October 27, 2021 Melissa Lamar

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As part of Tunxis Community College’s 50th anniversary celebrations, nearly 90 faculty, staff, friends and family members gathered on Oct. 15 in Tunxis Library for a reception and unveiling of a formal portrait of president emeritus Cathryn Addy, Ph.D., who served from 1993-2017 as the college’s fourth and longest-serving president.

“Dr. Addy hired me in 2014 and I had the privilege of working for—and alongside her—for several years that followed,” said Darryl Reome, Ed.D., Tunxis campus CEO. “Today, I am delighted to honor her work and legacy here at Tunxis,” he continued, noting the location on the Library’s second floor was a fitting place for Addy’s portrait to hang given her background as a published author and educator in the literary field.

(L to R): Cathryn Addy, Ph.D., Darryl Reome, Ed.D., and James DeCesare take a moment next to the portrait painting, by the wall where it will be hung.

During her 24 years of service, she oversaw the college’s growth in enrollment and a physical plant expansion that included acquisition of two properties, securing leased space, and major construction, all of which resulted in three additional buildings on campus and a presence in downtown Bristol.

“To all the Tunxis people present and former, I have missed you all so much,” said Addy, who since retiring has served in interim president positions at two New Hampshire community colleges. “I think of this portrait as a symbol of all of us, not just as a picture of me, because we are honoring our past and we’re honoring our shared history,” she continued as she reminisced about her time on campus. “I know that the reputation Tunxis has always had in our communities has been stellar, and I think it’s because of everybody here.”

Award-winning portrait painter, educator and Tunxis adjunct art instructor James DeCesare donated his time and expertise for the life-size oil-on-canvas portrait, which took many months of online collaboration to complete during the pandemic.

“I really had to jump at the opportunity to honor you with this painting,” DeCesare said to Addy. “As a young adjunct when I came here, I really was amazed at how you were quick to let me be known by you and to support and encourage.”

DeCesare’s work has been honored by regional and national juried exhibitions, with a growing list of public and private commissions including pieces for health care and education organizations, museums and libraries. He lectures to students and faculty of Connecticut colleges on the topic of creativity in the digital age.

Located in Farmington, Tunxis offers more than 70 associate degree and certificate programs that prepare students for transfer to bachelor’s degree programs and employment in areas with industry need. Tunxis 50th anniversary events celebrating the college’s opening in 1970 will continue throughout 2021 since original plans changed last year during the pandemic.