The fifth annual Vaughn College Gala was held on Thursday, November 8 in the William R. DeCota Hangar on the College’s main campus. Mary Ellen S. Jones, vice president of Asia-Pacific Sales at Pratt & Whitney Commercial Engines was the honoree.

The Gala is an opportunity for professionals in the industries the College serves to connect with students, faculty and staff and learn how they can help support the Vaughn community. Donations were encouraged through a silent auction and a “text-to-give” feature, which directly benefited the Vaughn College Student Experience Fund, developed to help sponsor students’ off-campus experiences. Proceeds from the Gala will be used to fund scholarships and institutional priorities.

NBC News Chief Environmental Affairs Correspondent, Anne Thompson served as master of ceremonies for the evening. Attendees were shown a video highlighting the outstanding academic and professional achievements of seven Vaughn students, followed by speeches from Ken Stauffer, newly appointed chair of the Vaughn College Board of Trustees, Vaughn College President Dr. Sharon B. DeVivo and Honoree Ms. Jones.

“Vaughn students and alumni somehow knew early on that they had a passion and commitment that Vaughn College would nurture. It’s a calling that brings people together, always with an underlying ethic of safety and reliability,” said Jones. “Sharon and the Vaughn faculty serve as inspiring mentors to their students.”

Along with being platinum level sponsors for the event, Pratt & Whitney donated a PT6A Engine for aviation maintenance students to service and troubleshoot in the airframe curriculum. The only engine to achieve single engine instrumental flight rules status for passenger revenue activity in North America, Australia, Europe and New Zealand.

“We thank Mary Ellen and Pratt & Whitney for supporting the next generation and for their commitment to an engaged relationship with this institution,” said DeVivo. “We also look forward to using Pratt & Whitney’s equipment donations in our laboratory and continuing to deepen the relationship between our two organizations.”

Vaughn will hold its next fundraising gala in fall 2019.