Family and friends of Wolcott J. (Jay) Humphrey III, who died suddenly in September 2001, have established the Wolcott J. Humphrey III Symposium on Leadership and Community Life at Genesee Community College in his memory, James L. Vincent, a friend and business associate of the late Mr. Humphrey, announced today. The Symposium will bring a speaker with a regional or national reputation to Genesee Community College once each year to discuss the subject of leadership with current and emerging civic and business leaders.
The Symposium will be financed with ongoing earnings from an endowment fund established with the Genesee Community College Foundation to support the event. Organizers of the Symposium have set a goal of $250,000 for the endowment fund. Supporters have already contributed over $236,000, Mr. Vincent said.
Mr. Humphrey served as Chairman of Genesee Community College's Board of Trustees at the time of his death. He had been a trustee since 1996, and he had been active for many years prior to that as a member of the Genesee Community College Foundation Board of Directors. Mr. Humphrey was also active in numerous charitable and business organizations throughout the region and the state.
The initiative to create the Symposium came from members of Mr. Humphrey's family, according to Richard Ensman, Director of Development and External Affairs at Genesee. "Jay brought unique leadership qualities to the table in everything he did," Mr. Ensman said. "He raised provocative questions and always managed to get other people thinking about things in new ways. He constantly 'pushed the envelope'. He encouraged people to do things they never thought they could do. Jay's family and friends thought that a symposium that would foster leadership would be a fitting tribute to his life."
The Symposium will focus on many different facets of leadership in the years ahead, according to Mr. Vincent. "Leadership is a broad and complex subject," he said. "Each year we'll pick a speaker who can explore leadership in a unique way. Hopefully people who participate in the Symposium will leave with new ideas they can use in their personal and professional lives."
A symposium is an academic or professional event that explores a subject in depth. Colleges and universities often host symposia on a wide variety of topics. The Wolcott J. Humphrey III Symposium on Leadership and Community Life will be a "practical" event, offering information and ideas useful to civic, business, and professional people from all backgrounds, Mr. Vincent said. The first Symposium will consist of a keynote address by a guest speaker, as well as a panel discussion led by local business and community leaders.
Mr. Vincent is chairing a committee of individuals who knew and worked with Mr. Humphrey to plan the first Symposium, scheduled for this fall. The committee plans to announce details of the first event within the next month. Committee members include Ann Dwyer, a local veterinarian; Bart Dambra, President and CEO of Markin Tubing; Wolcott J. (Bud) Humphrey, Jay's father; Charles Cook, President and CEO of Liberty Pumps, Inc.; Diane Torcello, an official of Pavilion State Bank; Glenn R. Morton, attorney; Jon J. Cooper, President and CEO of Wyoming County Bank; Martin Culik, Executive Director of Cornell Cooperative Extension; Claudia Moore, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs At Genesee Community College; Neil Burns, retired business executive and community volunteer; Jay Gsell, Genesee County Manager; Raymond SanFratello, former President of the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce; Barbara Shine, Director of Workforce Development at Genesee Community College; Stuart Steiner, President of Genesee Community College; and Mr. Vincent, President and CEO of L-Brooke Farms.
The event will be funded each year through earnings from the Wolcott J. Humphrey III Symposium Endowment Fund. Contributions to the fund may be made to Genesee Community College Foundation, One College Road, Batavia, NY 14020.