Phoenix College (PC) alumnus Jay Faulkner, class of 1947, has become the largest individual donor to PC, the Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation and the Maricopa County Community Colleges District (MCCCD) with a bequest of $4.7 million.
The funds will bolster the Jay Faulkner ACE (Achieving a College Education) Endowment, which Faulkner established in 2004 to provide support for first-generation and minority students at all 10 MCCCD colleges. The recent bequest brings his lifetime giving to the ACE endowment to $5.7 million.
ACE students participate in the program during junior and senior years of high school, and can earn up to 24 college credits. More than 70% of the students transition to a community college or university. At PC, the ACE program enrolls 320 students annually, with a completion rate of 90%.
As a Phoenix College student, Faulkner was a leader in many campus organizations, including the President’s 13 Club and the Los Vaqueros horseback riding club. After college, he worked at the Phoenix Veterans Administration, then transitioned to Arizona mining operations before moving to California and working for two decades at an international steamship company.
In 2014, the Jay Faulkner Memorial Atrium was dedicated by Phoenix College in his honor, and last year the college created the Jay Faulkner Memorial Mesquite Court, an outdoor seating area.
Faulkner passed away in February.
“Carrying out Jay’s desire and passion for helping our students follow their dreams of higher education is an honor,” said Brian Spicker, president and CEO of the Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation. “Jay is the epitome of humility, his outsized gift belies the incredible size of his heart and spirit of care and will allow for endless possibilities for student success. We are deeply humbled by his generosity.”
The North Central Educational Opportunity Center at Mount Wachusett Community College (MWCC) will continue helping adult learners thanks to a $273,793 Educational Opportunities Center (EOC) grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The grant is to help unemployed workers, low-wage workers and returning high school and college students enter or continue a program of postsecondary education.
In operation since 2002, the center annually assists over 1,000 area adults to pursue their educational goals. Among the services provided are counseling and information on college admissions and services to improve participants’ financial and economic literacy, as well as tutoring and mentoring.
Alamance Community College (ACC) will use a $1.1 million federal Economic Development Administration (EDA) grant to buy high-tech equipment for the new Biotechnology Center of Excellence. The center is scheduled to open next fall.
The new equipment will help to train not only ACC science students, but current workers in the medical, healthcare and bio-agriculture industries.
“The grant we received from the Economic Development Administration is such an important and crucial gift to our college because it will make a difference in our training methodology for not only our students who are embarking on high-paying science and healthcare careers, but for our industry partners,” ACC President Algie Gatewood said in a release. “The reason behind every square inch of this new facility, and the technical equipment to be installed, all comes down to addressing the issues of workforce and economic development in Alamance County.”
* * *
In the CCCC program, students get extensive hands-on training in metal and plastic body restoration, wood and steel component fabrication, automotive engines and drive trains, painting and refinishing, automobile upholstery, electrical systems and welding. Graduates can earn either a diploma or certificate in automotive restoration.
The RPM Foundation is an education grant-making program of America’s Automotive Trust that safeguards the critical skills necessary to restore and preserve collector vehicles.
A $4,000 donation to the McLennan Community College’s foundation will help students in workforce programs pay for certification exams. The donation comes from members of Central Presbyterian Church in Waco.
Exam costs can range from $250 to $500, which can be a barrier for students.
The church members also plan to send notes of encouragement and prayers to the students who receive the scholarships.