Alumni Association Honors Alumni, Faculty and Community Members at Annual Meeting

Manchester, Conn., – (May 15, 2008) . . . The Manchester Community College Alumni Association hosted their annual General Meeting and Reception in May and presented awards for Distinguished Alumni, Excellence in Teaching, Volunteer Service, and Outstanding Business Partner of the Year.

The Distinguished Alumni award was presented to Edward Firestone `71 of Glastonbury. Firestone is the owner of Pinewood Furniture, located in Manchester. He transferred to MCC in 1969 and earned an associate degree in 1971. He completed his bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Connecticut in 1972. During the past four years, Firestone has been a major supporter of the Alumni Association Car Show. He is very involved in the community, serving as a member of the Manchester Rotary Club; chair of the Downtown Manchester Special Service District; and member of the Hudson Essex Terraplane Car Club. He is also one of the founders for the Unfinished Furniture Association (UFA) and was recently awarded the first UFA Distinguished Member award.

The Excellence in Teaching award was presented to Michael DiRaimo, professor of English. DiRaimo of Columbia, has worked in the English department at Manchester Community College since 1983. He has taught courses in composition, American literature, film studies, and transition development. DiRaimo also designed and proposed the College’s first courses in technical writing and voices of color, a course devoted entirely to twentieth century non-white American authors. In 2002, DiRaimo was chairperson of the comprehensive self-study required by The New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) for MCC’s institutional reaccreditation.

Former student, Elaine Violette`88, still remembers his “acts of kindness.” According to her nomination, DiRaimo helped her to become a better writer, and eventually a better educator. “I have used his techniques in teaching my students through the years” stated Violette. “His classroom decorum, humor and educational tasks, as well as his compassion and understanding, deserve to be recognized.”

The Volunteer Service award was presented to Doug Plourd of Cromwell. Plourd was honored for his continuous support of the Alumni Association Car Show, the Alumni Craft Fair and an Evening of Fine Wines. Plourd is a graduate of Eastern Connecticut State University and is employed as a sales representative for a local payroll company. He also works part-time as a stand-up comedian.

Cunliffe Auto Body was presented with the Outstanding Business Partner award. Cunliffe Auto Body was one of the initial sponsors for the Alumni Association Car Show. For the past four years, they have continued to support the event. The award was presented to Arthur Cunliffe, owner of Cunliffe Auto Body.

Students of any age who possess the desire to pursue higher education are welcome at Manchester Community College. MCC is proud of its academic excellence, new facilities, flexible schedules, small classes, low tuition and faculty with both academic and “real world” credentials. The College offers over 60 programs, transfer options, financial aid and scholarships, as well as access to baccalaureate degrees through guaranteed admissions programs with several universities. MCC is situated on a park-like campus and is easily accessible from I-84.

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News Item Posted On: May 15, 2008
For Additional Information Contact: Endia DeCordova-Murphy at (860) 512-2914