Funding roundup

Quad Cities Community Foundation and Black Hawk College officials announce a $1 million gift to the college from the Bob and Blenda Ontiveros Fund. (Photo: BHC)

In Illinois, Black Hawk College (BHC) has received a $1 million gift from BHC alumni Bob and Blenda Ontiveros. The donation comes from the Bob and Blenda Ontiveros Fund at the Quad Cities Community Foundation.

“With this gift, the largest in the foundation’s history, we set a new course of giving students a hand up in pursuing their dreams at Black Hawk College,” said BHC President Tim Wynes.

Of the $1 million, $600,000 will help to endow funding for a position in student services dedicated to working with students from diverse backgrounds and first-generation students interested in entrepreneurship and business. The college will apply $150,000 for endowed scholarships for new students and $200,000 for endowed scholarships for BHC athletes. The last $50,000 will help start up a men’s and women’s soccer program and hire a coach/athletic student advisor.

At a news conference this month, Maria Ontiveros spoke on behalf of her grandparents. Quoting her grandfather, “Everyone wins when someone gets an opportunity,” she said, adding: “We win because of the opportunities provided here at Black Hawk.”


Schomp Automotive Group will provide a $250,000 gift and sponsorship to Arapahoe Community College’s (ACC) Sturm Collaboration Campus in Castle Rock. The Sturm Family Foundation, which will provide $500,000 for future program innovation initiatives at the campus and student scholarships, will match the gift.

The investment supports the ACC Lift the Gift campaign, a $5.1 million match opportunity provided by the Sturm Family Foundation.

The ACC Sturm Collaboration Campus opened last August and serves students in career pathways such as business, technology and health care. The campus, which also houses staff from Colorado State University, Douglas County School District, the Arapahoe Douglas Workforce Center and Innosphere Ventures, has been developing innovative partnerships and programs with community and industry partners. The campus’ boardroom will be renamed the Schomp Automotive Innovation Center.

“ACC has had a great working relationship with Schomp Automotive through the years, and this gift and sponsorship demonstrates Schomp Automotive’s commitment to this region and to our students,” said Eric Dunker, ACC’s associate vice president and dean of business, technology and workforce partnerships.


Montgomery College (MC) Macklin Business Institute (MBI) students will benefit from a new educational finance lab, made possible through a $1.2 million donation from the Macklin Foundation. The new lab will provide students access to financial software used in investment banks, brokerage houses and hedge funds on Wall Street.

The college will be the only two-year institution in Maryland that offers this level of economic and financial education with the addition of the new Macklin Finance Lab, according to a press release.

“While finance labs are exceedingly common at four-year universities, they are almost nonexistent up to this point at the community college level,” said Donald Dawn, president of The Gordon and Marilyn Macklin Foundation and nephew of the late Gordon Macklin, founder and CEO of NASDAQ.

The Gordon and Marilyn Macklin Business Institute Finance Lab will be located on the Rockville Campus. The couple was instrumental in establishing the MBI program at MC in 1999.

The foundation has included in its commitment a matching challenge to fuel additional support for the finance lab.

A draft rendering of the proposed finance lab at Montgomery College. (Image: MC)


Monroe County Community College recently received a $27,000 donation from the Rotary Club of Monroe, most of which will help to create an endowed scholarship fund. Investment proceeds from the fund will provide at least one annual scholarship to a local high school graduate with financial need. The remaining $2,000 of the donation will provide two $1,000 scholarships, one each for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 academic years.


Oregon’s Portland Community College (PCC) and partner Albina Head Start will use a $495,000 Kresge Foundation grant to connect low-income residents and students to human services and educational pathways. The funds will expand existing career-focused PCC education programs and support an additional 200 Early Head Start and Head Start parents. As part of this effort, staff will identify and reform organizational barriers, and develop better approaches to serve low-income communities of color.

“We will look at how we can use student-centered design to improve the way we communicate and connect with student parents,” said Kate Kinder, PCC’s director of career pathways and skills. The college also will examine how it collaborates and aligns systems more effectively with partners, and what policies can improve college access, completion and career opportunities for student parents.

The grant is one of six partnerships nationwide between community colleges and human services nonprofits selected to participate in Kresge’s Boosting Opportunities for Social and Economic Mobility for Families (BOOST) initiative. Through BOOST, Kresge supports students so that they successfully juggle work, family and school.

About the Author

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