A time-honored tradition returned to campus this year with the 60th Annual President’s Reception, held on June 2, in the Pettit Atrium of the Shields Science Center. Creating Ripples was the theme of the evening, highlighting the City of Brockton Scholarship Program at Stonehill.

“The City of Brockton Scholarship will have an impact that goes far beyond our students as our local scholars receive an outstanding education that they will bring with them into their personal and professional lives after graduation,” President John Denning, C.S.C. said of the scholarship program that supports the educational journeys of Brockton residents and Brockton High School graduates. 

At the event, Brockton Mayor Robert Sullivan and President John Denning, C.S.C. spoke with Brockton High School graduates who are now attending Stonehill. 

Fr. Denning thanked community members for supporting Stonehill and helping to create student opportunities that extend well beyond campus. 

The event also honored James Blake, recently retired CEO of HarborOne Bank, with the President’s Award for Excellence. 

“As HarborOne grew beyond southeastern Massachusetts into a publicly traded company, you never left our community behind. You have been a valued, loyal and steady partner to Stonehill and always supported us as we grew,” said Fr. Denning as he presented the award. “You were instrumental in helping us establish the MacPháidín Library, in partnering with the College on initiatives to further the development of the downtown Brockton area, and we are grateful that the doors of HarborOne were always open to Stonehill students and graduates.”

Blake, who retired this past May after 50 years in the community banking business, spoke about the importance of mentorship in his life, encouraging the business and community leaders in the room to give people in their organizations opportunities to develop and show their talent.

Impact of Mentorship

After receiving the President's Award for Excellence, retired CEO of HarborOne James Blake spoke about the impact of mentorship in his life and career. Recalling two mentors who "took him under their wing" when he first started out in banking, Blake shared how they gave him a chance while challenging and supporting him.

The President’s Reception, which took a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, brings together community members, neighbors, business partners, alumni and friends.