More than 50 million students in the U.S. currently attend public schools. The need to support public education is not only apparent, it is critical.

On Tuesday, companies, celebrities and scholars alike gathered to celebrate public education, raise funds to drive innovation forward and honor those who’ve made monumental strides. The Brooklyn Tech Alumni Foundation celebrated Brooklyn Technical High School’s 95th anniversary and awarded three ‘Titans of Tech.’

Barnes & Noble Founder and Chairman Leonard Riggio (‘58), KSW Mechanical Chairman and CEO Floyd Warkol (‘65) and Entertainment Lawyer, Entrepreneur and The Source Magazine Chairman L. Londell McMillan (‘83) were named 2017’s Titans of Tech.

The event was filled with touching moments and empowering narratives sharing honorees’ stories of being young students in Brooklyn to becoming giants in their fields.

One tear-jerking story in particular was that of McMillan, who says he almost “wasn’t a Brooklyn Tech student,” but it was because of his late mother and her advocacy for education that he enrolled. His acceptance speech became an ode to her and all those who supported him throughout the way.

It was an inspiring night, as McMillan, Riggio and Warkol spoke on the risks they took to achieve their goals and reach success. They shared their thoughts on the importance of supporting public schools, giving back to the community and helping those who may be less-advantaged.

It soon became clear that the event was not only about gathering dollars, but it was about truly supporting efforts that promote diversity and a healthy school culture for students of all backgrounds, regardless of their location or socioeconomic status.

Sportscaster Russ Salzberg hosted the event, and in attendance to support McMillan were CBS This Morning Co-Host and Editor-at-Large Gayle King, Actor and Comedian Tracy Morgan, Civil Leader and Lawyer Loida Lewis, Hip-Hop Artist Doug E. Fresh and more. The event raised over $700,000 that will fund the extensive labs and equipment used by Brooklyn Tech students.

Last year’s Titans of Tech were Automatic Data Processing CEO Josh Weston, Vice Chairman of AMEC Construction Management John Armstrong Cavanagh and NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum.

All funds will continue the Foundation’s efforts to support Brooklyn Tech as the premier specialized high school for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.