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Editorial: Exclamation point

What timing.

As the Greenfield Community College Foundation put the finishing touches on its annual fundraising effort, the college announced a gift of $1 million for its nursing program.

The gift, from unnamed donors, is the first of its kind in Massachusetts, in that it will endow a faculty chair, and it provides an exclamation point on the understanding that exists between GCC and the community.

“The people who made this gift care so deeply and passionately about education and the health care of our community,” GCC President Robert Pura in a Recorder story earlier this week. Not only will the money provided establish and pay for the Jean Simmons Endowed Chair in Nurse Educator — named after the person who was the school’s first nursing applicant and who went on to work in the field as well as serve as a nursing educator at the school for decades — but it will also pay for a nursing career adviser and 23 annual scholarships.

We certainly agree with Pura’s assessment of the investment these unnamed donors are making.

The same can be said of the many people who donated what they could to the GCC Foundation’s annual campaign. While their gifts may not be of the same magnitude, their desire to see GCC continue successfully providing Franklin County and beyond with educational opportunities, whether as a gateway to a four-year college or geared more toward the workplace. It’s the belief in the GCC mission that makes people willing to donate and more often than not allows the foundation to meet, and surpass the campaign goal it established for the particular year.

The response to the GCC Foundation fundraiser as well as the decision by those behind endowing the chair are the kind of support, trust and devotion usually reserved for four-year colleges and universities, be they public or private. That alone tells you something about GCC and its relationship with its students, their families, alumni and community at large.

Kudos should go to all who have helped create and sustain this relationship. The school and community are being well served.

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