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In the Know: Foundation is key to college's success

The Alexandria Technical and Community College Foundation was established in 1971, as the fundraising arm of the college. Since it began, thousands of students have benefitted from scholarships, equipment, faculty development and more to prepare them for career success.

By Michael Seymour, ATCC President

We take great pride in offering our students at Alexandria Technical and Community College experiences and opportunities to prepare them for future success. This is not something we do in a bubble, nor is it something we have been able to do alone. Many of these experiences and opportunities have been made possible only through the growing support from community, alumni, and donors by way of the Alexandria Technical and Community College Foundation.

The foundation was established in 1971, as the fundraising arm of the college. Since it began, thousands of students have benefitted from scholarships, equipment, faculty development and more to prepare them for career success. Despite the pandemic, ATCCF had a very successful year.

Funding for higher education has changed dramatically over the past 10 years – shifting from state support to tuition support. Support from college and university foundations have become increasingly important to student success. In addition to less public funding for higher education, student needs (food, housing, transportation) have also increased. The data shows, that without scholarships and emergency support from the foundation, many of our growing number of first-generation college students would not be able to attend or finish.

This past year, our foundation has experienced renewed energy and excitement from our community. Events like our athletics and academics fall fundraiser and our first-annual Scramble for Scholarships Golf Tournament have been overwhelmingly supported by our community. Thanks to those who participated in these events and the support from our founding partners we have been able to:

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  • Reduce the cost of a college education for over 450 students through scholarships.

  • Support our current athletic offerings: eSports, clay target and golf.

  • Add additional athletic opportunities including competitive fishing this fall, and volleyball, baseball and men’s and women’s soccer, fall 2022 and spring 2023.

Athletics builds school pride and drives enrollment by providing opportunities for students who may not have considered Alexandria College otherwise. Our goal is to have over 150 student athletes by fall of 2022.
The Scramble for Scholarships event was an especially shining example of what community and donor support looks like. Businesses, colleagues, and local celebrities (Legends) alike turned out to enjoy a day on the Geneva Golf Course to raise funds for athletic and academic scholarships. The golf tournament was a great success with over 152 golfers that enjoyed a great afternoon of golf and networking.

These events are possible through the thoughtful planning of the Foundation Board of Directors and advisors, which includes business leaders, community members and alumni. We would especially like to acknowledge Board President’s Carmon Watkins and Erin Berns. Carmon was foundation president through my first two years as college president. She provided stability during times of change. She continues to serve on the board of directors. Erin is the new president. He brings great ideas and enthusiasm to the foundation.

The board is also blessed to have members like Stuart and Evelyn Hendrickson. Stuart shared his reasons for serving on the board, “I’ve always believed that if you have a healthy college, you have a successful community.” I’m thankful that we have both”.

The college is thankful for the on-going generosity of the community in support of the Alexandria Technical and Community College Foundation.

Michael Seymour is the president of the Alexandria Technical and Community College. In the Know is a rotating column written by community leaders from the Douglas County area.

Related Topics: ALEXANDRIA
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