October 1st, 2021
GC Robotics fund named for Vianne Bell
Robotics one of many initiatives Bell supported during Board tenure
Former Garrett College Trustee Vianne Bell, center, was recognized on Wednesday for her Board service and philanthropic activities with the renaming of the GC Robotics Fund in her honor. Also pictured, left to right, are Garrett College President Dr. Richard Midcap, Garrett College Foundation Board Vice-Chair Carissa Rodeheaver, Garrett College Foundation Executive Director Cherie Krug, and Garrett College Dean of Academic Affairs Dr. Ryan Harrod.
The GC Robotics Fund has been renamed for Vianne Bell, for whom robotics was one of the many initiatives she supported during 16 years as a member of the Garrett College Board of Trustees.
The name change for the fund, which is awarded through the Garrett College Foundation (GCF), was recently approved by the Garrett College Board of Trustees. The fund is used to promote science, technology, engineering and math education as well as students in STEM majors.
"The Foundation enthusiastically supports the Board of Trustees' decision to name the fund for Vianne," said GCF Executive Director Cherie Krug. "Vianne is a long-time supporter of GC Robotics, including playing a leadership role in fundraising for the College robotics team."
"We're very pleased to be able to name this fund for Vianne," said Garrett College President Dr. Richard Midcap. "Robotics is one of many worthy endeavors to which Vianne devoted her time and talent while on the Board of Trustees."
Bell was a member of the Board of Trustees from 2005 until July 2021. She served five terms as board chair and three as vice-chair, including serving as chair during the College's renovation of its previous Continuing Education building into the state-of-the-art Offutt STEM Center.
Bell – who previously partnered with Dr. Qing Yuan to host Chinese New Year's Fundraising Parties in the Bell home that benefited many Garrett College funds, including robotics – expressed her appreciation "for the honor of having the Robotics Fund of the Garrett College Foundation named after me."
She also praised the GCF leadership, which raised nearly $2.5 million in a STEM capital campaign before moving onto its current project, a $2.5 million endowment campaign for the Performing Arts Center at Garrett College.
"The Garrett College Foundation is in very good hands," said Bell. "Cherie Krug has provided excellent leadership along with [Foundation Board Chair] Susie Crawford and [Foundation Board Vice-Chair] Carissa Rodeheaver."
Bell also praised the work of Phil Malone, who oversees the Garrett Engineering and Robotics Society (GEARS), and Yuan, who worked with Malone to launch a Garrett College robotics team that competed internationally against other community colleges as well as two- and four-year universities.
"And this little two-year college held its own and won several top awards," noted Bell.