Salute to Excellence

2017SalutetoExcellenceMCCC Salutes Excellence of Students and Donors

Nearly 370 scholarship recipients, donors, trustees and College administrators gathered March 28 at Presidential Caterers in East Norriton for the Salute to Excellence, an annual event celebrating the accomplishments of students and the generosity of alumni and other donors who make student scholarships possible.

For many Montgomery County Community College student scholarship recipients, the annual Salute to Excellence is a chance to meet the people behind the scholarships that are making their dreams of a college education possible.

Richard Montalbano, chair of the MCCC Board of Trustees, said he joined the Board 12 years ago hoping to make a contribution. “But I really didn’t think I would love this place,” he said. “Then I started to realize the College is about hope, it’s about opportunity.”

Dr. Kevin Pollock, president of the College, saluted both donors and students for their excellence. “Donors, you are changing lives every day," Dr. Pollock said. "Students, you are remarkable. You have the opportunity to make a difference for the next generation."

Dr. Tracy Reinhart, a 1993 graduate of the Dental Hygiene program who is now a partner with Weaver Reckner & Reinhart Dental Associates based in Souderton, Pa., addressed the audience, speaking about her positive experience at MCCC and why she supports scholarships at the College. Dental Hygiene student Yasmina Bdeir of Jenkintown joined Reinhart for dinner as the recipient of the Dr. Tracy Rossi Reinhart '93 Scholarship.

“I turned this scholarship into an endowment so that there would always be extra support for students in the Dental Hygiene program and that they will know that someone believes in them and wants to see them succeed,” Reinhart said. “I feel honored and humbled to be able to play a small role in their successes.”

Emanuel Wilkerson, a freshman on the West Campus in Pottstown, received the Sharon L. Danella Scholarship which supports students who demonstrate leadership through community service. True to the intent of the scholarship, Wilkerson became the youngest elected official in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania when he won a seat on the Pottstown School District Board of Education in November 2015, seven months before he graduated from high school.

"Montgomery County Community College not only educates the students of today but also the leaders of tomorrow," Wilkerson said. "One of the main reasons I decided to attend Montgomery County Community College is that the administration, faculty and students truly care about Pottstown like I do. The love and passion that Dr. David DiMattio has for the students of Montgomery County Community College...inspires me to continue to fight for the dreams of others." The evening ended with the debut of a new video telling the inspiring stories of students impacted by the scholarships they received from the Foundation.

Dolores Lare, chair of the Montgomery County Community College Foundation Board of Directors, said an estimated 400 students will receive more than $600,000 from 166 scholarship funds before the end of the College's Fiscal year.