In the News | Three Rivers Foundation names Lecture Hall for Dr. Grace Sawyer Jones, former TRCC President

Lecture hall named in honor of former Three Rivers president

NORWICH​ (Norwich Bulletin 3/10/2017)— Surrounded by friends, colleagues and community leaders, former Three Rivers Community College president Grace Jones was recognized Friday for her longtime association with school when its foundation named a lecture hall in her honor.

Dr. Grace Jones at Three River Community College

Former TRCC President Grace Sawyer Jones, center, stands with Three Rivers counselor Gloria Dover, left, and staff member Carole Lee at the naming of the Dr. Grace Sawyer Jones Lecture Hall [Ryan Blessing/]

The Dr. Grace Sawyer Jones Lecture Hall is at the main entrance to the college’s campus. William Stanley Jr., president of the Three Rivers College Foundation and an alumnus, unveiled a plaque at the hall’s entrance that bears Jones’ name.

“In recognition of the generous support of Dr. Grace Sawyer Jones,” Stanley read off the plaque.

Jones marveled at “A Dream Realized,”an evening of dinner, a silent auction of Three Rivers student art, and recognition from state and local officials.

“When I thought about having a naming, I thought we’d come in here one afternoon and that would be there,” Jones said, gesturing to the plaque. “But it’s all come to this wonderful event, and I thank all of you.”

Jones said she chose the lecture hall specifically because it is at the entrance to the college.

“But mostly I chose the hall because we hold our classes in there, we have community gatherings in there,” she said. “This is the community’s college, and this room symbolizes that.”

Stanley also announced the establishment of a newly endowed fund called the Adventures in Lifelong Learning Scholarship Fund for $25,000. The fund will provide two annual scholarships to students in the name of the Grace S. Jones Scholarship for Excellence and the Eugene Frank Memorial Scholarship.

Jones, who is a president emeritus, headed Three Rivers for 10 years and was succeeded in 2014 by current president Mary Ellen Jukoski. As president, Jones introduced the school’s first major gift campaign, which resulted in more than $4 million in contributions from the college and the community, according to the foundation.

Stanley said Jones “serves the college in a way that empowers students to achieve and surpass their educational goals.”

Jukoski said the college continues to build on the work Jones did.

“Through our new transfer programs and guided pathways, we can now guarantee that our students can transfer to a CSCU university for their bachelor’s without missing a beat; all of their credits transferring,” she said. The state also recently approved funding for expansion of its tutoring center and library renovations, which will start in April.

Proceeds from the silent auction will go toward the Grace Sawyer Jones Fund for the Arts, which supports the purchasing of art for the college.

By Ryan Blessing

The original Norwich Bulletin article can be found here: Lecture hall named in honor of former Three Rivers president


Three Rivers names lecture hall, scholarship fund after president emerita

NORWICH (The Day, 3/10/ 2017) — Many at Three Rivers Community College credit President Emerita Grace Sawyer Jones with the shining facility it now occupies on New London Turnpike. After 13 years leaving her professional and personal marks on the campus, she now has a physical one.

Jones was honored Friday night at Three Rivers for her continued commitment to the school. Lecture hall B127 was renamed the Dr. Grace Sawyer Jones Lecture Hall, and a newly endowed scholarship fund will support the Grace S. Jones Scholarship for Excellence.

Bill Stanley, president of the Three Rivers College Foundation, said Jones was instrumental in the college’s transition.

“Throughout the process, she never wavered, never faltered, never lost her nerve and never lost her will to see the college to this great facility,” he said.

Betty Baillargeon, director of institutional advancement for the school, said the event was the final step in the major gift campaign, which Jones pioneered during her tenure. Jones, who served as president of Three Rivers from 2001 to 2013, was the final person to be recognized for contributions to the campaign.

At the event, Jones said she had chosen B127 partly because of its location, at the front entrance of the school under a vibrant Sol LeWitt mural, and partly because of what goes on inside.

“Most of all, I chose the lecture hall because we hold our classes in there and we have community gatherings in there,” she said. “And if there’s anything you know about me, I’ve always said this is the community’s college, and this room symbolizes that.”

Baillargeon said B127 also was chosen because the members of Adventures in Lifelong Learning use that room, and Jones was very close to the program, which provides enrichment classes for area residents age 50 and over.

“Of all the naming opportunities we have, that was probably the most significant one,” she said. In her 20 years at the school, she said it was exciting to see someone like Jones be honored for her personal and professional impact on so many people.

Mary Pineault, president of Adventures in Lifelong Learning, said the program used to be based at the University of Connecticut. When participants asked for it to be moved due to the strains of commuting, Jones was supportive in bringing it to Three Rivers. Nearly 1,700 community members took classes through the program last semester.

The newly endowed Adventures in Lifelong Learning Scholarship Fund will provide the scholarship in Jones’ name, as well as the Eugene Frank Memorial Scholarship.

By Amanda Hutchinson

The original Day article can be found here: Three Rivers names lecture hall, scholarship fund after president emerita

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