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Greenfield Community College plans talks, reunions Saturday to mark 50th year

The event will feature guest speakers and two hours of an open reunion reception in the college’s core building. Campus tours will be offered periodically and visitors are also welcome to stop by a recording booth to share their GCC memories.

“The doors to Greenfield Community College have been open for 50 years to all who seek a better life for themselves and their families,” said President Robert Pura, who will kick off the event with a 1:30 p.m. welcome address. “We look forward to sharing GCC’s history with all of our students, neighbors, alumni, employees, supporters and partners who have helped to create that history and open those doors.”

Following Pura’s welcome, three GCC alums will give short presentations.

Thom Beers, who attended the college in the 1970s, will talk about his role as a television producer on shows including “Deadliest Catch” and “Monster Garage.”

Denise DiPaolo — a 1994 graduate and owner of Turners Falls restaurant Ristorante DiPaolo — will describe the ins and outs of food and dining management.

And Darryl Shaw, who graduated in 1996, will talk about his time as the manager of information technology support and operations at Black Entertainment Television.

Open reunion time, including the tours and recording booth, will take place from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.

The events are free and all are welcome to attend, officials said.

GCC Foundation meeting

Beginning at 5:30 p.m., the evening will transition into the GCC Foundation’s annual meeting.

After general updates on the foundation’s recent fundraising efforts, the microphone will be turned over to recent graduate Sharon Santana, who was also the student speaker at the June commencement.

Then, Pura will give a keynote address, recounting the past 50 years and looking ahead at the school’s future.

During the meeting’s dinner portion — for which registration is required and costs $18 per person — the college will recognize its 50 distinguished alumni.

The distinguished alumni — who were chosen by a special selection committee — include real estate agent and GCC Board of Trustees Chairman Robbie Cohn, editorial cartoonist Dave Granlund, Mayor William Martin and Greenfield Fire Chief Michael Winn. Alumni speakers Beers, DiPaolo and Shaw are also in the group of 50.

To register for any of the day’s events, and to pay for the dinner, go to web.gcc.mass.edu/50/rsvp/.

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