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115th Anniversary Celebration

Donna McKechnie performs at Church Street Center


11/04/2009

The accomplishments over MCLA's 115-year history have been extraordinary, not only for Berkshire County, but for the many successful graduates who have passed through its gates.

The College will celebrate that legacy during its 115th anniversary celebration Friday, November 13. The evening includes dinner, a silent auction, and a performance by legendary Broadway singer and dancer Donna McKechnie.

Fresh off a performance in New York City with composer Marvin Hamlisch the night before, the Tony Award-winning McKechnie will headline this very special evening at 8 p.m. Friday in the Church Street Center auditorium.

Due to increased attendance, the venue for the dinner and auction at 5:30 p.m. was changed to the Amsler Campus Center gymnasium. All proceeds benefit scholarships at MCLA.

"Truly a Broadway star, from her debut as Cassie in the original A Chorus Line to her roles in Company and others, to have that caliber of talent is indeed an honor," Jonathan Secor, MCLA's director of special programs, says of McKechnie. "To have an intimate evening of just her and a pianist, telling us through song and dance her history on and off Broadway, is not only an honor, but guaranteed to be a delight."

Items to be auctioned off during the pre-concert dinner include photographs of President Barack Obama's campaign by Boston Globe columnist Derrick Jackson; a private airplane flight with MASS MoCA Director Joseph Thompson; and an MCLA education package that includes College apparel, a non-credit course of one's choice, and a collection of books written by MCLA faculty.

MCLA has a lot to celebrate, including the $8.5 million renovation of historic Murdock Hall; the creation and revitalization of many important campus spaces; expanded academic programming; and outstanding study abroad, internship, and research opportunities.

And last month, Governor Deval Patrick committed $500,000 to initiate the study phase for the new $54.5 million Center for Science and Innovation.

A resource for the Berkshire STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Pipeline Network, this Center will represent the single-largest investment in higher education in Berkshire County. In this facility, students will prepare to enter the research pipeline and the life sciences workforce, as Massachusetts continues to be a world leader in biotechnology and the life sciences.

"Education and jobs are critical ingredients in the economic development of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and MCLA has been a catalyst for growth in Berkshire County for the past 115 years," says MCLA President Mary K. Grant, Ph.D.

 "From the original charter as a normal school, to serving as the Commonwealth's Public Liberal Arts College, this college has made a profound difference in the lives of so many students," Grant says. "MCLA plays a pivotal role in the educational, economic, cultural, civic, and social well being of the Berkshires and the city we call home. We look forward to playing this role in this increasingly competitive, global 21st century." 

Tickets for the show only are $25, $15 for MCLA faculty and staff and non-MCLA students, and free for MCLA students.

For tickets and more information about the 115th anniversary celebration with Donna McKechnie, contact MCLA Conference Coordinator Ashley Berridge at (413) 662-5185 or Ashley.Berridge@mcla.edu .

Event sponsors are MountainOne Financial Partners, which include Hoosac Bank, Williamstown Savings Bank, Coakley, Pierpan, Dolan & Collins, and True North; Berkshire Living; and the Porches Inn.