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Virginia Paris’ Generous Spirit Celebrated at Scholarship Ceremony

Thursday, February 21, 2013 (Bronx, NY) - Virginia Paris gave a large part of her life to Hostos Community College, and although she passed away last year, her tradition of generosity lives on. On Thursday, February 8th, three current students were awarded first-time $500 scholarships that bear her name.

A Dean Emeritus, Paris retired in 2004 after 30 years of service to Hostos and the South Bronx community. She began her career here in 1974 in the Counseling Unit of the Student Services Division. During her tenure, she also served as Director of Admissions, Director of Counseling, Associate Dean of Enrollment, and Dean of Students.

Paris touched the lives of many people, and the scholarship ceremony included remarks from some of her closest friends, as well as others who knew her only by reputation.

The students who received Virginia Paris Scholarship Awards were María S. Pérez, Jovanny Mastromihalis, and Shantel Whonder. All three have GPAs over 3.0 and are involved with community service, something Paris believed in strongly.

These scholarships were made possible by The Hostos Circle of 100 Scholarship and Emergency Fund, which Paris established with Professor Emeritus Gerald J. Meyer in 2006. Meyer, a close friend of Paris, was present at the ceremony, as was fellow Circle of 100 founder and Hostos graduate, Saudy Tejada.

Among other friends who participated in this event were Nydia Edgecombe, Director of Alumni Relations, and Wally Edgecombe, former Director of the Hostos Center for the Arts and Culture. They both read from Paris’ “Ten Commandments,” which center on kindness, tolerance, and giving back to the community.

To celebrate Paris’ heritage, the Garifunas de NYC of Félix Gamboa — a troupe of musicians and dancers — performed at the beginning of the ceremony to honor their African ancestry.

Meyer said although the day was bittersweet for him and many others, he was honored to help carry his friend Virginia’s legacy forward. “She had an extraordinary spirit and she was a founder of this college,” Meyer said. “You can’t change that foundation. It was put firmly in place by people like Virginia, and we have a duty to keep that spirit alive.”

Hostos Community College urges you to consider sponsoring a scholarship of $500 and/or renewing your contribution to the Virginia Paris Scholarship Fund. Any amount can help a deserving student reach his or her educational goal. With your support, we can transform Virginia’s vision into reality by enabling deserving students to continue their education and become future leaders of our communities.

To make a donation by credit card, go to: www.hostos.cuny.edu/give.

Gifts to Hostos are tax deductible. Donations by check should be made payable to The Hostos Community College Foundation.

Please mail your check to the following address:

Hostos Community College
Alumni Relations
500 Grand Concourse, D-214
Bronx, NY 10451

About Hostos Community College:
Eugenio María de Hostos Community College, part of The City University of New York (CUNY) system, was founded in 1968.  In addition to associate degree programs that facilitate easy transfer to CUNY’s four-year colleges or baccalaureate studies at other institutions, Hostos also has an award-winning Division of Continuing Education and Workforce Development that offers courses for professional development and certificate-bearing workforce training programs. In four decades, Hostos has grown from a class of 623 in 1970 to more than 7,000 students in 2012. The college also serves an additional 12,000 students through its Division of Continuing Education and Workforce Development. For more news and stories about Hostos Community College, visit www.hostos.cuny.edu

Media Contact:
Soldanela Rivera - srlopez@hostos.cuny.edu
Rich Pietras – rpietras@hostos.cuny.edu
Phone: 718-518-6872 or 917-627-9097 or 718-518-6513

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