Funding roundup

Martha Mann Smith, surrounded by family, was honored by Wake Technical Community College for her $1 million donation to the college's nursing program. (Photo: Wake Tech)

North Carolina’s Wake Technical Community College is celebrating the college’s second largest gift ever: $1 million donated by retired nurse Martha Mann Smith. The funds support the college’s nursing program, which was renamed the Martha Mann Smith School of Nursing at a dedication ceremony.

Wake Tech is the first community college in the state to have a nursing school. The funds will be permanently endowed to support student scholarships, technology upgrades and faculty professional development.

“Martha has a heart for giving. She believes when you are blessed with resources you should use them to help others and make our community better,” Eddie Bacon, Smith’s son-in-law, said at the dedication ceremony.

Also in North Carolina, Davidson County Community College (DCCC) recently won the 2018 Community College Financial Empowerment Award, which came with a $25,000 prize. The award comes from OneMain Financial and Achieving the Dream (ATD).  The funds will allow DCCC to strengthen and expand its efforts to help students persist and complete their studies.


WCCD received a Walmart Foundation Community Grant for its business technologies program. (Photo: WCCD)

Wallace Community College – Dothan’s (WCCD) business technologies program will become more accessible thanks to a $2,500 grant from the Walmart Foundation Community Grant Program. The grant will help fund a portable computer lab to offer free basic computer classes at off-campus sites within the college’s service area.

Students enrolled in business technologies will be able to apply the skills they learn in the office administration courses to help those with computer literacy needs who have limited transportation and computer access.


The Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) received a $45,000 donation from KIA Motors Manufacturing Georgia (KMMG). A portion of the funds supports the Gretchen K. Corbin Last Mile Fund, which provides needs-based assistance to students at all 22 TCSG colleges. In spring 2017, the TCSG Foundation awarded more than $22,000 in student aid as a result of the fund.

In addition to supporting the Last Mile Fund, the donation also supports the Georgia Occupational Award for Leadership (GOAL) program, which recognizes outstanding students attending Georgia’s technical colleges and divisions for academic excellence and personal achievement.


Bellingham Technical College’s new Building Inclusive Maker Communities for Engineering Technology Students (MakerCETS) project got a boost with a $649,480 National Science Foundation (NSF) Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S-STEM) grant.

The MakerCETS project will provide scholarships for three cohorts of 12 low-income, academically talented students, and will connect these students to their peers and regional engineering technology communities. BTC has partnered with the Bellingham Makerspace, Western Washington University, the Port of Bellingham and others to help build community connections through the development of multi-year, maker-based learning opportunities and integration of student mentoring opportunities.

“Students will investigate the local, regional and global impact of service-learning as it applies to engineering technology in education and the workforce. Our hope is that through the maker-based projects experience, we will be able to positively affect students’ sense of belonging in the program and the greater engineering community, which will, in turn, increase their success rates,” said Jill Davishahl, mechanical engineering instructor at BTC and principal investigator for the grant.

About the Author

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