Eastern Gateway Community College

Eastern Gateway Dedicates Building to Humphries

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – To have a building named after yourself in return for the work you put in during your professional career is beyond what anyone expects to happen and it’s a very humbling experience, says Thomas Humphries.

“You go out and you do what you’re supposed to do in life and you try to do it well,” Humphries says. “You hope there is a positive outcome and for this building to be here is amazing.”

Humphries is the former president and CEO of the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber, where he retired in 2017 after serving for 20 years.

Eastern Gateway Community College’s building at 101 E. Federal St. was dedicated last night as the Thomas Humphries Hall in honor of the man who helped bring the community college to the Mahoning Valley 10 years ago.

“Mr. Humphries has dedicated himself to education in this Valley and we can’t thank him enough for all the things he’s done for us,” said Arthur Daly, vice president at Eastern Gateway. “He was instrumental in starting the communication about having a community college here in Youngstown.”

Eastern Gateway President Jimmie Bruce, Thomas Humphries and Eastern Gateway Vice President Arthur Daly cut the ribbon at the newly named building.

Humphries recalls sitting down with former Youngstown State University President David Sweet in 2007 and talking about the void of a community college in the area.

“Twelve years ago there were 13 counties in Ohio that had over 200,000 people in those counties and Trumbull and Mahoning counties were the only ones in that 13 that did not have a community college,” he said.

Humphries began working with Sweet, former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland and Eric Fingerhut, former chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents, to help open a community college.

The college opened in 2009 with classes in local high schools and trade schools and eventually moved into the building downtown in 2012.

Last year, Eastern Gateway launched an internal campaign to name its building. “Only one name rose to the top, and that was Tom Humphries,” said Eastern Gateway President Jimmie Bruce. “We wanted to pick someone special in the community who had a hand in bringing Eastern Gateway to fruition.”

Today, Thomas Humphries Hall includes a bookstore, learning resource center and two classroom wings.

Humphries remains be active in the community as a member of the Ohio Board of Regents and Chemical Bank Mahoning Valley advisory committee. He is still involved with the chamber, working on behalf of the Chamber Foundation, the Warren Trumbull County Community Improvement Corp. and remains the president of the Youngstown Central Area Community Improvement Corp.

Thomas Humphries speaks to the crowd about Eastern Gateway Community College naming its building after him.

“This is the fastest growing community college in the country,” Humphries said. “It’s thanks to the administration and the students. Your hard work pays off for yourself and the community.”

Eastern Gateway offers business, health care, human services and technology programs to its students downtown and online. Last week the college began moving in equipment to the renovated Harshman Building across the street, where it is expanding its health and workforce programming.

“There are great things happening at Eastern Gateway and we’re excited for many more to come in the future,” said Bruce.

Pictured at top: Thomas Humphries, former president and CEO of the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.