Funding roundup

Tompkins VIST Bank President and CEO Scott Gruber and Executive Vice President Gary Moyer presented a check to Reading Area Community College’s foundation for education outreach. (Photo: RACC)

Pennsylvania’s Reading Area Community College (RACC) has received $300,000 from the Neag Foundation to support nursing students. Over the next two years, the college will use the award to fund scholarships for students enrolled in the nursing (RN) and practical nursing (LPN) programs.

“Ray and Carole Neag are among the most significant leaders in the history of Reading Area Community College. This remarkable gift from the Neag Foundation continues that incredible legacy,” said Anthony DeMarco, executive director of the college’s foundation. “Carole Neag has always been a passionate advocate for nurses, having personally served for years as an emergency and maternity nurse during her career. This grant will allow dozens of those students who aspire to a career in nursing to achieve their academic dreams.”

RACC also received a $5,000 donation from Tompkins VIST Bank under the Pennsylvania Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) Program. The donation is part of the $301,250 the bank has earmarked for youth education organizations that qualify under EITC.

“In my work with RACC, I’ve been impressed with their focus on educational outreach,” said Gary Moyer, executive vice president of the bank. “We’re pleased to support their efforts.”

RACC President Susan Looney commended the value of EITC.

“The EITC program is a great way to inspire high school students to continue their education or enter the workforce after high school,” she said.


A Hawkeye Community College initiative, WE Build Waterloo, has received a $1,941 donation from IFC Studios.

WE Build Waterloo, which HCC leads in partnership with One City United, engages participants in a 12-week pre-apprenticeship that offers an opportunity to learn construction trades while renovating a vacant home in Waterloo. The first WE Build Waterloo house is slated for completion this spring.

“We chose to donate to WE Build Waterloo because they have a history of supporting reentry into society for those who have been impacted by the justice system,” said Tony Kraayenbrink, founder and owner of IFC Studios, in a release.

Students in the WE Build Waterloo building trades pre-apprenticeship program at Hawkeye Community College completed renovations on this house in early May. (Photo: HCC)


Washington County Community College and the Maine Aquaculture Innovation Center will partner to develop an aquaculture-specific training program using a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

The funding comes as seafood farms are popping up along the coast and workforce demand is growing for Maine’s aquaculture industry. The content of the program will meet the need for entry-level skills in four key aquaculture sub-sectors: recirculating aquaculture, fin-fish aquaculture, shellfish aquaculture and macroalgae aquaculture. Students will be able to graduate either with a certificate or associate degree.

The program will have the potential to expand to other community colleges in Maine and throughout the Northeast.


The Warren Skaaren Charitable Trust has committed $75,000 to Rochester Community and Technical College (RCTC) over the next three years. The gift is intended to help make a college education more accessible and affordable for high-need students.

Warren Skaaren was a Rochester-native and 1966 alumnus of Rochester Community College (the predecessor of RCTC) who went on to become a Hollywood screenwriter and executive producer. After successful work with Paramount Pictures on the film Fire with Fire, Skaaren became known in Hollywood as a script doctor.  

Skaaren worked on well-known 1980s films including Top GunBeetlejuiceBeverly Hills Cop II and Batman. During this time, Skaaren stayed connected with his long-time mentor, Robert Wise, associate dean of students at RCC.  

Skaaren passed away in 1990, and the trust he created supports causes and institutions that mattered to him.

“We all have special mentors in our lives, and it’s amazing to see one of those bonds between a student and his advisor benefit our students 55+ years later,” said RCTC President Jeffery Boyd.

North Dakota

Renovation efforts at Dakota College at Bottineau (DCB) got a boost with some recent state and federal funding.

DCB received a $358,500 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant to clean up lead, asbestos and other contaminants at several buildings on campus. The renovation at one site will expand the college’s ability to train more nurses.

“Renovating Old Main and expanding our capacity to train nurses will benefit our state and region exponentially. Strong education programs, supported by excellent facilities, help us train and retain our best students,” said DCB Campus Dean and CEO Jerry Migler.

In addition to this funding, the DCB Foundation is raising money to support the renovation effort. In total, the project is estimated to cost $4 million. More than 35 individual and business donors have pledged support so far.

About the Author

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