Erie Community College recently announced its annual award recipients for its upcoming Celebrate ECC event, scheduled for Thursday, March 1, 2012 at 6 p.m. inside the college's historic City Campus Atrium. The night will honor local legacies and community feats of a variety of prominent Western New Yorkers. And, amid the announced achievements, few individuals may enjoy more than Tonawanda resident and Chancellor Emeritus of the NYS Board of Regents, Robert Bennett.
Bennett will receive the college's Trustees' Award, an honor rightfully deserved by a man of his tireless work ethic. He was elected in 1995 to a five-year term as the Regent for the Eighth Judicial District at a Joint Session of the New York State Legislature, re-elected to a second five year term commencing on April 1, 2000, re-elected to a third five-year term effective April 1, 2005 and re-elected to a fourth five year term by concurrent resolution effective April 1, 2010. He was elected Chancellor by his colleagues in March 2002, re-elected in March of 2004 for a three-year term and in March of 2007 for a third term. In April, 2009, Bennett stepped down as Chancellor, and the Board of Regents unanimously appointed Bennett as Chancellor Emeritus.
Bennett served as president and CEO of the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County from 1985 until his retirement in December 2000. He was previously Vice President for Administration, Agency Relations and Resource Development. During his 23 years at United Way several initiatives were developed, including: Success-by-Six; the Child Advocacy Center; Coordinated Care; the establishment of Family Resource Centers in Schools; the creation of the local Task Force on the Achievement Gap; and the non-profit Resource Center, a management service for Boards & CEOs of non-profit human service agencies in Western New York. During his time as President, $240 million was raised and allocated for community services.
Chancellor Emeritus Bennett is a trustee of the Statler Foundation, the John R. Oishei Foundation and is Vice Chairman of the Community Health Foundation for Central and Western New York. In 2005 he was appointed by Bishop Kmiec as a member of the Buffalo Diocesan Planning Commission. Chancellor Emeritus Bennett also serves on the Board of Directors of Catholic Charities of Western New York and as a Eucharistic Minister for St. Christopher's Parish.
ECC's esteemed Trustees' Award will not be Bennett's first award. He has received a wide range of honors and recognition, including being named Citizen of the year, twice, by the Buffalo News; D'Youville College's 2000 Community Service Award; Citizen of the Year by the Food Bank of Western New York; Association of Vocational Education Leadership Award; Leadership Award from the National Center for Community and Justice; the Rev. John C. Cavanaugh Award from the University of Notre Dame; and the St. Bonaventure University Gaudete Medal.
Today, Bennett resides in the Town of Tonawanda with his wife, Audrey, and has two children, Maurine and Andrew and two granddaughters, Clare and Alice.
Celebrate ECC is the college's signature special event that brings together students, alumni, faculty, friends and community partners - all to celebrate ECC and the impact this institution continues to make in our community. All proceeds from Celebrate ECC will be used to enhance the educational experiences and opportunity available to every ECC student.
For more information about Celebrate ECC, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 851.1999.