In a tradition stretching back 36 years, Concordia College and the Bronxville community gathered on campus to celebrate their deep ties at the annual Community Dinner. The evening began with a festive cocktail reception in the Brickyard. Guests then walked along a path to Sommer Center, where the stained glass windows picked up reflections of elegant floral arrangements in the candlelight.
Concordia’s President Dr. John Nunes gave the invocation and welcomed guests, sharing a few of the school’s exciting new initiatives, and reiterating the college’s commitment to positively impacting the quality of life in Bronxville as a respected and productive community member. Fittingly, The Hoch Chamber Music Series, a major contribution of Larry and Liz-Lim Dutton, the evening’s honorees, is a perfect example of the great things that can come from the special relationship between Bronxville and Concordia. This jewel in the cultural life of Westchester was jointly founded by Bronxville residents Jim and Mary Hoch and Larry Dutton, in collaboration with Concordia Conservatory’s Executive Director Kathleen Suss.
Concordia was delighted to welcome back several past honorees, including Randy and Corwin Frost, Janet George, Jim Hoch, Marcia Lee, Madryn and John Priesing, and Bob Seabring. President Nunes expressed his gratitude to past honorees Vicki and Si Ford for inviting Sarah Lawrence’s new president Cristle Collins Judd and her husband Bob, bringing together the two institutions to share in this celebration of long-term partnerships.
The Duttons’ close friend Ara Guzelimian, Dean of the Julliard School, spoke movingly of the couple’s talent for music and talent for living. Concordia Conservatory faculty (and frequent Hoch Chamber Music Series collaborators) Marija Ilic and Jon Klibinoff performed a musical tribute on piano. After dinner, President Nunes presented the Duttons with the President’s Award, honoring their role in founding the Hoch Series, and their numerous other examples of civic leadership. A highlight of the evening came when Liz and Larry themselves spoke. They talked about how many evenings they had spent at Sommer Center – not just performing, but listening to students, including their own children, perform. They expressed their gratitude at being honored here at home, among the community members who have played such a large role in their lives.
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