Message from the Executive Director

Graduation at GCC is always a moving and energizing occasion, with its emphasis on attaining an important goal. Many of our students face struggles and adversity as they earn their education. This year’s 728 graduates ranged in age from 18 to 71 years old, representing a true cross-section of the community. Completing one phase, each has taken a major step toward a new beginning in their lives. As President/Superintendent Dawn Lindsay said during the ceremony, “As you leave GCC, rest assured that life has much to offer. You have already demonstrated your ability to determine a goal, work for that goal and most importantly, obtain that goal.”

Reflecting on the 2010-11 academic year, it’s obvious that the major challenge faced by students, faculty and administration was an economic one. New rounds of funding cuts continue to make the work of Glendale College Foundation even more important, and we’re grateful that so many supporters have come forward. We also celebrate our fantastic board who have really embraced their leadership in our efforts to build the Foundation. Many thanks to President Ellyn Semler and her team. We couldn’t do it without you!

Welcome Extended to New Foundation Board Members

We are very pleased to welcome five new members of the Glendale College Foundation Board of Directors. They represent fields including travel, community relations, finance and risk management and bring increased diversity and reach to this already-dynamic group led by the President, Ellyn Semler and her Executive Committee and board.

Meet the new members:

Kate Bernier, President of Montrose Travel Honeymoons & Leisure Travel. Kate started in the travel industry as a gate agent at Burbank Airport and has steadily worked her way up. She joined Montrose Travel in 1989, was named Manager of the Leisure Division in 2003 and now runs both the Leisure and Honeymoons Division.

Kelly Finney, Director of Community Outreach, Southern California Presbyterian Homes (SCPH), now known as the “”. A former nursing home administrator, Kelly has held her current position for two years. Her career at SCPH started in 1992, and she is now responsible for marketing, community partnerships and outreach. “My connection to GCC is my connection to the community,” says Kelly, who has held many board and committee positions over the years. “I’m out in the community all the time, I know many of the people involved at GCC, and I’m looking forward to being part of this energetic Board.”

Keith Morris, Wealth Advisor/First Vice President, Morgan Stanley/Smith Barney. After graduating from Burroughs High School in Burbank, Keith earned an AA degree from GCC before transferring to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where he received a B.S. in agricultural business. He has been with his current employer for 16 years, through several mergers, always working in Glendale. He lives in the Verdugo Woodlands area with his family and is a member of Oakmont Country Club, where he has served on several committees. “I joined the Foundation Board to help bring awareness of the positive attributes of community college as an institution of higher education,” Keith says.

Frank Vega, Vice President at Piper Jaffrey & Co. Frank attended GCC from 1993-1995 and was a member of the track & field team at that time, competing in the 200 meter and 400 meter sprint events. He went on to earn a B.A. from UC Davis and an MBA from USC. He now has more than six years of experience in public finance and has helped originate more than $9 billion in debt financings. Other previous experience includes serving as Executive Director to the California Educational Facilities Authority and work with several legislators, both as consultant and staff. “As a former GCC student, I have a strong desire to help current students achieve their academic goals and aspirations,” he says.

Steve Wilder, Vice President-Risk Management for The Walt Disney Company. Steve’s experience in risk management spans more than 20 years. He has received several honors in his field, and currently sits on the Board of Directors of Verdugo Hills Hospital and is a commissioner on California’s Public Infrastructure Advisory Committee. Of his GCC involvement, he says, “I’m excited about being a Foundation Board member as I think that education is of extreme importance and something you have for a lifetime. If I can make a small difference in a few people’s lives academically it will be a great reward to me and very helpful to them.”

Anita Quinonez Gabrielian, President of GCC Board of Trustees and new representative to the Foundation Board

We’ve all heard the saying, “If you want something done right, ask a busy person,” and current GCC Board of Trustees President Anita Quinonez Gabrielian is living proof that it’s true. In her third term on the GCC Board of Trustees and second as President, Anita and her family (husband Leo and daughters Lauren, Jessica and Ana Bella) are Glendale residents. In her 31 years with AT&T, she has worked her way up through positions in engineering, operations, network planning, project management and instruction. She is now Regional Vice President of External Affairs, responsible for providing direction in government affairs and community relations in Los Angeles.

Always a firm believer in community involvement, Anita has been an active member and director of many Chambers of Commerce and nonprofit organizations, including the San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership, Glendale Memorial Hospital, Cal State LA’s Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs, the San Gabriel/Foothill Association of Community Colleges and the USC Latino Alumni Association (partial list).

Among her awards too numerous to mention here, Anita was selected as Corporate Woman of the Year in 2005 by Senator Jack Scott, Assembly Majority Leader Dario Frommer and Assemblywoman Carol Liu and was named Woman of the Year by the Glendale Chamber of Commerce and Glendale Latino Association.

She graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in Business Administration and went on to earn a master’s in Business Administration from California State Polytechnic University in Pomona.

Meaningful Ways to Give

Golf Classic, now in its 29th year, is a way of supporting our students and have fun.  This years’ tournament netted almost $50,000 to help support our campus.

The President’s Circle, introduced in 2010, gives donors a way to support Glendale College through a minimum $1,000 unrestricted annual gift. “The President’s Circle has just introduced new levels for annual support,” explains President Ellyn Semler. “This will enable the Foundation to build its capacity for raising unrestricted dollars, and in turn be able to respond when the college turns to us for help.” For more information on the new levels and benefits, click here. Money raised through The President’s Circle is made available to faculty and staff through a grants program that supports a variety of campus-wide projects in areas that might not otherwise be funded. The Grant Review Committee meets over the summer and makes final selections in August.

Through the GCC Legacy Society, you can make a significant difference in ensuring the continued excellence of GCC and providing financial assistance to its students. Simply name Glendale College Foundation, Inc. in your will or trust; you can specify a percentage of your estate or designate an amount to be given to the college. Other deferred gift options, including charitable remainder trusts and gift annuities with substantial tax advantages, are also available.

GCC's Garfield Campus

Since the early 1930s, GCC’s Continuing Education division, also called the Garfield Campus, has been offering tuition-free classes to under and unemployed members of the community who are motivated to improve their lives and careers. A new 20,000 square foot, “green” certified three-story building made possible by Measure G funds is almost complete. The new facility will provide huge improvements over the old classrooms and bring many classes now taught on other sites to the central campus.

The campus serves a diverse student body including adults (professional training in their present fields or new skills), high school juniors and seniors (jump-start college education or improve their grades) and non-native speakers (learn or improve English). Vocational certificate programs are offered in account clerk, general office clerk and medical and dental office, among others; since the program began more than two years ago, about 150 students have received State of California-approved certificates.

The Garfield Campus strives to keep its students up-to-date with the lightning-speed progress that provides a constant challenge to competing in the digital world. Through a donation, you can help furnish each new classroom with access to the latest available technology. You will also partner with students like these:

  • Marwan, who worked for years as a hotel parking attendant while taking night classes at the Garfield Campus, and recently earned a certificate in Hospitality and Tourism and has interviewed for a position at the hotel registration desk. And he’s not finished—he’s also registered for the credit Hospitality program, the next step up.
  • Taline, a single working mother of three, who is currently enrolled in the evening Medical Front Office Program, which gives her the flexibility to proceed at her own pace while managing her family life. “This is a great system for anyone with a hectic work and family schedule,” she says.
  • Narbreh, who came to the U.S. less than a year ago, immediately enrolled in ESL classes and soon was inspired to take math, accounting and other technology-related classes. He is now ready for GCC credit classes and an eventual four-year degree. “At Garfield I learned more than any book could have taught me,” he says. “I learned how to conduct myself in a business environment…and that to be successful you need people and organizational skills.”

Donor opportunities at the Garfield Campus include placing your name on the Wall of Honor, with funding levels ranging from $100 for a 5” x 1.25” tile to $2,500 for a 10” x 9” tile. You may also want to consider the naming opportunities that come with a larger gift, such as underwriting an office or classroom. For more information, please contact Lisa Brooks :


Last updated: 7/21/2011 9:44:53 AM