Funding roundup

Holyoke Community College Foundation board member and local auto dealer Gary Rome (second from the left) presents a $10,000 check to HCC representatives. In addition to his donation, Rome helped the college raise $122,000 during a one-day fundraising drive. (Photo: HCC)

Four community colleges will receive 2021 IDEAS (Increase and Diversify Education Abroad for U.S. Students) grants to help build and strengthen their study abroad programming.

Centralia and Green River colleges in Washington, Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC) and Florida State College at Jacksonville were among 26 U.S. colleges and universities named grant recipients by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, USA Study Abroad branch, and its partner, World Learning.

For Centralia College, the $27,000 grant will help to start a study abroad program in Taiwan. NVCC’s proposal aims to create study abroad programming complemented by virtual exchange and community service for students interested in cybersecurity.


A one-day fundraising drive resulted in $122,000 for student support programs at Holyoke Community College (HCC).  

The “Together HCC: Drive to Change Lives” campaign was led by auto dealer Gary Rome, trustees, dedicated alumni and friends of the college. Organizers set a goal of 150 donors for the 24-hour fund drive in late April. The final tally was 295.

Rome, an HCC Foundation board member, issued a donation challenge of $10,000 if the campaign met its goals of securing 150 new donors and 1,000 social media posts using the hashtag #TogetherHCC. He presented a check to HCC officials at his Holyoke dealership last month.

“The reason we got involved in this campaign is because we wanted to shine a spotlight on this wonderful institution right here in our backyard, dispel the misconception that community colleges receive all their funding from the state, and highlight how important it is to raise funds to help support our community college,” Rome said.

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Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC) will receive $100,000 over the next two years to provide rapid workforce training. The grant comes from the Cummings Foundation.

A Rapid Recovery and Reemployment (R3) program at BHCC will allow students to study over a shorter period, develop skills in a field and earn an industry-recognized credential, which makes them employable quicker. The program will be led by an employment placement specialist. Eligible participants will have access to full tuition and materials scholarships, as well as a stipend for successful attendance and completion.

Students who are unemployed or demonstrate financial need are the priority.

“With this generous support, we can meet urgent workforce needs by placing trained individuals with local employers in the diverse communities we serve. It is a win-win for students and the local economy,” said Kristen McKenna, the college’s dean of workforce and economic development.


A $100,000 gift to Tallahassee Community College (TCC) will boost the college’s athletics program. Wayne and Betty Edwards made the gift to support the Raising Our Game fundraising campaign, which seeks $3 million in investments for athletic facility enhancements and endowed student-athlete scholarships.

“Supporting the TCC Athletics Program in their first-ever campaign was a very easy decision for my family as we know first-hand the benefits of this program and what it can mean to those seeking to play post-high school sports,” said Wayne Edwards.

A $100,000 gift to TCC supports a fundraising campaign for the college’s athletics program. (Photo: TCC)

TCC also announced two gifts that will benefit graduating seniors from Godby High School. Oliver/Sperry Renovation and Allen & Pam Nobles have each created a $25,000 scholarship fund for students graduating from the school who are first in their family to attend college. These funds come with a dollar-for-dollar match to create two new $50,000 scholarship funds. 

The college will select 10 students annually over the next five years to receive a $1,000 scholarship in the fall and $1,000 in the spring. They also will receive a laptop from the TCC Foundation and a $500 book scholarship.

Oliver/Sperry partners Bill Oliver and Todd Sperry and Allen Nobles are all Godby High School alumni. 

“We did not want to fund another scholarship that would provide just five scholarships over the next five years,” said Todd Sperry. “We wanted to make more of an impact by spending the funds over the next five years and providing 25 scholarships.”


Bluegrass Community and Technical College (BCTC) has received a $1.2 million U.S. Department of Labor grant to help get students career-ready in 12 months or less.

The Bluegrass Workforce Scholars Program helps individuals ages 16 to 24  gain skills to begin a career in a high-demand field, such as healthcare, computer information technology, HVAC technology and construction. The grant covers full tuition, books and supplies for courses, personal and career counseling, job readiness preparation, support services and job placement assistance upon completion.

North Carolina

Fayetteville Technical Community College (FTCC) will use a $25,000 grant to expand its nursing program and renovate the Nursing Education and Simulation Center. The grant comes from Cumberland Community Foundation.  

FTCC will renovate the building that formerly housed the childcare center to create a dedicated nursing education facility. This will add new simulation and skills labs, classrooms, meeting spaces and faculty offices for the nursing program. The renovation and expansion will allow FTCC to increase its capacity for nursing students and to provide needed graduates to the medical community.

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Rowan-Cabarrus Community College’s air conditioning, heating and refrigeration technology program has some new equipment. National manufacturer AAON, Inc. donated 12 geothermal heat pumps so students can train on the latest equipment.

“We are pleased to be able to partner with Rowan-Cabarrus Community College to provide this equipment so that graduates are well-prepared professionals who can contribute to the strength of our industry,” said AAON Aftermarket Sales Director Tim Halbert.


College of the Mainland (COM) is expanding its Opening Doors Promise Scholarship Program to Santa Fe students, with the help of some donations. A $30,000 donation from the City of Santa Fe, $10,000 donation from the Santa Fe Texas Education Foundation and $20,000 from the Kathleen Cailloux Foundation add up to tuition and fees being covered for fall 2021 for qualifying Santa Fe students attending COM.

“Our local community college has so many options so that our kids can enter the workforce sooner,” said Santa Fe Mayor Jason Tabor. “We want our kids to get a great education, stay in Santa Fe and be our future leaders. PTECH, nursing, trade skills are all amazing careers and truly fit the landscape of our coastal community.”

The Opening Doors program provides a last-dollar scholarship.

Representatives from the Santa Fe Texas Education Foundation present a $10,000 to COM for the Opening Doors Promise Scholarship Program. (Photo: COM)

About the Author

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