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District Home » GCCCD News » 2018 » Oct. 18 renaming for Samuel M. Ciccati Performing Arts Center

Oct. 18 renaming for Samuel M. Ciccati Performing Arts Center

Posted on: Oct 12, 2018 10:00:00 AM
In: District, Cuyamaca
Buildings and Facilities
Contact: Anne Krueger

New signage officially designating a Cuyamaca College cultural hub as the Samuel M. Ciccati Performing Arts Center and the Samuel M. Ciccati Performing Arts Theatre – in honor of the former college president for a $1 million gift – will be unveiled during an October 18 ceremony at the Rancho San Diego campus.

 The $1 million gift is the largest ever received by the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District and will go toward an endowment that will finance scholarships and assistance for Cuyamaca College students in perpetuity.

 “Selfless doesn’t begin to describe this generous contribution from Dr. Ciccati,” said Cuyamaca College President Julianna Barnes. “This gift will touch an untold number of students, will provide them with an opportunity to get a quality education at one of the most forward-thinking community colleges in California, and will allow them to have a seat at the table when it comes to the region’s economic development.”

Festivities get under way at 4 p.m. with a welcome and remarks by Barnes and Cindy Miles, chancellor of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District, before President Emeritus Ciccati addresses those in attendance. A plaque and signage will then be unveiled.

 Under terms of the gift, Ciccati will fund the donation over 10 years. Miles noted that Ciccati’s gift will complement the college district’s effort to open the doors to higher education for more students through the Grossmont & Cuyamaca College Promise scholarship, which began offering a free year of college to first-time, full-time students beginning this fall.

 Ciccati has supported students at both Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges even before his most recent donation. He financed four scholarships for students at Cuyamaca and Grossmont colleges through a fundraising campaign matched by the Bernard Osher Foundation that allows the grants to continually be offered each year. Ciccati’s brother, Daniel, who died in 2010, also funded a scholarship. In addition, Ciccati endowed four scholarships at the San Diego State University College of Education and one in men’s basketball.  He also endowed a scholarship at the Monarch School, a school for homeless children in San Diego.

 A first-generation American, Ciccati was working at an SDG&E power plant to help support his family when his boss encouraged him to enroll in college classes. Ciccati attended San Diego City College part time for two years before he transferred to San Diego State University, where he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees, then later received his doctorate from United States International University. 

Ciccati began teaching and worked as a counselor at Grossmont College until he was named a vice president of the college in 1976. In 1984, he was selected as the second president of Cuyamaca College, serving until 1993.

 Cuyamaca College is at 900 Rancho San Diego Parkway, 92019. Parking is free. The event comes as Cuyamaca College celebrates its 40th anniversary.

Samuel M. Ciccati Performing Arts Center

Samuel M. Ciccati Performing Arts Center

  • Grossmont
  • Cuyamaca
A Member of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District