EGCC’s business program gets a boost | News, Sports, Jobs


STEUBENVILLE — Eastern Gateway Community College administrator Christine Dennison and her husband, Phillip, have left their mark on the school’s business program.

The Dennisons, Youngstown residents, recently donated $250,000 to establish the Christine and Phillip Dennison School of Business and Leadership, which will officially launch in January, at the start of the Spring 2023 term.

“This generous donation from two true servants of the community is a great validation of the work that our faculty, staff and students have put in to ensure a high quality business program, both in person and online, is offered at Eastern Gateway”, said EGCC President Michael Geoghegan. “We also hope to inspire our business students, with great role models like the Dennisons, to achieve great things in their careers and give back to their communities.”

Geoghegan said that by bringing together business and related programs, such as accounting, business management and economics, under one banner, “We are certainly looking to build a stronger community for students and connect those in Steubenville with their peers across the country.”

“In addition, this donation will provide us with resources to invest directly in teaching and learning,” he added. “This will help us recruit high quality leaders for the school, as well as provide our faculty with enhanced resources to ensure our students receive a high quality education.

He said business degrees are among EGCC’s most sought-after degree programs, thanks in large part to the Gateway Guarantee and its free college partnerships. “As a result, what we’re hearing is that students in these programs are less concerned about cost and more about how we can improve our programs,” said Geoghegan. “That’s our goal with this donation.”

Christine Dennison retired after eight years of teaching full-time in the marketing department of the Williamson College of Business Administration at Youngstown State University. She has also served as a gift planning consultant for the United Way and the Community Foundation of Mahoning Valley and has volunteered on the United Way Fund Allocations Committee. She served as a board member and chaired a fundraising campaign for the Youngstown Hearing and Speech Center. Prior to that, she worked for 15 years at IBM in Youngstown and Detroit in the administration and marketing divisions. She was also a secondary school teacher for 6 years. She was a member of Leadership Youngstown and nominated by Athena. She earned her Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude at YSU where she also earned an MBA. She received her Masters in Education from the University of Edinboro, Pennsylvania. She was appointed as a trustee of the EGCC in 2015 and currently chairs the school board’s Student Success Committee.

Phillip Dennison, CPA, is Director Emeritus at Packer Thomas, a regional accounting firm. He is Chairman of the Board of the Western Reserve Health Foundation. He is also a board member and treasurer of Youngstown Cityscapes, receiving their Grass Roots Award. He is chairman of a Grow Mahoning Valley committee, the East Gate Regional Council of Governments, and past president of the Youngstown Warren Regional Chamber of Commerce. He chaired a successful $3 million annual campaign for United Way of Mahoning County. He was also a member of Leadership Youngstown and earned his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from YSU.

“Community colleges are the backbone of our communities, and business and leadership are the heart of it,” said Christine Dennison. “Giving back to the college which continues to work tirelessly to improve our communities is an incredible opportunity for us. It is an honor to be part of the history of Eastern Gateway and the next generation of business leaders and professionals.

Her husband said EGCC’s business and leadership programs are successful “because of the students, faculty and management of the college. We are extremely grateful to help help students achieve their career goals and aspirations. »

“The Board of Directors was honored to accept this gift from one of our own… who is truly ‘walking the walk’ to help build a stronger eastern gateway,” EGCC Board Chairman Jim Gaisor said. “The Christine and Phillip Dennison School of Business and Leadership will be something we can all be proud of.”

The change will take effect in the Spring 2023 semester, which begins in January. At that time, the school name will appear on official college documents, such as student reports and records.

“Business students and faculty will benefit greatly from the generous support of Dennison’s gift,” said John Crooks, Senior Vice President and Chief Academic Officer of EGCC. “The Dennison School of Business and Leadership will advance the college’s vision of ‘Creating Opportunity and Changing Lives.’ This school is worth naming strong supporters of our students and local professionals and business owners. »

EGCC spokeswoman Amanda Wurst said they still hope to increase participation and interest in learning in Steubenville and Jefferson County.

“We heard that some don’t know that we have programs like accounting and business,” she says. “These are great programs for recent high school seniors to start in a more affordable middle school before moving on to a four-year college.”

Geoghegan, meanwhile, said it was extremely important for a board member to feel empowered to make such a commitment to the school.

“It’s a true testament to the incredible work of our business faculty, staff and students who have proven themselves to be a great investment,” he said. “For the college as a whole, it is humbling, especially as we are going through a time of transition and challenge, to have members of our community not only supporting us, but standing by our side to ensure that we let’s come out stronger than before. (It’s) encouraging and certainly motivating.

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