What do Cybil Shepard, Brooke Shields, Cheryl Tiegs, and Farrah Fawcett have in common with American International College? They all owe a bit of gratitude to the Breck family. John H. Breck, the founder of Breck Shampoo, featured the famous models as “Breck Girls” in his shampoo advertising from the 1930s to the 1980s, but he also made possible the construction of the Breck Hall of Science at AIC in 1969.

John H. Breck, III, grandson of the founder of the Breck Shampoo company, returned to the American International College campus for the grand reopening of the Breck Hall of Science on Wednesday, March 27. The ceremony was held in Breck Hall, Room 109.

The renovations were made possible thanks to another generous gift from the Breck family, and the help of Congressman Richard E. Neal in securing federal funding.

“As an AIC graduate, I am thrilled that the Breck Hall of Science has been completely renovated and has reopened on the Main Campus,” Neal said.

“For more than a century, the college has helped transform the lives of thousands of students, and Breck Hall has been an important part of that history. Through the generosity of the Breck family, this 40-year-old facility has been reborn with a new entrance and state-of-the-art classrooms and laboratories. Today's announcement is truly a celebration of AIC's historic past and exciting future,” said Neal.

(l-r): Susanne Swanker, chair of the AIC Chemistry Dept., Frank Colaccino, chair of the AIC Board of Trustees, John H. Breck III, Todd Fritch, AIC Provost, Mark Berman, Executive Vice President of Administration, AIC.

John H. Breck, Sr., who used famous models as “Breck Girls” in his shampoo advertising from the 1940s to the 1980s, made possible the construction of the Breck Hall of Science at AIC in 1969. Now, thanks to a generous gift from the foundation established by Mr. Breck's son, John H. Breck, Jr. and daughter-in-law, Barbara N. Breck, and with the help of Congressman Richard E. Neal who secured federal funding for the project, Breck Hall has been renovated. Barbara Breck and her late husband, John H. Breck, Jr., residents of Longmeadow, are both graduates of the AIC class of 1940.

AIC provost Todd G. Fritch said, “Continued reinvestment in our instructional facilities and infrastructure is important for the continued success of our college, and critical to ensuring that our students receive the very best academic experience during their time at AIC. We are very grateful not only for the continued commitment by the Breck family to helping meet our student’s needs, but also to Congressman Neal's office for his continued support in securing federal funds for these academic reinvestments.”

Work on Breck began last summer, including the main entrance, corridors and the first floor. Three actively used classrooms received a transformation from an old, tired appearance with limited technology to a vibrant color, new flooring, freshly painted walls throughout the first floor and classrooms and art-filled entrance and corridors. Classroom renovations included all new stadium seating, state-of-the-art technology and, most importantly, a vastly enhanced teaching and learning environment.

The improvements, which cost more than $600,000, were made possible through a 2005 HUD Special Project Grant that addressed the infrastructure/mechanical improvements, a 2006 HUD Special Projects Grant secured by Congressman Richard Neal, and a gift of from the Breck Family.

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