Funding roundup

Citadel founder and CEO Kenneth C. Griffin stands with Miami Dade College President Madeline Pumariega and MDC new graduates. Griffin made a gift of $20 million to increase access and opportunity for MDC students. (Photo: MDC)

Citadel founder and CEO Kenneth C. Griffin has provided a $20 million gift to Miami Dade College (MDC) in Florida to increase access and opportunity for MDC students. Griffin’s gift is the largest single philanthropic gift in the Florida college’s history.

MDC will use the gift to establish the Griffin Scholarship Fund, which will provide access to a college education for all qualifying students graduating from high school in Miami-Dade County.

Through the scholarship fund, students will receive the resources they need to earn a college degree, such as tuition assistance, books, tutors and career coaches. It also will help to facilitate study abroad opportunities, emergency funds and additional wraparound services, including help transferring to top universities upon the completion of an associate degree.

“Miami Dade College is the on-ramp to the American Dream for tens of thousands of Floridians each year. By empowering students with vital skills and creating lifelong learners, MDC transforms lives,” Griffin said. “It is an honor to support such an important institution in our community.”

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St. Petersburg College’s (SPC’s) electrical lineworker program has received a $50,000 grant from the Duke Energy Foundation.

Since the program’s debut in 2021 at SPC, Duke Energy and the Duke Energy Foundation have contributed more than $350,000 to develop this workforce pipeline as well as to offer access to lineworker training and job skills opportunities.

“Graduates of lineworker programs at our local colleges are ideal candidates for lineworker roles at Duke Energy, and we are proud to continue to support the electrical lineworker program at St. Petersburg College,” said Melissa Seixas, Duke Energy Florida state president.


A $3 million U.S. Department of Education grant will help College of the Canyons (COC) to better support Hispanic students.

Beginning in October, the five-year grant will provide the college with funding to support Hispanic students pursuing STEM degrees through a multi-faceted approach of redesigning open educational resources (OER) with diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility elements. The college also will provide student counseling and support services and increase the availability of services through its Mathematics, Engineering and Science Achievement (MESA) Program.  

In addition, COC will offer professional development training in culturally relevant pedagogy.

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Riverside City College (RCC) recently celebrated the applied digital media and printing (ADM) program’s centennial anniversary, featuring renovated facilities and a $1 million gift from Janet Steiner.

The program started in 1921. It’s the only California community college-based program accredited by PrintEd, dedicated to all aspects of commercial printing, with accreditation in five additional key industry areas of commercial printing and graphic design.

“I believe we need to exponentially leverage the opportunity in front of us. Having state-of-the-art printing equipment at Riverside City College accompanied by the Thoro Packaging Printing Scholarship, sponsored by Heidelberg USA, gives the college and the district a leg up for the trades,” Steiner said.

Earlier this year, Heidelberg USA established the Thoro scholarship, which will provide $5,000 per year for the next five years to benefit students pursuing a degree in commercial printing at RCC.

And more good news: Steiner announced she worked a deal with Zund America to secure a Zund S3 M800 digital cutting table for the print lab. Martin Thornton, business segment manager for Zund America, announced that the table is valued at $100,000.


Kia Georgia has presented a $100,000 donation to the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) Foundation at an event in Atlanta celebrating TCSG’s top students and instructors.

“The Technical College System of Georgia undergirds the fundamental concept of workforce development through its ability to adapt and adjust to the evolving technical needs of the state’s industries and businesses,” said Stuart Countess, president and CEO of Kia Georgia. “The measure of its impact can be seen through the economic growth in our great state and the continued application of the latest technologies in manufacturing, logistics and health care, just to name a few. Kia Georgia applauds the success of the TCSG and the commitment of its outstanding team.”

Greg Dozier (right), commissioner of the Technical College System of Georgia, accepts a $100,000 donation to its foundation from Kia Georgia, the Korean car maker’s first manufacturing site in North America.

Since 2016, Kia Georgia has provided funding to award the state GOAL winner with a brand-new Kia as the grand prize. This year’s winner will drive home a 2023 Kia K5, which is built at the Kia facility in West Point. In addition to awarding a new vehicle to the top student, the remaining funding will support The Last Mile Fund to provide gap funding for the more than 131,000 technical education students served within TCSG.

Kia Georgia’s partnership with TCSG also has produced a maintenance certification program through collaboration with Quick Start to upskill production team members to perform maintenance tasks on the company’s automated production equipment. The program then expanded into West Georgia Technical College, where it was integrated with the standard offerings of the campus.


Harford Community College’s behavioral and social sciences division will use a $427,181 National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education grant to facilitate pathways into the geospatial technology (GST) associate of applied science degree and for-credit certificate programs at the college.

As GST’s use continues to expand into government and industry applications, employers in the Mid-Atlantic area and beyond increasingly need a workforce with the technical skills to create, develop, use and analyze mapping and surveying technologies and products. The college’s project will tap into these needs and create opportunities that will benefit the region.

Through its connections to schools, public and private employers, and communities where workforce development is needed, Harford expects to demonstrate and advance the high value and relevance of geospatial technology careers.


Holyoke Community College (HCC) in Massachusetts has received a pledge of more than $10 million, the largest single gift commitment in the college’s 77-year history.

The pledged gift is included in the estate plan of HCC alum Margaret (Peg) Wendlandt, class of ’58, and her husband, Gary Wendlandt. They are longtime supporters and frequent donors to the college. The money will go toward student scholarships and the college’s greatest needs.  

“Education has made a great deal of difference in our lives and how we have succeeded over the years,” Peg Wendlandt said a few years ago. “Gary and I both received scholarships to assist us in achieving our goals of education and feel fortunate that we can help others do the same.”  

The Wendlandts’ many gifts to the college in their lifetime already total more than $1 million. In each of the past two years alone, the Wendlandts have made matching gift donations of $100,000 during the HCC Foundation’s one-day “Together HCC: Drive to Change Lives” fundraising campaign. This year, the Wendlandts have again pledged to match up to $100,000 in gifts from new donors and alumni for this year’s campaign. 

HCC President Christina Royal first met Peg Wendlandt at an alumni event early in her tenure at HCC. She remembers Wendlandt chiding her for only mentioning alumni from “HCC” and not those from HJC – Holyoke Junior College – a mistake she never made again.

“I really appreciated that, and I’ve appreciated the friendship that has developed since then,” Royal said. “The Wendlandts have been so supportive of the direction of the college and my vision for this institution, never forgetting that it’s all about students.”

Holyoke Community College alum Margaret (Peg) Wendlandt and her husband, Gary Wendlandt, have pledged more than $10 million to the college in their estate plan. (Photo: HCC)


Seven community colleges in southeast Michigan will receive grants to boost access to higher education and completion rates to help meet employer talent needs.

The colleges are participating in the Detroit Drives Degree Community College Collaborative (D3C3). The Ballmer Group and Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation have put more than $30 million behind the effort.

D3C3 will work to increase enrollment and community college completion rates, deepen pathways with K-12 districts for expanded access to dual enrollment and early college and build stronger partnerships with employers to develop sector-wide strategies for talent pipeline development, up-skilling and re-skilling, beginning with the mobility sector.

Among the D3C3 participants is Oakland Community College, which plans to use its $6.3 million grant to fund three clusters of work focusing on student success, K-12 partnerships and career pathways for emerging mobility technologies over the next three years.

Henry Ford College will receive nearly $5 million to provide multi-dimensional support for access to college, especially for underserved populations, from early high school to adult and returning students. And Macomb Community College’s $4.7 million grant help to expand a pilot program of student success coaches, develop deeper K-12 relationships and collaborate on a regional mobility workforce strategy.

Other D3C3 participants are Monroe County Community College, Schoolcraft College, Washtenaw Community College and Wayne County Community College District.

The Detroit Regional Chamber will administer D3C3. The effort is an outgrowth of the chamber’s Detroit Regional Talent Compact, a 10-year initiative launched in fall 2020 to increase the region’s postsecondary attainment rate to 60% and reduce the racial equity gap in half by 2030.

Community College Baccalaureate Association

The Community College Baccalaureate Association (CCBA) has received a $50,000 grant from Ascendium Education Group. CCBA is an affiliate council of the American Association of Community Colleges.

Guided by a national advisory task force, the CCBA will gather insight on the development, implementation and design elements of high-quality community college baccalaureate (CCB) programs. The organization will then develop a white paper that identifies the broad design elements and practices of successful CCB programs.

“To date, there is no unified set of quality standards for community colleges seeking to confer workforce-focused baccalaureate degrees,” CCBA President Angela Kersenbrock said. “Filling this void is critical due to the rapid expansion of community college baccalaureate (CCB) programs in the United States. Furthermore, CCB-conferring colleges want to demonstrate how these new pathways produce more equitable baccalaureate attainment outcomes for all student groups.”

About the Author

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