CRANFORD – Five years ago, the Union County College Foundation launched the Close the Gap campaign to accelerate the pace of African American student success. Thanks to this initiative, the graduation rate for male African-American students has more the quadrupled at Union County College. To support this campaign, the Union County College will be hosting their Annual Close the Gap Cocktail Party virtually, honoring Sandra Rice, Senior Vice President at the Center for Talent Innovations on Wednesday, July 15, 2020 at 6 p.m. This year’s event will be one to remember. Not only will the Foundation recognize Mrs. Rice for her unwavering support the Foundation’s mission, the event will also feature celebrity bartender, Al B. Sure! and Julliard trained jazz pianist, Isaiah Thompson. 

Sandra Rice is one of three community members who approached the Union County College Foundation in 2014 about the educational outcomes concerning the College’s African-American students. From these early discussions, the Close the Gap campaign was born. “Since 2015, this campaign has had one of the greatest impacts on student success in the state. With exponential growth in the graduation rates as well as the increase in retention for African-American students, the Close the Gap campaign is truly accelerating the pace of student success,” said Doug Rouse, Foundation Executive Director. “Without Sandra’s leadership and support, our ability to move the needle on educational outcomes would be diminished.”

If you are interested supporting this year’s Close the Gap Virtual Cocktail Party, please visit  www.ucc.edu/CTG2020, or would like to learn more about how you can be the difference in a student’s life, please contact the  Union County College Foundation at (908) 709-7505 or email foundation@ucc.edu.