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Alice Holloway Young celebrated at MCC Foundation award ceremony

Dr. Alice Holloway Young.jpg
provided by MCC
Alice Holloway Young was awarded MCC Foundation's Salute to Excellence award for volunteerism on Thursday.

Monroe Community College Foundation celebrated a legendary educator in Rochester last week.

Alice Holloway Young, 99, was awarded the foundation’s Salute to Excellence Award for volunteerism.

Holloway Young was a founding trustee of MCC in 1961, and has dedicated much of her life to instilling the value of education in students and community members.

“It's been a privilege of mine to get to know her over the 11 years that I have worked at MCC,” said Gretchen Wood, executive director of the foundation. "She is truly an inspiration, and it was an absolute privilege to have the opportunity to recognize her in this way.”

Her son, Rodney Young, 75, accepted the award on her behalf on Thursday during a ceremony at the Riverside Convention Center in front of about 300 people.

In his speech, Young said he was forced to reflect on the “enormity of her commitment to MCC.”

“She would stand in graduation lines and shake every student's hand as they graduated,” he said.

Sometimes that meant shaking 2,500 hands, he said.

“They’d have to have a bucket full of ice water there so she could put her hand in to take the swelling down,” Young said. "She was proud to do it because she thought that each one crossing that stage had value, potential, and made an accomplishment that was worthy of a handshake.”

Holloway Young had a storied career. Among her many achievements, she was the first Black principal at the Rochester City School District and pioneered an urban-suburban program there that still exists today.

She received the Liberty Medal from a state senator in 2021, the same year that a city school was renamed in her honor.

Young said his mother suffered a stroke over the summer, but she is rehabilitating and continues to attend MCC board meetings remotely as an honorary trustee.

Noelle E. C. Evans is an education reporter/producer with a background in documentary filmmaking and education.