September 19, 2017

by Lisa Proulx

Fundraiser Celebrates UNH – GBCC Collaborations Under University President’s Leadership

PORTSMOUTH – Great Bay Community College will host its sixth annual Distinguished Leaders Award reception on Oct. 12, beginning at 6:30 p.m. The annual fundraiser highlights the relationship between the community college and its external community partners. This year, GBCC will honor Mark W. Huddleston, President of the University of New Hampshire, and celebrate the advancement of the partnership between the two institutions under his leadership.  The event will be held at the community college’s 20,000-square-foot Student Success Center at the Portsmouth Campus at Pease Tradeport.

Under the tenure of Mark W. Huddleston, the University of New Hampshire and Great Bay Community College have successfully collaborated to foster advances in not only STEM, and humanities curricula, but also in policy and initiatives towards improving student retention. In 2013, with support from Huddleston, UNH joined in partnership with GBCC to develop a pilot program designed to ensure seamless transfer pathways for students from an associate degree to a bachelor’s degree at UNH.  The initiative, now known as the NH Dual Admissions program, has been adopted statewide by the Community College System of New Hampshire and the University System of New Hampshire. Individual program articulation agreements have also developed to ensure seamless transfer from specific GBCC STEM and business programs to UNH’s College of Engineering and Physical Science (CEPS), College of Life Sciences and Agriculture (COLSA) and Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics.

Today, articulation agreements also exist with UNH Manchester in Analytics, Information Systems Technology, Biological Sciences and Business as well as Biotechnology.  In addition, the New Hampshire Humanities Collaborative, a partnership between UNH’s College of Liberal Arts and the Community College System of New Hampshire has recently been established through generous funding from the Mellon Foundation. Faculty and staff from UNH, Great Bay, and other CCSNH campuses are working together to establish strong transfer pathways, provide student enrichment opportunities, and promote the importance of scholarship in the Humanities and the Social Sciences

President Huddleston has also supported multiple grant collaborations between the two institutions.  UNH has been the lead institution for NH-EPSCoR (N.H. Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research), which focused on natural resource management and provided transfer scholarships and research opportunities to Great Bay students. NH-INBRE (N.H. Idea Network of Biomedical Research Excellence) focuses on the development of biomedical research strength in New Hampshire and is currently in its seventh year of supporting curriculum enhancement and providing research opportunities for GBCC students. For the past several years, CC2CEPS has been providing generous scholarships to students transferring from Great Bay to pursue bachelor’s degrees at UNH’s College of Engineering and Physical Science. Finally, the recently funded CREST program provides scholarships for students transferring to pursue a S.T.E.M. degree at UNH and a master’s degree in teaching. CREST students will then go on to teach S.T.E.M disciplines in high needs schools. Each of these programs work to support the development of talented and dedicated students who choose to begin their higher education experience at Great Bay, continue on to UNH, and in most cases stay in New Hampshire to become part of the skilled workforce.

Great Bay President Will Arvelo has been particularly appreciative of the relationships and support that have developed between the two institutions with the encouragement of President Huddleston.  “Mark and I came to our roles as presidents of our respective institutions about the same time” said Dr. Arvelo. “He has shown nothing but support through each of the initiatives that we have explored and implemented together. Additionally, senior staff and faculty at UNH have welcomed Great Bay students because they know they are well prepared and committed. They understand the value that community college transfer students bring to the UNH community. Our work together is important as we both focus on keeping education affordable and our students and graduates in New Hampshire.”

Over the last five years, through corporate and individual generosity, the annual Distinguished Leaders Award event has raised over $1.5 million for student scholarships. As Great Bay Community College’s  largest fundraiser, it is slated to raise over $400,000 this year. For more information on the Distinguished Leaders Award event, or to inquire about sponsorship, please contact Joan Belladue, Assistant to the President at Great Bay Community College, at 603-427-7602.  Secure donations can also be made at

Great Bay Community College is a comprehensive postsecondary institution offering quality academic,  professional and technical education in support of workforce development and lifelong learning. Great Bay Community College is part of the Community College System of New Hampshire, a public system of higher education consisting of seven colleges in Berlin, Claremont, Laconia, Concord, Manchester, Nashua, and Portsmouth.  The colleges offer Associate degrees and career training in technical, professional and general fields, including transfer pathways to baccalaureate degrees. The college’s second campus, the Advanced Technology & Academic Center is open in Rochester offering academic courses and a degree program in Advanced Composites Manufacturing.   For more information on Great Bay Community College, visit  

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