September 29, 2016

by Lisa Proulx

PORTSMOUTH, NH Great Bay Community College will be hosting its annual Distinguished Leaders Award reception on Thursday evening, October 13, 2016.  The event is the College’s largest fundraiser in support of scholarships and student support services and also serves to highlight the relationship between the College and its external community partners. This year, the focus will be on the healthcare industry.  Among those honored will be Portsmouth Regional Hospital, Wentworth- Douglass Hospital,  Exeter Health Resources and Frisbie Memorial Hospital. “Our partnerships with the healthcare community span decades” said College President Will Arvelo.  “They have provided input on curriculum, offered sites for clinical experiences that are essential to our students, served on our advisory boards and worked with us to develop programs to serve specific populations. We in turn, have been able to provide relevant programs and a talented pool of employees willing to work and stay in New Hampshire from surgical technologists, nurses, massage therapists, and medical assistants to administrative and IT workers.”

The featured speaker at the event will be Rachel Rowe, President and CEO of Granite Health, a unique partnership of five of the leading healthcare systems in New Hampshire.  With their network of primary care providers and specialists in over 150 practice sites, a broad scope of services, and a shared data driven population health management program, these five health systems leverage their shared resources to provide better, more seamless care for patients and better health for their populations. 

“Ms. Rowe brings a broad view of healthcare in New Hampshire and how it is changing” said Arvelo.  “Healthcare services and their evolution will continue to intersect with education and the need for a skilled workforce. Great Bay looks forward to continuing to collaborate with all Seacoast health services organizations to ensure together we are meeting the needs of our communities.”

For the first time, the annual event will be held on campus at the College’s new 20,000 square foot Student Success Center in Portsmouth.  The space was designed not only to support student leadership activities, but also to enable Great Bay to host events of this nature, according Arvelo.  The facility will be transformed for the evening to seat over 400 guests, with a dinner provided by Fosters’ Clambake. “Not only are we able to double capacity of this event from previous years, but attendees will be able to experience firsthand the opportunities created by this new space on our campus.”

Since 2012, the annual Distinguished Leaders Award event has raised over $1.2 Million in support of student through corporate and individual generosity. To date over 300_students have received scholarship funds raised at the annual event.  This year, Great Bay hopes to raise over $400,000.  Major supporters of this year’s event include: Exeter Health Resources, Frisbie Memorial Hospital, Wentworth-Douglass Hospital, Portsmouth Regional Hospital, Granite State College, Southern NH University, University of New Hampshire, SIG SAUER, Lonza Biologics, Safran Aerospace Composites, Albany International Corp., Willis Programs, LTC Partners, Little Harbour Charitable Foundation, David and JoAnn Hampson, Jackie Eastwood & Mike McClurken, Mike and Susan Daigle, and an anonymous donor.

“We do one major fundraiser a year,” said Arvelo “but this one event enables hundreds of students to take on less student loan debt and to complete their degrees in a shorter amount of time.  For many that means a quicker road to employment, for others, borrowing less at Great Bay means they will have more financial resources to continue their education at a four-year school  where their tuition costs will be higher.” For more information on the event, or to inquire about sponsorships, please contact Joan Belladue, Assistant to the President at Great Bay Community College, at 603-427-7602.  Sponsorship opportunities of varying levels are available.  Secure, tax-deductible donations can also be made at