Vaughn College hosted its sixth annual gala on Thursday, November 7 in the William R. DeCota Hangar on the College’s main campus. The honoree for this year’s event was William J. Flynn, chair of the board and chief executive officer at Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc.
The Gala welcomed professionals in the industries that the College serves to connect with students, faculty and staff to learn ways on how they can continue to support the Vaughn community. Donations were encouraged through a mobile-friendly, silent auction and a “text-to-give” feature. All donations directly benefit the Vaughn College Student Experience Fund which was developed to help sponsor students’ off-campus learning experiences such as the attendance of conferences like the Society of Women Engineers. Oftentimes, these experiences result in internship and full-time opportunities for Vaughn students. Proceeds from the Gala will be used to fund scholarships and institutional priorities.
“Vaughn College’s vision is to change the world one student at a time with a transformational education that creates a lifetime of opportunity,” said Anne Thompson, NBC news chief environmental affairs correspondent. Thompson returned to the College’s gala to reclaim her position as the master of ceremonies for the evening.
Attendees were shown a video highlighting the relationship between Atlas Air and Vaughn. In addition to featuring not only the alumni that benefited from such relationship, the video also displayed the students that directly benefit from the Vaughn College Student Experience Fund.
This was followed by speeches from Ken Stauffer, board of trustees chair and co-founder of Technology Assurance Labs, President Dr. Sharon B. DeVivo and Honoree William J. Flynn. The night continued with remarks from DeVivo highlighting the accomplishments of Atlas Air Worldwide under Flynn’s leadership.
“How do you continue a transformation? You set audacious goals that ask you to innovate for student success. That is something that has been done at Vaughn since our founding. It was evident when I was a student here in 1983, and as the board chair, I can say that it continues to this day,” expressed Ken Stauffer. “Our goal is to be regarded as an educational institution at the leading edge of innovative, transformative, lifelong learning — and we have a plan to get there! We also need your ongoing support in order to make that happen through internships, employment and financial support at events just like tonight.”
“Ten percent of our workforce in our New York headquarters are Vaughn College graduates. Many more graduates work elsewhere across our company. Several of our employees are now teaching at Vaughn. And countless more have mentored Vaughn students through our ongoing internship program. The work that Vaughn is doing is so critical to propelling this industry forward. Vaughn is developing some of the best and brightest minds in the workforce today,” said Flynn.
The 2019 Vaughn College Gala sold the most ticket sales, hosted the most attendees, and raised the largest amount through the silent auction “text-to-give” feature. The College will host its next gala in fall 2020.