Building a Brighter Future!

A monthly philanthropy newsletter from the Office of Institutional Advancement | January 2024

As we begin a new year full of resolutions and milestones to look forward to, we reflect on 2023.

Check out our year in review!

A Message of Gratitude


Dr. Suri Duitch

KCC Interim President

I am honored to serve as the new interim president of Kingsborough Community College as we celebrate its 60-year legacy of effectiveness in teaching and learning.

In my first week, I have been so impressed by our students’ inspiring stories, and our faculty and staff’s commitment toward providing a vibrant, collaborative and inclusive community where students feel they belong.

I want to express my gratitude for your continued support of KCC. Your generosity and dedication have played a crucial role in shaping the success of our students. We are grateful for your partnership and stewardship toward our shared mission of providing an affordable and high-quality education to all.

During my tenure, I am excited to partner with you to set the stage for Kingsborough’s next phase of excellence. I am committed to strengthening our partnerships and working together to explore new opportunities for collaboration that will benefit our students.

Your expertise, resources, and insights are invaluable to shaping the future of Kingsborough Community College, and I am excited to collaborate with you on initiatives that will have a lasting impact on the education and careers of our students.

Thank you once again for your unwavering support of Kingsborough Community College.

Warm regards,


Dr. Suri Duitch

Interim President

Annual Scholarship Fundraiser

Celebrating 60 Years of Excellence

June 6, 2024

The Annual Scholarship Fundraiser will raise vital funds to support student financial assistance and scholarship programs at Kingsborough.

You can play a part in making the Annual Scholarship Fundraiser a roaring success!

Become a sponsor, place a journal ad, donate an item for the silent auction! 

To participate, click to see our sponsorship opportunities!

Visit our Website

College Discovery Alumni Dinner

View event photos here

On January 18, the KCC College Discovery (CD) and Alumni Relations hosted an unforgettable alumni dinner with over 25 alumni that joined in spite of an unfavorable forecast. The evening brought together CD alumni, advisors, staff, the Alumni Relations office, Dr. Nancy Sánchez-Badillo (Vice President of Institutional Advancement) and Dr. Yelena Bondar (Dean of Student Success) among others. The evening brought so much joy as it rekindled acquaintances among alumni, provided new introductions, as well as the reunion with their beloved advisors and staff of CD. CD Program Director Brenda Vargas, Academic Counselors NaReida Crandall and Kevin Gayle were instrumental in bringing the alumni together and cultivating the relationship beyond KCC graduation. Ms. Crandall fondly shares that “the love, laughter and joy that soared through that room, that night was something I want to capture in a jar, seal it tight and release in increments”.  

The love for one another was shining through their smiles as the alumni proudly shared how thrilled they were to be back on campus and how wonderful and meaningful their KCC experience was to their personal and professional growth.

Originally a five-year experimental initiative in selected CUNY community colleges, the College Discovery Program aimed to demonstrate that students, who were previously excluded from the University due to existing admissions criteria, could succeed in obtaining a college degree with the right supportive services. Since its official inception in 1969, the mission of the College Discovery Program has been to dismantle the financial and academic barriers to access and completion for under-served students with defined educational and economic needs. Program efforts are intended to close existing gaps, achieve equity, and increase the level of education, social capital, and workforce in our region.

Ms. Vargas has led the program to success for many years and shares with great joy, enthusiasm and pride: "When we see our students achieving great things and come back to KCC to share and celebrate with us during our alumni reunion, it is proof that CD accomplished its mission. It is rewarding to hear from the students how CD changed their lives forever and how the seed that was planted in their hearts about achieving a higher education flourished, guiding them into greater endeavors. It is gratifying to work in a program that serves as a vehicle of social mobility, and one that continues to improve the upward mobility of thousands of students".

The program graduates 80 to 90 students annually, many of whom as valedictorians. We are so proud of alumni like Shawon Bhuiyan ’17 who is now teaching Chemistry at KCC, wrestler Jaleel Herrar ’19 who graduated from SUNY Brockport and is now at Brooklyn Tech working with the wrestling team and Samantha Seligman ’15 who attended NYU after KCC on a full ride scholarship and is now a Licensed Social Worker, among the many amazing other alumni who were present that evening.

We loved hosting the KCC College Discovery alumni and celebrating their successes beyond KCC! We wish them and the CD program continued success as it provides a substantial support system for our students and their path to success!

KCC Grant Highlight: The Hyde and Watson Foundation

The Hyde & Watson Foundation has been a generous and consistent supporter of Kingsborough Community College since 2012.

Their first grant enabled the Child Development Center(CDC) at KCC to purchase and install two sun shades in the center’s toddler playground, helping the children stay cool in the summer and protecting them from sunburn. In 2016 the foundation renewed their support with a grant to upgrade the center’s security system. The staff installed cameras and a LED TV monitor which serves as a dynamic and colorful electronic bulletin board, projecting updates on CDC activities, displaying artwork by the children, and posting announcements for student-parents. 

In 2017, the foundation increased its support with a grant to purchase a simulation training system for KCC’s nursing program. The funds provided our nursing students with access to state-of-the-art technology, enabling them to view nursing simulations that their instructors recorded in real time during their lab sessions, and get immediate feedback on their progress.  A follow-up grant in 2019 enabled the nursing program to build on its success, purchasing SimView, an integrated debriefing solution that captures and records audio and video of simulation and other learning activities.   This virtual technology was particularly helpful during the pandemic, and continues to serve our students well.

Most recently, in 2023 the Hyde & Watson Foundation awarded KCC a 2023 grant to upgrade the technology for our EMT/ Paramedic Training Program with the purchase of a state-of-the-art Monitor/Defibrillator. This assistive technology allows students who have additional learning needs to participate, experience, learn, and achieve on the same basis as their peers, and will provide all EMT students with a variety of lab experiences using different equipment models in accordance with the latest innovations in the EMS field.

The support of the Hyde & Watson Foundation has had a lasting effect on the lives of our students, empowering them to complete their studies, and succeed beyond college. We value our partnership with them.

KCC Alumni Opportunity: AMERICA NEEDS YOU

We are happy to announce that Kingsborough is partnering with America Needs You (ANY), an organization that provides career development programming and transformative mentorship for low income first-generation college students, empowering them to secure internships, earn their bachelor’s degrees, and launch meaningful careers.

Kingsborough alumni may sign up to be a mentor and join ANY in building a more equitable workforce. There are many ways to get involved:

Industry Roundtables will take place on March 19th, 20th, and 21st at 12:00-1:15 PM EST and 7:00-8:15 PM EST. If you have flexibility, the organization has a higher need for volunteers in the evening sessions. Volunteers can sign up for as many sessions as they can support! We ask that volunteers commit to the full time they sign up for. Deadline to signup is March 13th!

Interested volunteers can register via the Volunteer portal: 

If you have any questions regarding ANY, please get in touch with NY Program Director, Rana Aboomar, at [email protected] or National Volunteers Operation Manager at [email protected].

For more information contact [email protected]

Alumni Spotlight: William Holley '10

William on the KCC Basketball Court

Dr. William Holley is the Executive Director and Founder of the My City Alumni Classic, an event that celebrates both the on and off-court contributions of former City University of New York Athletic Conference (CUNYAC) basketball players. My City is a great opportunity for alumni to get back on the court, rekindle old friendships, forge new ones, and perform in front of their family and friends. Just as important, the Classic bridges the gap between the different generations of players. Dr. Holley, who finished his career at KCC in 2010, now with My City, gets to share the court with former Wave athletes from different eras. This annual classic is an exciting opportunity for the participants to continue to promote healthy living as they train and prepare for My City, a stimulating event players are now looking forward to circling on their calendar each year. Over the last two years, twenty teams have participated with an average of 100 participants and over 300 spectators annually. 

Dr. Holley has fond memories of Kingsborough and the relationships he was able to build with his teammates, coaches, faculty, and staff. While on campus, Holley was a two-year member of the basketball team and helped the KCC Wave win two CUNYAC championships. He graduated in 2010 with an Associate Degree in Liberal Arts. Holley would continue his education after KCC, securing a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from CUNY-York, a Master’s Degree in Sport Management from Brooklyn College, and a Doctorate from East Tennessee State University. Among others, Dr. Holley remembers Coach Hassan 'Hass' Duncombe, who inspired him to be the best athlete he could be as well as the best student. According to Holley, “Coach Hass was not only a standout basketball player growing up in this city, but he would choose to play his college ball at the University of Pennsylvania, an Ivy League school, because he felt it offered him the best opportunity to succeed well beyond the basketball court. That example set by Coach Hass made us want to walk through these KCC doors every day and be the best we could be in every aspect of life. In fact, I created and taught a Leadership and Ethics class at SUNY-Farmingdale and I tried to bring the same passion and energy that I saw exhibited by the leaders I encountered at Kingsborough.”

Dr. Holley recently published his first book Confront the Brutal Facts: Stockdale Paradox and Sports. In his book, Holley discusses the power of the Stockdale Paradox, a leadership lesson inspired by a former Vietnam Prisoner of War, and details how its application can be beneficial across various fields, specifically sports. From Michael Jordan to Tom Brady, Holley makes the case that this same mentality has been the secret ingredient to their success. Readers will learn how to apply the Stockdale Paradox to their own lives enabling them to develop a winning mindset and realize their maximum potential.

Reflecting on his journey at KCC, Dr. Holley goes on to say: “Kingsborough is a melting pot of cultures and ethnicities with a diverse faculty that provides an amazing support system and opportunities to enrich your career. I would encourage all students to be sure to join a club, a sports team, engage with the faculty, and enrich your academics and social experience”.

What Is Your KCC Story? 

We would love to hear from you and your KCC story! Contact Aba Agolli at 718.368.65433 or [email protected].

Scholarship of the Month: Senior Administrator's (SAM) Fund

Also known as the “SAM Fund”, this scholarship is available to matriculated students year-round and is intended to provide general financial support. Students who are approved for this scholarship receive direct financial assistance that will help them better afford tuition, textbooks, transportation and other expenses related to their KCC education. To qualify, students must be in good academic standing (GPA of 2.0 or higher) and have demonstrated financial need. 

As the name suggests, the SAM fund is supported through annual donations from the College’s senior administrators. Interested students can Apply Here

Interested in starting your own scholarship? Contact Daniel La Noue, Director of Major Gifts and Planned Giving, at 718.368.6540 or [email protected].


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