“Under the Big Top” Gala Raises Support for Goodwin College Scholarships

A performer shows off her hula hoop skills during the College's "Under the Big Top" Gala.

A performer shows off her hula hoop skills during the College’s “Under the Big Top” Gala.

A festive evening “Under the Big Top” has yielded a huge success for the Goodwin College Foundation, with critical funds raised for student scholarships.

On Friday, May 31, Goodwin hosted over 350 people for a night that lived up to its billing of good food and fun. The College’s first ever gala celebration featured circus-themed entertainment and a gourmet midway of cuisine ranging from unique to traditional. Stilt walkers, Hula hoop dancers, and jugglers made their way through the crowd, along with Bert, a giant puppet ringmaster designed by puppeteer and artist Ann Cubberly.

Dinner and dancing took place under the same tent where Goodwin College held its 2013 Commencement Ceremony on June 6.

A number of notable guests attended, including Governor Dannel Malloy, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal, Congressman John Larson, and East Hartford Mayor Marcia Leclerc.

“This is a very important place doing very important things,” said Gov. Malloy, speaking before the guests, who added that he

Gov. Dannel Malloy addresses the Gala audience.

Gov. Dannel Malloy addresses the Gala audience.

was proud of Connecticut’s private colleges, which along with the public university system, are contributing greatly to the state.

Sen. Blumenthal praised the College’s mission and the positive impact that Goodwin has had on the lives of its students.

“Goodwin is a great American example of entrepreneurship and doing good,” said the Senator.

Pratt & Whitney, an East Hartford institution and neighbor of Goodwin College, served as the main sponsor for the evening. In addition to helping fund the event, Pratt & Whitney gifted the College $10,000 to benefit the Goodwin College Foundation, which manages Goodwin’s endowment and provides scholarship opportunities to students.

"Bert" the puppet served as Master of Ceremony.

“Bert” the puppet served as Master of Ceremony.

The Pond House, with a contribution by its partner and Goodwin College Foundation Board Member Russ Weldon, also gave $10,000 to the Foundation at the event.  

Fox Connecticut personality and meteorologist Joe Furey ran a live auction, with packages including an African photo safari and a “Windy City” getaway that included VIP Chicago White Sox tickets. Other items auctioned included a catered dinner with Goodwin President Mark Scheinberg, gourmet cooking lessons, and more. Additionally, a silent auction contributed to the evening’s fundraising success of over $60,000.

The scholarships are critical to the many students who receive aid to attend Goodwin College, the fastest growing nonprofit institute of higher education in Connecticut. One of those students spoke of his own unique road to Goodwin and how the College has helped him progress through the Nursing Program.

“The teachers and faculty are there for students when we may feel that there’s too much for us to handle,” said David Mifflin,

Goodwin President Mark Scheinberg welcomes Nursing student David Mifflin to the stage.

Goodwin President Mark Scheinberg welcomes Nursing student David Mifflin to the stage.

one of the winners of the 2013 Wireless Zone Foundation Scholarship. “They help us to critically link and think on past and present knowledge, and they provide encouraging, compassionate, kind words that gives students a degree of motivation.”

For more pictures of the Gala, visit our Flickr page.

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Posted on June 7, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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