Funding roundup

Ohlone College celebrates an unprecedented $9.8 million gift for its new Academic Core complex. (Photo: Ohlone)

California’s Ohlone College has received $9.8 million from East Coast real-estate developer and retired contractor Frank DiMino. The gift is the largest in Ohlone’s 51-year history.

Most of the gift — $8 million — will go toward the college’s Academic Core Project, helping to purchase and maintain furniture, fixtures and equipment for three new academic buildings. The complex will house a science center, arts building and the learning commons.

The remainder of DiMino’s gift will go to scholarships and academic program support.

“It speaks volumes that someone from outside of the Bay Area, outside of the state, recognizes the value that Ohlone College provides,” Gari Browning, president and superintendent of the Ohlone Community College District, said in a press release. “We are so grateful to Mr. DiMino for this transformative gift. He has left his legacy here at Ohlone.”

In recognition of the gift, the facilities will be named The Frank DiMino Academic Core Complex.


Wor-Wic Community College received a nearly $2 million Title III grant to implement a new advising model, increase online offerings and enhance technological support for faculty. The college will purchase software to enhance advising practices and expand staffing to support successful student outcomes.

A $187,000 federal Child Care Access Means Parents in School grant will support 16 low-income student parents per year who have children enrolled at Wor-Wic’s child development center. It includes a sliding fee scale for child care services based on the level of financial need and the college course load of participants.

Wor-Wic also received a $28,000 Workforce and Employability Skills grant through Maryland’s Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP). The grant will help local high school juniors by exposing them to career pathways and introducing them to programs at the college. Students also will get help with postsecondary admission and financial aid processes and have the opportunity for a summer employment experience.


Quinsigamond Community College (QCC) will use a $10,000 Gene Haas Foundation grant to provide manufacturing scholarships for those focusing on computer numerical control (CNC).

“We are hoping to promote CNC as a skill and for this we need to provide opportunities for further education,” said Lee Duerden, coordinator of QCC’s manufacturing technology program. “This can be from K-12 to community college, or from community college to a four-year institute. These funds will hopefully help encourage students by breaking down some financial boundaries and providing them the opportunity to advance their education in this field.”

A grant from the Gene Haas Foundation will support manufacturing scholarships at QCC. (Photo: QCC)

North Carolina

Wayne Community College can better serve low-income students thanks to a $1.9 million federal Strengthening Institutions Program grant. WCC will use the funds to implement a project it has named Coaching, Advising, and Planning for Success (CAPS), which will focus on student advising. The project will look at “whole student development,” including academic, non-academic and personal factors, according to a press release from the college.


Several Ohio community colleges are sharing a state grant aimed at expanding workforce development. A $5.3 million Regionally Aligned Priorities in Delivering Skills (RAPIDS) grant from the Ohio Department of Education was distributed to help colleges purchase equipment for programs in information technology, advanced manufacturing, healthcare, additive manufacturing, cloud manufacturing, smart business automation and cybersecurity. Grant funding also serves to drive local and regional partnerships.

Among the recipients is Washington State Community College (WSCC), which worked in partnership with the Washington County Career Center (WCCC) to secure more than $300,000. WSCC’s engineering program and WCCC’s instrumentation and electricity program provide a direct pathway from the high school and adult career program level to an associate degree. Grant funds will help WSCC purchase programmable logic controllers trainers, robotics and automation trainers, and tools for electrical technician training, among other items.

Lakeland Community College secured a $143,333 RAPIDS grant to make purchases for HIVE, a makerspace that allows students and community members to learn to use new tools and work with their hands, while also gaining developing critical thinking, communication, creativity and collaboration skills.

South Carolina

Greenville Technical College is celebrating a $2 million gift from GTC graduate Dodie Anderson. The funds will help to transform a building on the Barton Campus into a center where students will find the resources and services to enroll and succeed. The Dreisbach/Anderson Student Success Center is intended to welcome, support, and provide the tools to help people transform their lives through education.

Anderson wanted to give other students the same chance to succeed that she had. She enrolled at GTC as an adult and earned her associate degree in 1979 before transferring to the University of South Carolina-Spartanburg. The knowledge she gained allowed her and husband Bob to grow their plywood manufacturing company into Anderson Hardwood Flooring.

“Though Dodie Anderson has been supportive of education across South Carolina, she has always referred to Greenville Technical College as her college,” said GTC President Keith Miller said.

The new Dreisbach/Anderson Student Success Center is named after Anderson’s former classmate, Daniel Dreisbach, who worked his way through GTC and then a bachelor’s degree. Dreisbach wanted to go to law school, but couldn’t afford it.

With the encouragement of a GTC instructor, he applied for the Rhodes Scholarship and received it — the only graduate from the South Carolina Technical College System ever to achieve that honor. After completing a doctor of philosophy degree at the University of Oxford and a law degree at the University of Virginia, Dreisbach became a professor at American University and a nationally recognized expert on First Amendment law.

GTC graduate Dodie Anderson presents a $2 million gift to the college. (Photo: GTC)

About the Author

Tabitha Whissemore
is a contributor to Community College Daily and managing editor of AACC's Community College Journal.