Gateway Honors First Niagara With the Naming of Its Library and Learning Commons

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

(Pictured from L to R: Library director, Dr. Clara Ogbaa, GCC President, Dr. Dorsey Kendrick, David R Managing Director, Enterprise Banking at First Niagara Bank and First Niagara Bank, First Niagara Vice President of Corporate Communications Karen Crane, James Bzdyra, Senior Vice-President, Market Executive for Commercial Banking at First Niagara and Thomas Griggs Jr., Chair of the Gateway Community College Foundation Board)

Representatives  from First Niagara Bank and Gateway Community College (GCC) celebrated the naming of the college’s First Niagara Library and Learning Commons with a June 10 ribbon cutting and reception.  The new library was made possible in part through a charitable grant from First Niagara Foundation, the philanthropic arm of First Niagara Bank, N.A.  
The naming celebration took place in the light of Gateway’s iconic radius of windows in the two-story space that combines traditional library and media center functions with classrooms, computer centers and study spaces.
“The First Niagara Library and Learning Commons serves as the heart of all learning,” said GCC President Dorsey Kendrick. “We are so grateful for David Ring and his team and their generous support for our students and our mission. It is this kind of leadership that assures that our students will have every opportunity and chance at success.”
Housed on the first and second floors of the GCC campus, the striking space contains reading areas for more than 400 people with administrative spaces throughout. The first floor is the library quiet zone which houses magazines, journals and newspapers and group study rooms. There is also a special Kids’ Cove for the college’s Early Learning Center.  The second floor features the learning commons where visitors can access research, borrow graphing calculators, e-readers and laptops. This space also houses a computer lab, C-pod study areas and workstations and adapted resource rooms for students with special needs.
“First Niagara is a proud supporter of Gateway Community College and of our role in helping to bring this beautiful campus to downtown New Haven,” said First Niagara Region President David Ring.  “The library and learning commons – with its iconic curved wall of glass — is the epicenter of this magnificent state-of-the-art campus and we are honored to have it bear First Niagara’s name.”
According to Clara Ogbaa, director of the Library and Learning Commons, “Over the course of the year an average of 6,000 students use the library and learning commons weekly. This adds up to more than 316, 000 visits per year.”
“The Gateway Community College Foundation is so grateful and proud to be partnered with First Niagara Bank,” said Tom Griggs Jr., chairman of the GCC Foundation Board. “The Library and Learning Commons is as functional as it is beautiful. The impact of the aesthetics and utility says to students that they matter. They are important and deserve the very best. Without generous investors like First Niagara, this would not be possible.”
The First Niagara Library and Learning Commons is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. during the summer intersession and from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Mondays through Thursdays, to 5:00 p.m. on Fridays and until noon on Saturdays during while fall and spring classes are in session. For more information about the First Niagara Library and Learning Commons visit