SCC Recognized for Private Support
The Council for Aid to Education (CAE) has reported that Sandhills Community College ranked 14th in the United States for private support of community colleges.
SCC raised $2,944,578 for fiscal year 2005 (July 1, 2004, through June 30, 2005).
In the same survey, Sandhills ranked first in the nation of all public community colleges in total private financial support per student -- raising $948 per student for the same time period.
The Voluntary Support of Education (VSE) survey from CAE is a national survey conducted annually, which looks at the private support of education across the country. The VSE survey is considered the authoritative national source of information on private giving to higher education, according to a news release from SCC. The CAE has managed the VSE survey as a public service for more than 40 years.
"We are, of course, very proud to be listed No. 1 in the nation, but we are most grateful for what this means for students at Sandhills," said SCC President John Dempsey. "First, it means opportunity. No deserving student who is willing to work hard is denied educational opportunity at Sandhills because he or she cannot afford a college education. Very few institutions of higher education in the United States can offer such a guarantee.
"It also means excellence. It means that when students arrive at our door, they encounter the best programs, the best faculty and the best facilities available to help them achieve their educational goals.
"It is the phenomenal support of Sandhills by the people in this community, support going back over 40 years, which makes this achievement and the life-changing work of Sandhills Community College possible. Sandhills is tremendously grateful to the people of our community for all they do for the college and the students we serve. Our slogan is 'A Community College Like No Other.' We can use a slogan such as this because we live in a community like no other."
The most recent VSE report, for the 2005 fiscal year, showed that private contributions to America's higher education institutions amounted to $25.6 billion. Philanthropic support for higher education included scholarships and financial aid to students, support for operations and also gifts for capital purposes such as endowments and buildings.
"We're proud of our community and very grateful for the value it places on providing higher education for its citizens," said Rick Smith, director of institutional development at Sandhills. "We're also most grateful for the work of the Sandhills Community College Foundation and its board of directors for all that they do to advance the cause of education in our community. It is the work of the SCC Foundation which has helped immeasurably to make this achievement possible."
Philanthropic support at Sandhills annually provides scholarships for students, ongoing professional development for the college's faculty and staff, modern equipment for classrooms and laboratories, and renovation and modernization of facilities.
Students such as Theda Durbin benefit from those who donate to Sandhills. Durbin formerly worked as a cashier and deli cook at a local food center. At 27, she decided to go to college. In May 2006, she graduated with a grade-point average of 4.0 and received the Sandhills Community College President's Award. This is presented to the graduate who has achieved the highest academic average with the most hours earned.
"One summer I needed to take a particular class and I had no money," Durbin said. "I was going to drop the class and this would delay my graduation. Sandhills was able to help me through the Guarantor Program. Because people had given to the college, I was able to graduate on time."
"Working now as the office manager for a major pottery importer in the area, Theda is one of the many successful students that have benefited from our donors' contributions," said Joan Hicks, financial aid associate. "I see students every day who need financial aid beyond what they receive from federal programs. It is so rewarding to be able to help them and then see their accomplishments once they graduate."
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