GCC names new arena after Richard C. Call

Posted 13 May 2016 at 12:00 am

An architectural rendering shows the new events arena under construction at GCC.

Press Release, GCC

BATAVIA – Genesee Community College’s Board of Trustees formally dedicated the new Event Center, to be located on GCC’s Batavia campus, in honor of longtime College supporter Richard C. Call, who passed away in August 2014.

President James M. Sunser had announced at the April 28, 2016 groundbreaking ceremony for the Event Center and the Student Success Center the trustees’ intention to name the 45,000 square foot structure the Richard C. Call Arena.

Trustee Maureen J. Marshall introduced the resolution to name the building in honor of Call, which trustees quickly approved to resounding applause.

Mr. Call was an advocate of the new Event Center and Creating Our Future Together, the fund raising campaign sponsored by the GCC Foundation in support of the Event Center and the new Student Success Center. Call was a member of the GCC Foundation Board from 2001 until his death in 2014. He was a strong proponent of volunteerism and philanthropy, and was one of the earliest supporters of the Conable Technology Building in the late 1990s.

Over many decades, Call and his brother, Robert, built Call Farms into a highly innovative and nationally-known agricultural enterprise. Call’s brother and the children of the two families continue to operate the farm. Not surprisingly, Call encouraged other agricultural leaders across the region to get behind the Creating Our Future Together campaign and make the Event Center possible.

Call was also a strong supporter of many community causes, and had a special interest in youth. In addition to his local volunteer commitments, he was well-known across the U.S. for his leadership in agricultural organizations. He was also a former member of the Board of Trustees of Cornell University.

Call usually worked quietly, and never sought recognition for his efforts, said Brian M. Daviau, president of the GCC Foundation.

“Dick listened much more than he spoke during Board meetings and Finance Committee meetings, but I learned over the years that he worked very hard on GCC Foundation business behind the scenes before and after every meeting,” Mr. Daviau said. “He was so deeply committed to the mission of Genesee Community College, and he did everything possible to build our programs and facilities, and provide for the needs of generations to come.”

GCC President James M. Sunser said that Mr. Call epitomized the ideals of generosity and citizenship.

“Dick believed that individuals could always make a difference, and should make a difference,” Dr. Sunser said. “He was an outstanding leader in his industry, and an outstanding community leader. He believed that service to others helps make our communities and our nation great. He was and is a role model for every one of us.”

The Richard C. Call Arena will be completed in early summer 2017. It will house a variety of athletic, business and regional events, and contain the largest expanse of open, flexible floor space in the GLOW region. The Richard C. Call Arena and the Student Success Center are being funded through a combination of New York State and Genesee County appropriations, as well as contributions from more than 500 local residents and business organizations.