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Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation Receives MCC’s 2023 Salute to Excellence Award

The Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation (Wilson Foundation) received Monroe Community College Foundation’s (MCC’s) Salute to Excellence Award on Wed., Dec. 6, 2023. The award presentation took place at the Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center with an audience of more than 300 business and community leaders

MCC says the award to Wilson Foundation was in recognition of Wilson Foundation’s philanthropic support of the next generation of workers who will fill jobs in high-demand industry sectors and of innovative strategies focused on creating opportunities for economic and social mobility, in communities across the region.

“We are grateful for this recognition from our partners at the Monroe Community College Foundation. Mr. Wilson’s incredible gift of his namesake Foundation to this region has provided us with an incredible opportunity to support difference makers across our communities and here in Rochester,” said David O. Egner, president and chief executive officer of the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation. “MCC is leading some of the most innovative and collaborative approaches across the region and country in workforce development, from the FWD Center to its growing CTE Pathways System, and we are proud to join with many other philanthropic partners to help drive this work.”

According to MCC, the Wilson Foundation’s cumulative $5.4 million investment in MCC students over the years has focused on creating educational opportunities and enhancing the lives of community members across the region.

MCC says Wilson Foundation’s largest gift to the MCC Foundation, $3.2 million in 2022, supported startup operations and equipment at the Finger Lakes Workforce Development (FWD) Center, housed on the fifth and sixth floors of MCC's Downtown Campus. The college also says the Wilson Foundation grant allowed MCC to purchase the most current equipment and technologies for the FWD Center’s mechatronics and skilled trades labs, including 3D printers, virtual reality equipment, a universal robot, and an enterprise smart factory training system, preparing students to be ready on day one when they enter the workforce.

MCC representatives say the Wilson Foundation has been a partner in the FWD Center from concept to completion, with the Foundation also awarding a $665,000 planning grant that enabled MCC to conduct a comprehensive study in 2019 to inform the FWD Center’s program development.

The college says some of Rochester’s youngest learners first experience the Foundation’s generosity at the five-week Be A Healthy Hero Summer Camp. Supported through the Rochester Area Community Foundation’s Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation Legacy Fund for Youth Sports, this camp is hosted each year at MCC’s Brighton Campus for children in grades K-5 to gain a healthy, safe and fun summer experience while building skills and positive behaviors.

“Private philanthropy fuels MCC’s ability to continue meeting the ever-changing needs of students and our community to help grow the local economy through a well-educated and technically sophisticated workforce. The MCC Foundation is grateful for the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation’s continued generosity, unwavering partnership and passion for transforming the lives of students and our communities,” said Maureen R. Wolfe, executive vice president, Human Resources & Community Impact, ESL Federal Credit Union and chair, MCC Foundation Board of Directors.

“In collaboration with generous community supporters like the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, we empower students from all walks of life to fulfill their potential and achieve strong foundations for life. Because of their investment, MCC students, their families, our local employers and our larger community are all stronger,” said MCC Foundation’s Gretchen Wood, CFRE, vice president, Institutional Advancement and executive director.


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