student success efforts.
The spotlight focused on Barnes & Noble during the luncheon after the company announced a $1.25 million gift to the Foundation for student scholarships. The donation expanded a scholarship fund established nearly a decade ago.
“We are proud of our partnership with Cuyahoga Community College to provide innovative solutions and scholarship support benefiting Tri-C students,” said Chris Peterson, vice president of Barnes & Noble College.
Spencer joined a distinguished and diverse list of speakers to serve as keynote speaker at the scholarship luncheon. As one of Hollywood’s most sought-after talents, she has become a familiar fixture both in television and on the silver screen.
Her portrayal of NASA legend Dorothy Vaughan in Hidden Figures in 2016 brought accolades. The film showed how a group of African-American women shattered gender, race and professional barriers with their brilliance and desire to dream big.
Hidden Figures proved particularly meaningful at Tri-C, where the College’s Minority University Research Education Project Aerospace Academy exposes historically underrepresented students to the fields of science, engineering, mathematics and aerospace.
The academy seeks to open career doors in STEM fields — science, technology, engineering and math — for underserved groups, including women.
Scholarships made possible through the luncheon could launch the career of the next Dorothy Vaughn from Tri-C classrooms, said Megan O’Bryan, president of the Cuyahoga Community College Foundation.
“Northeast Ohio possesses incredible talent,” O’Bryan said. “Providing scholarships and access to a quality education at Tri-C allows that talent to grow and be nurtured. There is no limit to what our students can accomplish if given the chance to succeed.”