Central announces 175th Anniversary Gala and honorary co-chairs


When Central hosts its 175th Anniversary Gala, two longtime community leaders will be there to ensure it’s a night to remember.

Central Connecticut State University President Zulma R. Toro recently announced the appointment of New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart and Chief Executive Officer and President of the Travelers Foundation Marlene Ibsen as co-chairs of the Honorary Committee for the gala.

The event, sponsored by Travelers, will be held on Saturday, Nov. 2, and mark a significant milestone in the university’s history. 

Mayor Stewart is a 2009 graduate of Central and brings years of leadership and community service to the Honorary Committee. As the longest serving female mayor in New Britain's history, Stewart has been instrumental in driving economic growth and community revitalization in the city.

Ibsen, a prominent leader in corporate philanthropy and community relations, also serves as vice president of Community Relations for Travelers. In that role she manages the company’s charitable giving and community-related employee engagement activities. Her strategic approach to philanthropy has significantly contributed to academic and career success, thriving neighborhoods, and culturally enriched communities.

“We are thrilled to have Mayor Stewart and Marlene Ibsen as co-chairs of our Honorary Committee for this special occasion,” said President Toro. “Their leadership and dedication to community service align perfectly with the values and mission of Central Connecticut State University.  

“I am very grateful to Travelers for its support as lead sponsor of the gala,” Toro added.

The 175th Anniversary Gala will celebrate Central’s rich history and contributions to higher education, as well as its commitment to academic excellence and community engagement. The event will feature distinguished speakers, live and silent auctions, and the opportunity to connect with alumni, faculty, students, and friends of the university. Proceeds from the gala will benefit the university’s Annual Fund, which supports scholarships, academic programs, and campus improvements.

Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Executive Director of the CCSU Foundation Jennifer Destefani noted, “I am very much looking forward to working with our co-chairs and all involved to make the 175th Anniversary Gala a tremendous success. Their dedication and support will help us create a memorable celebration.” 

For more information about the 175th Anniversary Gala and to purchase tickets, contact the Central Office of Institutional Advancement at 860-832-1767.