New York, April 24, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC/CUNY) Foundation board of directors will host the 2019 Gala, Invest in a Future, Celebrate Success on Thursday, May 16 at Cipriani, 25 Broadway in lower Manhattan. Cocktails are at 6 p.m., followed by the dinner and program starting at 7 p.m. The event will be emceed by Fox 5 News entertainment anchor Baruch Shemtov.

The 2019 Gala Honorees are Tim Gokey, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and President of Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. and the Herbert and Audrey Rosenfield Fund. This year’s Special Guest Artist Honoree is Ashley Bouder, Founder and Director of the Ashley Bouder Project and Principal Dancer, New York City Ballet.

This year, the Gala will also celebrate the 20th anniversary of BMCC’s Out in Two scholarship program with recognition of its founder, former BMCC president, Dr. Antonio Pérez.

“Each year, proceeds from the Gala provide scholarships to hundreds of hard-working students who demonstrate their courage and commitment to education in the face of many obstacles,” said Doris Holz, Vice President of Development and Chief Operating Officer of the BMCC Foundation. “Students who are awarded scholarships are nearly four times more likely to graduate within three years, than comparable non-recipients. Not only that, graduation rates for students who receive scholarships are between 82 and 85 percent, compared with between 47 and 61 percent for their peers who did not receive that support.”

This underscores the importance of events like the annual Gala, Holz says, “and the generosity of our corporate and individual donors. We are hoping to increase the amount raised this year, so that we can provide more scholarships for qualified students and increase their graduation rates as well.”

Tim Gokey, Gala Honoree

Tim Gokey is President and CEO of Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. He was elected to the Broadridge Board of Directors in 2019. Gokey was appointed president of Broadridge in 2017 and served as Chief Operating Officer from 2012 to 2019.

Gokey joined Broadridge in 2010 as Chief Corporate Development Officer and was responsible for the company’s growth initiatives. Prior to joining Broadridge, Gokey was president of the Retail Tax business at H&R Block. Earlier, he spent 13 years at McKinsey and Company. He also serves on the Board of C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc.

The Herbert and Audrey Rosenfield Fund, Gala Honoree
Herbert and Audrey Rosenfield established the Fund in 1999 to consolidate their support for institutions that contribute to the vibrancy of downtown Manhattan and by extension, New York City as a whole. In the early 1970s, together with neighbors and colleagues, Herb and Audrey Rosenfield established the Chambers-Canal Civic Association with the aim to invigorate their downtown community following the construction of the World Trade Center.

From those efforts, the Rosenfields and their colleagues learned of the opportunity to bring Borough of Manhattan Community College downtown. Herb Rosenfield, together with his close friend Ray O’Keefe and others, worked with BMCC’s then-president, Dr. Joshua Smith to make this a reality. Following the move in the early 1980s, this group also created a fund to assist BMCC to raise funds for scholarships and other programs, now called the BMCC Foundation.

The Trustees of the Fund, the three children of Herbert and Audrey Rosenfield — Patricia Rosenfield, Tom Rosenfield and Nelson An-Ping Chang — are committed to maintain the legacy of support for BMCC for these aims and others to promote and reinforce student accomplishments.

Antonio Pérez, Gala Honoree
Dr. Antonio Pérez served as president of Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC), The City University of New York (CUNY) for 23 years. By the time he stepped down in 2018, Pérez had led BMCC to become a premier institution of higher learning, known nationwide for its grant-funded STEM research, Open Educational Resources, pipeline programs to ensure seamless transfers for graduates, and staff and faculty leadership initiatives.

One enduring example of the legacy of Dr. Pérez is the Out in Two scholarship program which he founded in 1999 in response to New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s criticism of community college graduation rates. Out in Two supports high-achieving students who commit to graduate within two years. Most transfer to a senior college. The program’s success is reflected in its two-year graduation rate of 84 percent, a much higher rate than the national average of 22 percent.

Ashley Bouder, Special Guest Artist Honoree
Ashley Bouder is the Founder and Director of the Ashley Bouder Project and a Principal Dancer with the New York City Ballet. Bouder has danced in ballet galas around the world and guest starred in companies including the Paris Opera Ballet, Rome Opera Ballet and the Mariinsky Ballet. As a student, she was awarded the Mae L. Wien Award for Outstanding Promise at the School of American Ballet. As a professional, her awards include the Janice Levin Honoree from the New York City Ballet, the Miss Expressivity for 2011 and the Miss Virtuosity for 2013 from the Dance Open Gala, as well as a 2014 and 2019 Benois de la Danse nomination.  

Using the arts collaborative she founded, The Ashley Bouder Project, Bouder hopes to promote other female choreographers, while also setting an example for women to be more prominent in the creation and directorial sides of the arts world. Her previous work has been presented at the School of American Ballet Choreographic Workshop, the New York City Ballet in the Dancer’s Choice Program, the Ashley Bouder Project at New York’s Peter Norton Symphony Space, and at Bryant Park Presents.

Emcee Baruch Shemtov of Fox 5 News

Baruch Shemtov joined Fox 5 News in 2015, bringing with him the experience of having interviewed political leaders and cultural figures including Senator John McCain, Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Secretary Madeleine Albright, Kristen Stewart, James Franco, Spike Lee and many others.

A 2009 graduate of Harvard College, Shemtov was named one of the “15 Most Interesting Seniors” by The Harvard Crimson. He served as a researcher for CNN’s David Gergen, leading him to become a Special Correspondent on Extra and the New York Host on Young Hollywood.

Shemtov has been active in the fields of design and fashion, having launched a line of ties at age 15, garnering press in The New York TimesThe Times of London, New York Magazine and other publications. Committed to public service, he has hosted the TEDx Youth Conference in New York and was appointed to the Advisory Board at the Harvard Kennedy School Taubman Center for State and Local Government.

To register for the Gala, please click here. For more information, please call the BMCC Office of College Development at at (212) 220-8020.

Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) is part of the City University of New York (CUNY) and enrolls over 26,000 degree-seeking and 10,000 continuing education students a year, awarding associate degrees in more than 50 fields. BMCC ranks #5 among community colleges nationwide in granting associate degrees to minority students, according to data from the U.S. Department of Education. Visit: http://www.bmcc.cuny.edu.

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John Lyon
Borough of Manhattan Community College
212-346-8503
jlyon@bmcc.cuny.edu