Funding roundup

Piedmont Virginia Community College’s Pathways Campaign got a boost with a $400,000 grant from Bank of America. (Photo: PVCC)

Piedmont Virginia Community College (PVCC) has received a $400,000 grant from Bank of America. It’s the largest corporate donation made to date to the college’s Pathways Campaign.

The grant will support construction of the Woodrow W. Bolick Advanced Technology and Student Success Center, as well as the expansion of Network2Work@PVCC, an award-winning, anti-poverty initiative created to assist economic mobility for all individuals in the community.

“Partnering with institutions that support economic progress through jobs, training and commerce is one way we support long-term sustainable growth in our community,” said Carolyn Rainey, president of Bank of America Charlottesville.

PVCC’s Pathways Campaign has received more than $13.5 million in gifts and commitments so far.  


Riley Whitaker started Gadsden State Community College’s athletics department in 1966 with the men’s basketball, baseball and golf programs, and he also was the coach for those sports. He was a fixture at the college for more than 40 years.

Now, Whitaker, who died in 2013, is being honored with a scholarship at Gadsden State. His wife, Marie Whitaker, recently met with college leaders to finalize a $20,000 endowed scholarship.

In addition to a donation, funds for the endowment came from donations made in Whitaker’s memory after he passed away in 2013.

“Gadsden State meant a lot to him, and it means a lot to me,” said Marie Whitaker, his wife. “My husband loved sports. He started it all and he coached it all. He and I spent almost all of our career at the college.”


Río Hondo College’s (RHC’s) Reaching Institutionalized Students through Education (RISE) Scholars program will use a $460,000 grant to provide counseling, peer tutoring, mentoring and other services. The grant comes from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office.
The RISE Scholars program seeks to educate and empower formerly incarcerated students or those affected by the criminal justice system. The program partners with Los Angeles County agencies to reduce recidivism and improve educational outcomes for justice-involved students, providing support services – administered through the RHC Scholars’ Hub – to help students navigate their educational and vocational pathways.

The grant will allow Rio Hondo to serve an additional 30 students and to provide more community outreach to probation and parole officers, in-custody programs and other community-based organizations, said Cecilia Rocha, the college’s assistant dean of student equity and RISE Scholars.


Maine’s community colleges are expanding nursing training thanks to $2.5 million in new state funding. And, in even more good news, Northern Light Health and MaineHealth are matching the state’s $2.5 million.

The colleges will add new night and weekend nursing programs. That will help to double the number of nursing graduates from approximately 240 people per year to 480.

“Some of our nursing programs have hundreds of applicants that are turned away because classes are full. At the same time, demand for nurses is at a crisis level. This expansion is key to increasing the number of skilled nurses in Maine,” said David Daigler, president of the Maine Community College System (MCCS).

New York

Bronx Community College (BCC) – part of the City University of New York (CUNY) – has received an $11,000 U.S. State Department Public Diplomacy grant through the U.S. Consulate in Hyderabad, India. The grant will enable faculty to continue to work on climate change in India.

Professors Neal Phillip and Paramita Sen will use the funding to travel to three states in India to install solar-powered automatic weather stations that will also help to monitor air quality and soil moisture.

The trip to India is an opportunity for curriculum exchange through meetings with academic institutions. Phillip and Sen will hold workshops on climate change to audiences drawn from high schools, universities and the local community. In addition, they will demonstrate equipment used to monitor climate and climate change.

“With this grant, BCC has become a global force on climate change and academic exchange,” said BCC President Thomas Isekenegbe.

In 2019, Bronx Community College and CUNY students installed a weather station in Maharashtra, India. (Photo: BCC)


The Seattle Maritime Academy (SMA), run by the Seattle Colleges, will continue to operate thanks to a $1 million grant from the city.

Part of the funding will help Seattle Colleges cover the academy’s operation costs for the next academic year. The reet will go toward community outreach and recruitment through SMA, in partnership with Seattle Public Schools for the maritime vessel operations program and advanced manufacturing, which is part of the Seattle Skill Center at Seattle Public Schools. 

“Keeping these programs operating will increase access to training for young people looking for high-paying, skilled jobs in the maritime industry — jobs that offer stable employment and a good career pathway,” said Councilmember Tammy Morales, who secured the funding. 

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Through a $100,000 grant from the Johnson Controls Community College Partnership Program, North Seattle College will expand its associate degree and certificate programs in electronics. The funding will directly support the enrollment and persistence of 40 to 60 underrepresented students (over four years) as they work toward completion of electronics certificates and degrees.

In addition to the initial investment from Johnson Controls, the college is eligible for up to three years of renewed funding, allowing the program to expand and serve more students.

About the Author

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