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RCC Plans Gala to Celebrate President Michael A. Baston's Inauguration

RCC Plans Gala to Celebrate President Michael A. Baston's Inauguration

The Inauguration of Dr. Michael A. Baston, 7th President of Rockland Community College

Three-day festivities also feature faculty symposium, student/alumni social


DATE: August 16, 2018

RAMAPO, N.Y. – Transformation Through Education is the theme as Rockland Community College celebrates the inauguration of President Michael A. Baston with an inaugural Gala on the evening of September 12 followed by the inauguration ceremony the next day. A faculty symposium kicks off the three-day celebration on September 12, and a student/alumni social wraps up the festivities on September 14. The Gala is at the Hilton Pearl River while the inauguration ceremony and symposium are at RCC's Cultural Arts Theater.

RCC's first Gala will feature special performances and exhibits highlighting the College's accomplishments. Proceeds will support the operations of RCC's Student Success Initiative.

Individual Gala tickets are $200 per person. Various sponsorship levels are available, including a $1,000 “Transformational Ticket” package that pays for the cost of five tickets for RCC students. The deadline for purchasing Gala tickets is September 7; the deadline for submitting ads in the commemorative journal has been extended to August 22.

See: RCC Inaugural Gala - Transformation through Education, Opportunity, Mobility & Success Video

One of the special features at the Gala is a video tribute, “Student Success Stories,” illustrating how RCC students' lives have been transformed by their experiences at the college. “RCC is a gem in this community, from the standpoint of giving educational opportunities to people who haven't previously experienced them,” said Anne Hummer, Inaugural Gala Chair. “Many of the graduates here are the first ones in their family to attend college. It really does transform lives.”

Among the headliners scheduled to appear at the Gala are Rita Harvey, the Broadway singer and actress best known for her starring role in “Phantom of the Opera” and as principal soprano for “Neil Berg's 100 years of Broadway” touring concert; and Pat Battle, co-anchor for NBC-TV 4 New York's “Weekend Today in New York,” who will serve as master of ceremonies. The popular East Ramapo Marching Band will get the evening started with its spirited arrangements, while local band Escapade provides musical accompaniment throughout the evening.

Dr. Baston succeeds Dr. Cliff L. Wood as the seventh president in RCC's 59-year history. Among the prominent themes in his inaugural address is the Guided Pathways program, which is designed to make college more accessible and navigable for students from all backgrounds and levels of preparedness. The inauguration will serve as “a platform and a launching point for Dr. Baston to describe his vision for the College, to move it forward in this century and beyond, as a shining example in the county of a community and college partnership,” said Hummer. Inaugural Gala Consultant Chris Naylor added: “We are hoping the evening will be celebratory and inspirational.”

Inauguration Schedule:

Wednesday, September 12

Faculty Symposium
1:30 – 3 pm
RCC Cultural Arts Theater

Inaugural Gala
6 – 10 pm
Hilton Pearl River

Thursday, September 13

Inauguration Ceremony
2 pm
RCC Cultural Arts Theater
(Reception to follow)

Friday, September 14

Student and Alumni Celebration
11 am – 2 pm
RCC Cultural Arts Center Atrium

For more information, contact Anne Hummer at 845-574-4715 or, or visit

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CONTACT: Strategic Marketing