HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – George Timmons will be welcomed to the community as the fifth president of Holyoke Community College (HCC) with a reception hosted by Gary Rome on Tuesday.

Gary Rome, the owner of Gary Rome Hyundai, will be hosting the first public reception for George Timmons, the new president of HCC, according to a news release from HCC. The reception will be held at Rome’s Holyoke dealership on Whiting Farms Road at 5:30 p.m., following the quarterly meeting of the HCC Foundation Board of Directors, where Rome and President Timmons both sit.

At the reception, there will also be a presentation of a $5,000 donation check from Gary Rome to the HCC Foundation for the HCC’s Thrive Student Resource Center and Food Pantry. Rome is a frequent donor, a vocal advocate for HCC, and a partner for HCC’s annual “Together HCC: Drive to Change Lives” which is a 24-hour fundraising campaign.

“I am passionate about ‘rallying the troops,’ not only to support a cause but to raise awareness for a cause,” said Rome. “So many people have benefited from HCC in our community, and it is important to ensure that all have access to a truly exceptional yet affordable education.”

Those of the 27-member Foundation Board, such as Rome, board chair Corey Murphy (president, First American Insurance Agency), and vice chair Susan Goldsmith (president, Marcus Printing) will be in attendance, along with the HCC Board of Trustees, chair Bob Gilbert, incoming vice chair Vanessa Smith, Ted Hebert, Evan Plotkin, Charlie Epstein, Yolanda Johnson, and student trustee Barney Garcia of Northampton.

“Gary’s enthusiasm for our annual Together HCC campaign has been amazing,” said Amanda Sbriscia, vice president of Institutional Advancement and executive director of the HCC Foundation. “The energy and fun he brings to giving back helps send the message that every gift matters, which is absolutely true. We are fortunate to have his leadership on the HCC Foundation board.”

Timmons is expected to start his term as HCC’s fifth president the last week of June, pending approval from the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education on May 9, according to their website.

Timmons holds a Ph.D. in higher education administration from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio, as well as a master’s degree in higher education from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, and a bachelor’s degree in financial management from Norfolk State University in Norfolk, Virginia. Timmons has held his position as provost and senior vice president of Academic and Student Affairs at Columbia-Greene Community College since 2019, and before that, he worked at Excelsior College in Albany, N.Y., where he held a number of administrative positions culminating with dean of the School of Liberal Arts.

“As a business leader in the community, it will be an honor to host President Timmons and introduce him at our dealership,” said Rome. “Together, we can join forces and accomplish great things for the future of HCC.”

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