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HCC to launch $5 million fundraising drive

December 21, 2005|by TIFFANY ARNOLD

HAGERSTOWN

tiffanya@herald-mail.com

Money for student scholarships and other financial needs were the main focuses of Hagerstown Community College's joint board meeting Tuesday with members of the college's money-making arm.

The college's board of trustees met with executive committee members from the Hagerstown Community College Foundation Inc. The joint meeting is held each December.

Julie Donat, president of the foundation, presented its annual report to the board. The report detailed the foundation's plan to launch a $5 million fundraising campaign for capital projects and scholarships at the start of next year.

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The foundation already has generated $416,834 in gifts and pledges, according to the report.

Donat said the college's expansion needs have forced the foundation to shift its focus from its primary function of generating scholarship money.

The foundation provided 250 students with scholarships this year, 20 percent more than three years ago, according to information provided by HCC.

"We had to change our focus, that we are not just going to raise money for scholarships," Donat said.

In addition to raising $1.45 million for scholarships, the foundation wants $1.6 million to furnish and equip the school's career programs building after it undergoes renovation. It's also aiming for $350,000 for the commercial vehicle transportation program, according to the foundation's report.

A few board members expressed concerns over the decreased amount of money the foundation uses for scholarships.

HCC president Guy Altieri presented results of the college's 2004-05 student financial support report. According to the report, the foundation gave out $166,995 in 2005 - 11 percent less than in 2003.

Board member Wayne E. Alter pointed out the downward trend from the report and asked for an explanation during the meeting.

The foundation's treasurer, Bill Fritts, said the amount of scholarship money was based on a formula - 5 percent of the average of five years' worth of the foundation's assets.

Chairman of the HCC board, Merle S. Elliott, asked whether that entire amount went toward student scholarships. He was told some of that money might have gone to other foundation initiatives.

Elliott asked the foundation to provide more information about how much money was raised and the amount earmarked for student scholarships.

The board and the foundation also discussed HCC's long-term financial outlook.

Anna Barker, vice president of administration and finance, presented an assessment of the school's financial situation through 2012.

The assessment calls for a yearly 1 to 5 percent increase in tuition. In-county students currently pay $89 per credit hour.

The college also will seek more money from the state and county. HCC will ask for 2 to 5 percent more each year from the state, while asking for yearly, double-digit increases of 10 and 15 percent from the county.

"As you know tuition doesn't pay for the whole fray," said Elliott, adding that the county had been responsive to giving the college more money.

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