By Alicia Cook
On Thursday, September 13, Bloomfield College unveiled the Bestfoods Educational Foundation Center in the Library. The College celebrated the occasion by welcoming Dick Bergeman, Gale Griffin, Rainer Mimberg, and Luis Schuchinski, members of the Bestfoods Educational Foundation Board of Trustees; Bestfoods Scholars of past and present; and members of the Bloomfield College community.
“What Bestfoods has done for Bloomfield College is terrific,” said William H. Turner, Chairman of the Bloomfield College Board of Trustees. “I am so happy to be here today to celebrate this partnership between a terrific Foundation and a great college.”
“The work that Bestfoods has done is so incredibly impactful and meaningful. They’ve assisted over 1,000 of our students in continuing their educations. Bestfoods and Bloomfield College recognize that there is no future without an educated population,” said Richard A. Levao, College President. “Bestfoods Educational Foundation’s giving is one of the most generous amounts of external support in the 150-year history of Bloomfield College.”
Since 2002, the Bestfoods Educational Foundation has been a generous supporter of Bloomfield College. Over one decade ago, the Bestfoods Educational Foundation gifted the College with $2.89 million for student scholarships, the largest gift received from a foundation in the history of the College. This giving led to more than 1,100 students benefiting from the Foundation’s generosity. Just this year, Bestfoods returned after nearly 10 years to bestow the College with $1 million in memory of Alain Labergere, Bestfoods executive vice president and president, Bestfoods Europe.
“You don’t know me, but you are the reason why I am a success today,” said Adebola Taiwo ’09, acknowledging the Bestfoods Edcational Foundation Board directly. Taiwo, a former Bestfoods Scholar and current member of the College’s Board, went on to share the financial struggles she endured as an undergraduate student, which eventually led to her dropping out. Bestfoods gave her another chance with a scholarship. “Bestfoods fosters the educations of people they do not know. That is selfless. It inspired me to begin my own scholarship at Bloomfield College once I graduated. It has grown to 10 times what it was when it was established in 2009. Bestfoods, you have changed a lot of our lives. I came from nothing. Now, I can give back, because of people like you.”
This significant relationship is thanks to Rosemary Iversen, Vice Chair of the Bloomfield College Board of Trustees, and her husband, Al. The Iversen family introduced the College to the Bestfoods Educational Foundation through Luis and Vivian Schuchinski. Schuchinski was serving as vice president of Bestfoods at the time. In 2011, the College bestowed to him an honorary degree. Now, the College is celebrating a nearly 20-year partnership with Bestfoods.
“Bestfoods has always wanted to find places where we could make a difference. A place that our contribution could change things and advance lives. Bloomfield College has always been a supreme example of that,” said Luis Schuchinski (Hon. ’11). “Thank you for letting Bestfoods do good.”