News from Montgomery College

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Date: December 2, 2002 (02-73)
Contact: Dave Willingham, 240-567-7970; Pager: 301-930-0972
               Steve Simon, 240-567-7952

Two Montgomery College Notables Honored
At 2002 Montgomery County
’s Ball
Awards Salute Benefactor and Director of Humanities Institute

            Two of the seven honorees at the 2002 Montgomery County Executive’s Ball are vitally connected to Montgomery College.  Dr. Myrna Goldenberg, director of the College’s Paul Peck Humanities Institute and a long-time MC English professor, is the recipient of the Comcast, Inc. Achievement in the Humanities Award.  Meanwhile, Paul Peck, a major donor to Montgomery College arts and humanities programs -- including the Humanities Institute named for him -- is this year’s recipient of the Marriott International Arts and Humanities Patron Award for Excellence.

            In the awards presentation, Dr. Goldenberg was recognized as a “gifted teacher, noted scholar, and passionate advocate for the humanities.”  During her 30 years as a Montgomery College professor, she has pioneered the inclusion of women’s studies and cultural studies in community college curricula.  Her teachings and writings on the role of women in the Holocaust have contributed significantly to the understanding of that epic tragedy.

            A crown jewel of Dr. Goldenberg’s distinguished career is the Montgomery College Paul Peck Humanities Institute, which she founded in 1997 and continues to lead.  Through the Institute and Dr. Goldenberg’s initiative, Montgomery College has become the only institution of higher learning of any kind to partner with the Smithsonian Institution for both student internships and faculty fellowships.

            In total, Peck has contributed nearly $3 million to Montgomery College, in support of various arts and humanities programs, including his initial $1.3 million gift, which helped to launch the Humanities Institute named for him. That donation helped to leverage a $1.5 million challenge grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.  Peck’s leadership and ties to the Smithsonian also played a major part in its forging a relationship with the College.

“It is fitting that Paul Peck and Myrna Goldenberg, who have worked so diligently together in building the Humanities Institute and in serving the entire Montgomery College community, are being honored together at the Executive’s Ball,” said College President Charlene R. Nunley.

Peck, a McLean, Virginia computer systems manager and private investor, has a longstanding commitment to education.  He has contributed to a number of institutions and also is founder, benefactor, chairman, and chief executive officer of the Stand Tall and Reach (STAR) Scholarship Program.  STAR is a not-for-profit organization that provides hundreds of scholarships annually for meritorious minority students in high school, in various communities, including Montgomery County, Washington, D.C. and Arlington, Virginia. 

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