HARTFORD >> The state House of Representatives voted unanimously on April 30, to rename the Governor’s Scholarship program “The Roberta B. Willis Scholarship Program, an unannounced action that stunned the retiring lawmaker who was on the House floor discussing legislation relating to the scholarship program at the time.

An amendment naming the scholarship in her honor was introduced and then passed unanimously.

As House Chair of the Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee, Representative Willis recently announced her retirement after 16 years in the General Assembly.

“For as long as I have been here, Roberta has fought for kids to have access to higher education and she’s done so with logic and grace,” Rep. Toni E. Walker, D-New Haven, who offered the amendment said.

“The unanimous House vote renaming the Governor’s Scholarship program in honor of my colleague and good friend Rep. Roberta Willis is a well-deserved recognition of someone who has committed much of her legislative tenure to help making Connecticut’s higher education system one of the best in the country,” said Speaker of the House Brendan Sharkey (D-Hamden).

“It was suitable and fitting,” House Majority Leader Joe Aresimowicz, D-Berlin, said.

“To say I am stunned would be an understatement .” Rep. Willis said. There are so many good people here.”

“I’m really speechless,” she said, adding that when it comes to fighting to make higher education accessible to all, “I don’t feel like it’s just me. It’s everybody.