Funding roundup

Humanities projects at eight community colleges were among the 188 projects that received National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grants this week. In total, NEH awarded $30.9 million to support digital projects for the public, humanities initiatives on college campuses and infrastructure projects at cultural institutions.

Among the two-year college grant recipients is Anne Arundel Community College (AACC) in Maryland. The college will receive $100,000 for a three-year partnership with St. John’s College to create a “Great Books” curriculum and provide opportunities for AACC students to transfer to St. John’s for further study.

Arizona’s Diné College received funding for a project devoted to the study and documentation of Navajo art and artists. At Indian River State College, NEH funding will support a two-year project to create new digital course modules on Florida’s African-American history. Also in Florida, Santa Fe College’s grant project focuses on expanding ethics education through Ethics Across the Curriculum workshops, an ethics certificate program, an “Ethics Bowl” and community service activities.

In Oklahoma, Rose State College will work with local schools to strengthen humanities learning and pathways to higher education for underserved high school students.

A faculty development project Texas’ San Antonio College will help to incorporate geographic information system technology into college and middle school history courses. Another Texas college, Victoria College, will use grant funding to design, build and buy audio-visual equipment to expand its Museum of the Coastal Bend. This will make space for an additional permanent exhibit and increased programming capacity.

Washington’s Whatcom Community College will lead a curriculum development project that aims to create new courses on the history, cultures and science of the Salish Sea.

All the colleges received about $100,000, except Victoria College, which received a match of $583,750.


College of Southern Maryland (CSM) was presented with $2,100 from the Calvert County Chamber of Commerce at an event in December. The college will use the donation for student scholarships.

College of Southern Maryland President Maureen Murphy (center) accepts a check from the Calvert County Chamber of Commerce. (Photo: CSM)

Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) received a $128,500 donation for its massage therapy program from CCBC alumnus William Welsh and the Kahlert Foundation. The donation will help fund the equipment needs of the program in the new Carol D. Eustis Center for Health Professions at the Essex campus.

Welsh is the husband of Theodora “Teddie” Welsh, the program’s director from 2002 to 2009. She passed away in 2010 after a battle with cancer. Welsh made a generous donation that was, in turn, matched by the Kahlert Foundation to double its impact.

The college will dedicate the new clinic reception area and the clinical lab space in honor of the Welshes in November.

North Carolina

Liselotte Wehrheim

Blue Ridge Community College’s (BRCC’s) healthcare training programs got a big boost thanks to a $1.75 million bequest from the estate of Mrs. Liselotte R. Wehrheim. It’s the largest single gift from an individual in the history of the college.

“More than half of Blue Ridge students receive some kind of financial support while a student here,” said BRCC President Laura B. Leatherwood. “This gift will allow us to expand academic programs and provide support for students pursuing a career in healthcare.”

Wehrheim passed away last August at age 103. She grew up in Germany, where she studied nursing and served as a nurse in World War II. She moved to the United States in 1954, where she continued in her nursing profession before retiring with her husband in North Carolina. An endowed scholarship fund at BRCC was established in their names in 2005.

Wehrheim engaged in lifelong learning classes at the college well into her eighties. According to her friend, Christa Hartley, “She never wanted to stop learning.”


Bucks County Community College (BCCC) will use $200,000 in state funding to promote pre-apprenticeship training. The college will develop an awareness campaign to increase recruitment for all BCCC manufacturing pre-apprenticeship training programs.

Gov. Tom Wolf announced the funding.

“This funding will enable Bucks County Community College to offer fully encompassed training to individuals looking for good-paying jobs,” Wolf said. “By supporting apprenticeship programs, we’re strengthening Pennsylvania’s workforce and helping manufacturing companies secure fully trained, long-term workers.”


Lamar Institute of Technology (LIT) celebrated a $1 million donation from the Gale Foundation during the Institute’s 2020 Professional Development Day this week. The funding supports the Rebecca & Edwin Gale Scholarship Endowment and is the largest single monetary donation in LIT’s history.

The endowment “marks a huge milestone in scholarship development at LIT. The funds will make the American Dream more attainable by increasing student access, success and reducing their debt,” said LIT President Lonnie Howard.

LIT also received a $60,000 donation from Newtron, LLC to buy a utility-line truck for utility-line technology students who want to earn a commercial driver’s license while training.

About the Author

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