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Bill Mitchell is Discovery Gala Honoree

Funds will support a collegiate recovery program at SHU

Honoree Bill Mitchell, left, and Master of Ceremonies Jim Nantz

Sacred Heart University will honor Bill Mitchell at the 29th annual Discovery Gala planned for Friday, June 22, with its 2018 Discovery Award. For the second consecutive year, the event will take place at SHU’s new West Campus, the former General Electric corporate headquarters. It will include a special performance by the Midtown Men, and all proceeds will support a collegiate recovery program at Sacred Heart.

Mitchell, a lifelong resident of Westport, has been a dedicated member of the SHU board of trustees since June 2002. He is the former co-owner of Mitchell Stores, a three-generation family business that operates men’s and women’s specialty clothing stores that are nationally renowned for their personal service and strong customer relationships.

He is a former president of the Westport Rotary Club, a deacon at Saugatuck Congregational Church and an honorary chair at the Interfaith Housing Association. He has also served on boards at the Jewish Home for the Elderly, St. Vincent’s Medical Center and the Inner City Foundation for Charity and Education. He has three sons, Scott, Chris and Tyler, and has lived in Westport with his wife, Sue, for the last 47 years.

In recovery himself since 1990, Mitchell has been a committed friend and mentor to several SHU students who are currently in recovery and tirelessly advocates for recovery-related projects.

“I am honored to be selected for Sacred Heart’s Discovery Award but, more importantly, I am thrilled to be part of a fundraiser that will support students in recovery,” Mitchell said. “There are approximately 250,000 college students in this country who have, at some time, received treatment for alcohol or drug use. Providing these services on college campuses needs to be a priority.”

Jim Nantz, a sports commentator for CBS and a good friend of Mitchell’s, will serve as master of ceremonies for the event. Nantz, who joined CBS in 1985, has won three Emmy Awards and been named National Sportscaster of the Year five times. He teamed with Houston Methodist Hospital at the Texas Medical Center to create the Nantz National Alzheimer Center, which is dedicated to funding innovative diagnostic discoveries for early and accurate detection of Alzheimer’s disease. Nantz’s father suffered from the disease, and Nantz chronicled his dad’s story in the New York Times bestseller, Always By My Side.

There are approximately 100 collegiate recovery programs across the U.S. today, according to the Association of Recovery in Higher Education. They provide counseling, community and activities as well as a supportive and safe place for students in recovery. Sacred Heart University it committed to doing its part to address this national epidemic.

For more information about the Discovery Gala, please contact Anne Whitman at 203-365-4861 or