The Connecticut National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) named Gateway Community College President, Dorsey L. Kendrick, Ph.D. to their list of the100 Most Influential African Americans. The recognition will be celebrated at a December 21 luncheon during the Connecticut NAACP annual conference which takes place this weekend at the Omni Hotel this weekend. Derrick Johnson, Mississippi NAACP state conference president, is scheduled as keynote speaker.
Dorsey Kendrick’s leadership and drive for excellence began at an early age. She was one of three African-American students to forge integration at Union University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. She continued her studies at Cardinal Stritch University toward an M.S. in Business Management and then earned her Ph.D. in Philosophy in Higher Education Administration from Walden University. Dr. Kendrick is also a graduate of the Institute of Education Management at Harvard University.
When Dorsey Kendrick assumed her role as President of Gateway Community College in 1999, it marked the beginning of a new era for the college and for New Haven. “I plan to leave my footprints on this college,” she stated at her inauguration, “and with the help of my staff and this community, we will make future footprints of hope. I plan to leave a trademark of laughter, joy, happiness and respect.”
True to her word, Dr. Kendrick has made an indelible impression on the college and the community. Within her first 8 years, the GCC’s enrollment grew by 100%. Four years later GCC claimed the number one spot as the largest of Connecticut’s 12 community colleges. At the same time, program offerings and community partnerships were significantly expanded in response to community workforce needs in the areas of nursing, allied health, green technologies, education, business, and continuing education. Partnerships and collaborations were formed with industry leaders to develop programs and opportunities for GCC students.
“I join the Board of Regents and the ConnSCU system in congratulating Dr. Kendrick on being one of the NAACP’s most influential black leaders in Connecticut,” said Board of Regents President Gregory Gray. “Dr. Kendrick’s vision of higher education has benefitted countless Gateway Community College students and played an important role in revitalizing New Haven’s downtown. Her advocacy and leadership ensure opportunity for Connecticut students and that a new generation workforce is prepared for the rigors of the 21st century job market.”
To date, the crowning achievement of Dorsey Kendrick’s tenure in Connecticut is the realization of Gateway’s new, four-story, LEED Gold certified campus in downtown New Haven, which opened in August 2012. Fueled by her conviction that students deserve the very best learning environment possible, she led the charge to build a new campus. This was ultimately accomplished through an unprecedented collaboration of city, state and private enterprise, each playing a major part in the realization of her vision for Gateway Community College.
“I am grateful for this recognition and honored to be counted among the others on this list, all of whom I hold in high regard,” Dorsey Kendrick said. “It brings significance to the important work that has yet to be done on behalf all of those—from every walk of life, ethnicity, race and culture—that we serve on a daily basis.”