GCC mourns loss of Rick Ensman, who served college for nearly 30 years
Press Release, GCC
BATAVIA – Richard G. Ensman Jr., of Rochester, passed away on May 9, having served Genesee Community College with great distinction since 1990. Through his nearly 30 years of dedicated service, Mr. Ensman was both the Director of the Department of External Affairs, as well as the Executive Director of the Genesee Community College Foundation and its 32-member Board of Directors.
In this dual capacity for almost three decades, Mr. Ensman was involved in all facets of GCC’s growth and development which included five capital projects at the Batavia Campus, the opening of six campus centers and also the purchase of College Meadows and its transformation into College Village, the student residence community adjacent to the main campus. Throughout all of the fundraising campaigns, including the most recent, “Creating Our Future Together” which resulted in the design and construction of GCC’s new Student Success Center and Richard C. Call Arena, Mr. Ensman’s unwavering motivation was fortifying student success and strengthening connections with the community.
He also helped found the College’s Alumni program, expand its Marketing Communications Office and establish a vast pool of scholarship opportunities that now numbers well over 200 separate funds. These draw together the unique interests and passions of donors in our community with the real needs and achievements of countless students, year after year.
Despite all Mr. Ensman’s accomplishments at GCC, he valued the work and dedication of those around him and he prioritized recognizing their efforts. He introduced the Foundation’s Alpha Medal of Service, a prestigious honor bestowed upon individuals at Commencement who demonstrate extraordinary commitment and service to the College. He helped found the Alumni Hall of Fame which currently recognizes 39 recipients. He encouraged the Marketing Communications Office to establish the “Recognition Matters” news series that highlights the accomplishments of GCC students, faculty and staff. And, Mr. Ensman long envisioned a unified office for the Department of External Affairs, which came to fruition this past fall.
“Rick was an integral member of our senior management team for many years. His dedication to the College’s mission of supporting students and helping them to achieve their goals was illustrated in countless ways,” said GCC President James M. Sunser. “Through literally hundreds if not thousands of scholarships, he touched the lives of many. What’s more, he inspired the same in others – from building our strong, dynamic donor and alumni communities, to encouraging staff as well as his colleagues to discover and embrace professional development opportunities – Rick had a huge heart. While he is already missed, his work and his vision will never leave us.”
He was a very active member of the Rotary Club of Batavia, and also strong supporter and proponent of the United Way. In 2014, Mr. Ensman was recognized by the Batavia Rotary Club as a Paul Harris Fellow, named after the founding member of the Rotary, and is the highest distinction Rotarians receive for service to their club and/or their community.
Beyond his professional work at GCC and his community service to the Rotary and United Way, Rick was passionate about hiking, especially in the Adirondack Mountains with his camera always at hand. He shared many of his amazing photographs, including sunsets, sunrises, mountain top views, foggy trails and tranquil lakefronts with his friends and family. He was also an avid member of CrossFit Ambition.
Mr. Ensman was born on September 2, 1954 in Rochester, New York, and graduated from Bishop Kearney High School in 1971. He received two degrees from the University of Rochester, a Bachelor of Science Degree, awarded with distinction in Social Science in 1976, and Master of Science Degree in Community Services in 1982.
Funeral services for Mr. Ensman will be held on Friday, May 17, at 10 a.m. at St. Monica’s Church, 831 Genesee Street in Rochester, NY 14611. Calling hours will be on Thursday, May 16, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Leo Bean Funeral home located at 2771 Chili Avenue, Rochester, NY 14624.