25th Anniversary Gala A Smash Hit
Thousands raised for scholarships during milestone gathering
For an event 25 years in the making, the wait was well worth it for guests of Touro University California’s 25th Anniversary Gala, held August 25 outside Farragut Inn.
More than200 guests turned out for an evening of barbecue, music, and auction prizes, all to help raise funds for TUC’s Diversity Scholarship fund. Dignitaries included members of Congress, Rep. Mike Thompson and Red. John Garamendi, as well as leaders of the Touro University System, Dr. Alan Kadish, president Touro University and New York Medical College, Rabbi Moshe Krupka, Patty Sulkin, and Mike Newman, who all travelled in from New York for the event.
Major sponsors, community partners, and elected officials from throughout Solano County were also part of the crowd.
“It really has been a remarkable journey,” said Shelley Berkley, Senior Vice President of the Touro University System. “25 years can seem like a lifetime for some (but) that time hasn’t passed without a lot of work being done to take Touro from its humble beginnings, to becoming the beacon of hope and inspiration for thousands of students nationwide.
”TUC started in a small, shared space in San Francisco in 1997 prior to a 1999 move to the recently closed Mare Island Naval shipyard. 25 years of work, which continues to this day, have gone to transforming the former military installation into a campus suited for college students. Berkley thanked those in attendance not only for helping celebrate the anniversary but for being partners with TUC throughout. “We believe strongly in the values of service and social justice set forth by Dr. Bernard Lander in 1970,” she said. “Your support and partnerships have made it possible to put these values into action.”
Provost and CEO Dr. Sarah Sweitzer echoed Berkley’s sentiments on the amount of work that has gone in to making Touro what it is today. “It has been a labor of love, and a lot of hard work to transform this historic site into a growing university with three colleges and seven programs which serve as an anchor institution in Solano and surrounding counties,” Dr. Sweitzer said. She looked back and forward during her remarks at the Gala.
“I also think it’s important to consider the next 25 years,” she said. “Anyone who knows me even a little knows I’m always thinking about what’s ahead for TUC and, while the past 25 years have been incredible, I can say with confidence that I believe the next 25 years will be the best we’ve seen yet at Touro.”
Having the event in-person for the first time in three years seemed to be a boon for the scholarship fund. Revenues from the event, which were still being tallied, had already surpassed the previous two years when a similar event was hosted in an online-only format. Dr. David Duncan, a member of the first graduating class from Touro University California, spoke at the event and shared his pride of having been part of the process for all these years.
“We (students) were taking a risk, the school was taking a risk,” Dr. Duncan said of the pioneers involved in the university’s opening. “We made it work, though. It’s a great honor for me to be part of this family. I’m proud of my university and everything it’s accomplished in the past 25 years.”