Funding roundup

Nebraska’s Northeast Community College received a donation from Green Line Equipment in support of a capital campaign to fund upgrades to its agriculture education facilities. (Photo: NCC)

Northeast Community College’s Nexus capital campaign got a boost with a $50,000 commitment from Green Line Equipment, a John Deere dealership with 10 locations in northeast and central Nebraska. The campaign is raising funds to modernize the agriculture education facilities at NCC.

“The Agriculture & Water Center of Excellence at Northeast Community College will provide a 21st-century training facility for future farmers and ranchers and agribusiness employees,” said Tracy Kruse, associate vice president of development and external affairs and executive director of the Northeast Foundation. “These are the young people who will return to the small towns in our 20-county service area to work and raise their families. They will shop on Main Street, send their children to local schools, and keep the communities of northeast Nebraska vital and growing.”

The project will cost $22.3 million, of which the college has committed $10 million. The rest will come from external funders. Site work on the project began in April and construction on the first phase is expected to be completed by fall 2021.


Calhoun Community College will use a $50,000 estate gift from an anonymous donor to support continuing education for GED graduates. The Calhoun GED Endowment for Hope Scholarship will provide two $1,000 scholarships per academic year to graduates of Calhoun’s GED program.

“Not only will this generous gift provide our adult learners with the opportunity to advance their skill sets by obtaining certifications at the college, but it will also assist in creating a broader career path that will increase their annual salaries,” said Calhoun Foundation Director Johnette Davis.

The anonymous donor shared a personal story of hardship and almost being forced to drop out of college. The donor was able to graduate and became an educator thanks to donor scholarships.


Red Rocks Community College (RRCC) has received $10,000 from the Xcel Energy Foundation to support science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education through the college’s IDEA Lab, which supports students in gaining hands-on experience in innovation, design, making, technology and engineering.

The Xcel Energy Foundation has contributed $65,000 to RRCC over the last five years to support programming for STEM engagement, innovation challenges and engineering skill development. This year, due to the coronavirus and economic turmoil, the IDEA Lab’s work is especially important to accelerating innovative talent to co-create solutions for today’s challenges.

This spring, the IDEA Lab helped an intensive care unit doctor at a local university by creating 3-D printed parts that allowed several patients to share a ventilator, said Liz Cox, director of the Center for Engagement and Innovation and co-lead of the IDEA Lab.


Johnson County Community College (JCCC) has accepted a $1 million donation to provide an ongoing endowment to support the college’s performing arts series. The funding also will provide scholarships for JCCC creative arts students.

The donors, Brad and Libby Bergman, are long-time supporters of the college, having co-chaired the JCCC Foundation’s annual gala. Brad has also served as chair of the foundation’s board of directors. The Bergmans have been consistent supporters of dozens of activities at JCCC. They have four children, each of whom has benefited from classes taught at the college. 

As a feature of the donation, the Carlsen Center for Performing Arts will include the name Midwest Trust Center, reflecting the name of a local company founded by Brad Bergman.

“We have been blessed with business success, in part because of those who built institutions in this county like JCCC,” Brad said. “Giving back is part of our DNA and all of the activities that occur in this building benefit Johnson County and the Kansas City metropolitan area. The performing arts help everyone teach, learn and smile.”


Harford Community College (HCC) nursing students will benefit from a $1 million contribution from longtime donors David and Alena Schwaber. The funding will establish an endowed scholarship fund for nursing students.  

The Schwabers began their support of nursing students at Harford by establishing the Alena & David M. Schwaber Nursing Scholarship in 2005. This latest donation is the largest individual donation in the college’s history.

“Thanks to the generous endowment established by Dr. and Mrs. Schwaber — along with a recent award from the Maryland Higher Education Commission to increase the capacity of our nursing program — we can support a greater number of students and ultimately provide for the health and well-being of more people in our community,” said Interim President Jacqueline Jackson.

New York

SUNY Schenectady County Community College has received a $3 million Health Profession Opportunity Grant (HPOG 2.0) from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The grant, which is an extension of the current HPOG 2.0 grant, will allow the college to continue to train hundreds of eligible students for a variety of healthcare careers.

Through the Upstate Partnership for Healthcare Pathways (UPHP), SUNY Schenectady provides education and training to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients and other low-income individuals for several healthcare careers, such as behavioral health technician, certified nurse aide, community health worker and emergency medical technician. Students earn industry-recognized certificates and all training programs are designed as pathways to degrees and certificates so that students can advance in the healthcare field.

SUNY Schenectady is working with SUNY Adirondack and Fulton-Montgomery Community College, as well as two community-based organizations.

“Oftentimes, simply having access to that first entry into education is so critical for students,” said President Steady Moono. “HPOG is so valuable because it provides the first step into healthcare training, as well as a clear pathway for HPOG participants to go on for further education to continue advancing in their healthcare careers.”

SUNY Schenectady graduates of Health Profession Opportunity Grant-funded programs.


The Houston Community College (HCC) Center for Entrepreneurship is now the Glenda & David Regenbaum Center for Entrepreneurship at Northwest College. In April, Glenda and David Regenbaum donated $100,000 to support entrepreneurial initiatives to help educate and nurture the growth of small businesses.

The Regenbaums moved to Houston from South Africa in 1979 and established Association Management, Inc. (AMI), which specialized in managing condominium and homeowners associations. They sold AMI in 2014, and David joined HCC in 2015 as a volunteer, donating his time and entrepreneurial expertise as the entrepreneur-in-residence – a position David created. As a result, HCC now has four entrepreneurs-in-residence who serve at each of HCC’s Centers for Entrepreneurship.

Throughout the years, the Regenbaums have given back in other ways to HCC and the community and provided support and leadership that “has been invaluable and their counseling and mentoring has been an inspiration to countless prospective and existing entrepreneurs and small business owners,” according to HCC.


Madison Area Technical College has received a $30,000 grant as part of the Stevens Initiative Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic. With the funding, the college will plan and implement a virtual exchange program based in the United States and the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region.

“Madison College is a leader in engaging underrepresented students in study abroad opportunities, but due to COVID-19, we have had to find other ways to help our students build meaningful connections with others around the world,” said International Education Dean Geoff Bradshaw. “This grant will connect high school and college learners in Madison with counterparts in Doha, Qatar so that students can apply entrepreneurship principles to brainstorm ideas for a better post-COVID future.”

Madison College is one of 18 institutions selected for the Stevens Initiative – and the only community college awarded funding.

Milwaukee Area Technical College’s (MATC’s) Healthcare Heroes Fund is off to a good start. United Health Foundation is the largest private donor to date, underwriting $19,000 to help cover professional licensing exams for spring 2020 graduates of the registered nursing and licensed practical nurse programs.

“We know this is a difficult time financially for so many people. We wanted to help these new MATC nursing graduates who want to get to work quickly,” said Ellen Sexton, CEO of UnitedHealthcare Community Plan of Wisconsin. “We are removing barriers for them to live out their dreams of helping others so they can get established in their careers now.”

The Healthcare Heroes Fund was launched by the MATC Foundation. To date, 275 spring 2020 MATC healthcare graduates received scholarships to fund licensing exam fees totaling $102,595. 

About the Author

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