Funding roundup

Milwaukee Area Technical College officials unveil the Ellen and Joe Checota Scholarship Program. The Checotas (seated) are donating $5 million, contingent on gaining matching gifts from other donors, to help MATC trade and technical students complete their programs. (Photo: MATC)

Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) is celebrating news of a $5 million gift that will provide full-ride scholarships for MATC trade and technical students.

The $5 million gift from Ellen and Joe Checota is contingent on gaining matching gifts from other donors. For every dollar contributed, the Checotas will provide a two-for-one match for the Checota Scholarship Program, meaning MATC will receive a total of $7.5 million.

Each time other donors collectively reach $500,000, $1 million will be dispersed to MATC. The first $500,000 contribution comes from long-time residents Julianna Ebert and Frank Daily. Ebert is the current president of the MATC Foundation’s board of directors.

Through the Checota Scholarship Program, MATC can help students seeking to complete their education and quickly start careers. And that will provide Milwaukee-area employers with urgently needed workers, including carpenters, plumbers, electricians, medical and dental assistants, website developers, property managers and welders.

“We always wanted to be in a position to help trade and technical students better their lives,” said Joe Checota, chairman and CEO of Landmark Healthcare Facilities LLC. “People who want to dig in and work and make a better life for themselves and their families. That’s what this program is all about.”

The full-ride scholarships also represent a significant expansion of existing MATC scholarship programs. Currently, the significant majority of MATC scholarship awards are limited to tuition payments. The Checota Scholarship Program will fund the cost of tuition and will also fund the cost of books, meals, transportation and childcare. 


Shawnee Community College is the recipient of two grants totaling more than $100,000 from the Illinois Green Economy Network.

A $95,530 grant will partially fund a new lighting project on the main campus. The LED lighting will be installed along a soon-to-be constructed two-lane asphalt road between parking lots. The second grant, for $8,339, will provide an electric vehicle charging station on the college’s main campus.

“We hope to be able to implement more green technologies in our curriculum in the future as well,” said Chris Clark, the college’s vice president of administrative services.


Northeast Mississippi Community College can better help healthcare students complete their programs thanks to a $40,000 grant from the Women’s Foundation of Mississippi. The college will use the funds to provide scholarships to cover tuition, program fees, course materials and supplies, uniforms and travel.


Fort Peck Community College received a $190,000 National Endowment for the Humanities grant for the college’s Buffalo Nations Landmark Curriculum Project, which will involve two week-long workshops for K-12 educators to learn the histories, geographies and contemporary knowledge of the Buffalo Nations.

New Jersey

Brookdale Community College’s associate vice president of strategic partnerships, Anita Voogt, has established an endowed scholarship in honor of her parents, Edna and Charles Robert Voogt. The endowment will provide two $1,000 scholarships each fall and spring semester of the academic year for years to come.

Scholarships will go to deserving students who live in Long Branch and preferably graduates of Long Branch High School.

“Thanks to Dr. Voogt’s leadership and generosity, this scholarship will help more people in our community afford a college education,” said David Stout, the college’s president. “We ask that the scholarship recipients, in turn, use their skills and knowledge to make a positive difference in their families and in their communities.”

North Carolina

A $2,500 grant from the Lee County Community Foundation will support Central Carolina Community College’s (CCCC) James French Dreamkeeper Program.

The Dreamkeeper program provides just-in-time support for students facing emergency expenses. Since it began in 2016, $127,182 in support has gone to 368 CCCC students (average of $345 per student). The funds have helped 78% of those students persist to the next semester.


Clackamas Community College will receive a $100,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to combat climate change.

The Rural Development investment will advance the college’s efforts to provide renewable energy technical assistance to rural small businesses and agriculture producers throughout the state. Through providing targeted project assistance, the college will help these organizations understand and apply for renewable energy project funding.

About the Author

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