On January 16, Quinsigamond Community College hosted the 32nd annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Breakfast.
More than 700 people attended the breakfast celebration, which included performances by the QCC Jazz Ensemble and several Worcester-based choirs, who sang a celebration of gospel music throughout the morning program.
QCC President Gail Carberry, Ed.D., was awarded a key to the city and the Eleanor Hawley Community Service Award, for promoting diversity. Dr. Carberry spoke about dealing with dyslexia and handling the death of her adult daughter, Amy.
“I have difficulty reading sometimes, it is better if I speak from the heart. I am deeply honored and humbled by this award. It has been a labor of love for me,” she said. “Quinsigamond Community College is a beacon of hope, that is what attracted me here … This college represents so much for so many, and it has meant a great deal to me as well. In the time I have been president, and served community college system in this state, the angels have pulled with us in every bold move we have endeavored to do.”
During her introduction, event host Stacey DeBoise Luster said Dr. Carberry has increased enrollment by 40 percent, minority student enrollment by 12 percent, and minority employment at the college by 7 percent.
Dr. Carberry is retiring this spring after serving as president of QCC for 10 years.
Speakers, including Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Worcester Mayor Joseph Petty and QCC Board of Trustees Chairwoman Susan Mailman, spoke about the current contentious atmosphere in the country.
The event focused overall on the theme of coming together, ending the program with those gathered singing “We Shall Overcome.”