SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A meet-and-greet event was held in downtown Springfield Thursday night to welcome the new president of American International College.

The event was hosted by the African American Female Professors Award Association, and held at the PAHMUSA Museum in Tower Square. The community welcomed Dr. Hubert Benitez, as the college’s new president. It was also a time to talk about representation and diversity within the city.

22News spoke with Traci Talbert, Founder of the Award Association, about the importance of Thursday’s event.

“So the significance is to introduce him to the community to have some of the community leaders talk about what it is to have AIC kind of sit in their backyard and how they can support each other as we work through diversity inclusion and culture,” said Talbert.

In a news release sent to 22News, Dr. Benitez says that he is excited to join an institution which such rich history and strong commitment to access and opportunity.