Sheela Murthy, founder and president of the Murthy Law Firm, was this year’s honorary chair for the Community College of Baltimore County’s (CCBC) annual fundraising gala – An International Affair: Passport to Global Education – held on April 13th in Baltimore. The event was a roaring success, and was attended by upwards of 700 people. It featured foods from around the world, live music and dancing, casino-style games, and an impressive array of items up for bid in the silent auction.
The event was a benefit for CCBC’s Center for Global Education, a project designed to increase global awareness on campus, suffusing the curriculum with international themes, sponsoring cross-cultural events, and providing overseas travel opportunities so students can immerse themselves in a new country and culture.
Last fall, the project received a $500,000 Challenge Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), which requires CCBC to raise a $1 million in matching funds to fully fund the new Center. [See Murthy Kicks Off Fundraising Drive for International Education, MurthyBlog, 29.Oct.2012.] Proceeds from the gala will help satisfy the 2-to-1 match requirement for the NEH Challenge Grant, provide scholarships and program support, and fund renovation of the historic Hilton Mansion on CCBC’s Catonsville Campus, the Center for Global Education’s new home.
As chair of the event and co-chair of CCBC’s Global Education Initiative, Murthy spoke to the capacity crowd about the importance of international education. Giving students firsthand experience of other cultures, she said, is life changing: it makes them better equipped for leadership in a rapidly changing global society, and ready to make the most of the international opportunities that come their way. It also helps change the world, one student at a time, bringing down cultural barriers and drawing people closer together, despite their differences.
Especially praiseworthy, Murthy said, is CCBC’s Student Alternative Break program, which allows students to travel safely overseas accompanied by CCBC faculty and staff. Instead of going to the beach over holiday breaks, the program gets students to trade in their swimsuits and free time to do service projects in other countries, fighting poverty, hunger, illiteracy, and environmental degradation. Murthy urged the audience to join her in supporting this invaluable work, noting that the Murthy Law Firm is a proud sponsor of the gala and of the Global Education Initiative.
It was a highly successful event: a showcase of global diversity and a great opportunity to promote cross-cultural education at Maryland’s largest community college.
Copyright © 2013, SHEELA MURTHY. All Rights Reserved