Student Appreciation Award Luncheon


The Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program at Trocaire College, also known as TOP (Trocaire Opportunity Program), held its annual end-of-year Student Appreciation and Award Luncheon on Tuesday, May 20 in the school’s Commons.  Dr. Bassam M. Deeb, President of the college, welcomed the students and graduates. Dr. Ellen E. Grant, Second Deputy Mayor for the City of Buffalo, served as the keynote speaker.

This yearly celebration publicly identifies, recognizes, and celebrates the variety of academic achievements of deserving TOP students and graduates. TOP is sponsored jointly through Trocaire College and the NYS Education Department. The primary objective of TOP is to help provide a broad range of services to the student, who because of academic and economic circumstances, would otherwise be unable to attend a college, yet has the potential and desire to obtain a college degree.

Dr. Grant shared her personal story, growing up as a young black girl during the equal rights movement, and how she learned to focus on the positive. Grant cited the “Five P’s” that have helped her to grow personally and professionally – perseverance, piety, principles, power and prejudice (not being limited by it).

Dr. Grant told the students, “People will try to steal your dream or tell you, you’re not good enough. Please begin this day, this first of many good days to come, knowing that you are good enough! Good enough to take your life to the next level. Do not let anyone deny you.”

The average number of TOP students at Trocaire College is about twenty-eight.  In the fall 2013 and spring 2014 semesters, nearly a quarter of the TOP students made the Dean’s List – a significant achievement given the obstacles facing them.

For the same academic time period, almost half earned a GPA above 3.0. The program has been in existence since 2002 at Trocaire College.

For more information about the Trocaire Opportunity Program, please call 716-827-2562 or email Peg Babcock, TOP Director, at