Importance of giving back

Area residents received a reminder about the importance of being involved in our community and finding ways to give back Monday evening.

That’s when Eastern Gateway Community College officially dedicated the main building on its Steubenville campus in the memory of Arthur D’Anniballe.

The Arthur J. D’Anniballe Academic Building — it’s an appropriate honor for a man who was heavily involved in the formation of what was originally called Jefferson Technical Institute. His work and the efforts of others, including the late Joe Michl, the longtime editor and publisher of the Herald-Star, laid the groundwork for what we now know as Eastern Gateway Community College.

“D’Anniballe was such a visionary. He was the type of person who was able to see the importance of education and getting our future generations prepared to go out and do what they are supposed to do,” state Sen. Frank Hoagland said while presenting a proclamation during Monday’s event. “I see that happening right now.

“My hat is off to him for being able to see the importance of making sure our future generations are adequately trained,” the Mingo Junction Republican added.

Education is a critical component in the future growth of our region. And because of that, it’s important that area residents have access to the type of programs and training that a community college like Eastern Gateway can offer.

“We’re constantly getting businesses that want to come into the office in Columbus and talk about the expansion that’s going on in our area,” Hoagland continued. “I don’t think there is a trade that we haven’t touched yet that’s going to need to be filled in the near future.”

EGCC has seen its mission change several times since it first opened on Sept. 23, 1968. It’s also had several names — it has gone by Jefferson Technical College and Jefferson Community College. D’Anniballe played a big role in those transformations, serving on the board of trustees for 26 years — 19 as chair — before stepping down in 1992.

In addition to working with the company he founded in 1949, D’Anniballe and Co., he served on the boards and was involved with many area organizations, including the Jefferson Metropolitan Housing Authority; the chamber of commerce; the former Miners and Mechanics Savings and Trust and Ohio Valley Savings and Loan; the United Way of Jefferson County; the Century Club at the Franciscan University of Steubenville; the J.C. Williams Trust; and the Steubenville Big Red Boosters Club.

It all added up to a person who worked hard for residents of the area.

“When I think about Art D’Anniballe, I think about words like loyalty — loyalty to this institution and loyalty to this community,” said Ed Florak, a retired president of the community college. “He was fully committed to this institution.

‘When I think of public service, I think of someone who’s dedicated to whatever mission or cause that they volunteer for. I think he represented the supreme volunteer.”

Florak said the support he received from D’Anniballe was critical.

“He was the kind of leader who didn’t lean on other people,” he explained. “He had a great deal of respect for what we were trying to accomplish. As he said to me, ‘we hired you to run the educational programs — we’ll look after the budget.”

That commitment to the school has not been lost on Jimmie Bruce, EGCC’s current president.

“When I moved to Steubenville and became president here back in the fall of 2015, we were in the midst of a levy campaign, and everywhere I went people talked about Jeff Tech. They’d talk about Jeff Tech. And then they’d talk more about Jeff Tech.

“That’s because the foundation of what EGCC is today started with Jefferson Technical Institute. And the person who was instrumental in that was Arthur D’Anniballe,” Bruce continued. “I heard many stories, and I continue to hear stories about the work that Art did in the early years to make the land that this college is located on possible and to help create this institution.”

All of that makes the decision to name the building in D’Anniballe’s honor a fitting tribute.

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Congratulations are in order for several members of our staff who were recognized on May 4 when the Ohio Associated Press Media Editors handed out its annual awards at the Hilton Columbus at Easton Town Center.

Sports editor Joe Catullo took first place for best sports photo in Division II. The Herald-Star staff claimed first place in the best special section category for The Gridiron 2018, our annual high school football preview section. The staff also earned a second-place award in best sports enterprise for Football Extra, our weekly preview of the area’s high school football action. Catullo, sports writer Andrew Grimm and the staff earned a third-place award in the best daily sports section category.

Each member of our staff works hard every day to ensure we can offer our readers the region’s most comprehensive news report. Their efforts have been recognized by their peers as being among the best in the state, and I hope you’ll join me in recognizing them.

(Gallabrese, a resident of Steubenville, is executive editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times.)

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