The MxCC Foundation welcomed scholarship winners to its annual meeting on October 22, bringing students together with the donors who have generously contributed to their education.  In 2015, the Foundation raised nearly $60,000 in scholarships which were awarded to 74 students from throughout Connecticut who have begun or are continuing their studies at Middlesex Community College in the 2015-16 academic year.  

During the annual meeting, the MxCC Foundation’s corporators elected four new board members who will each serve three-year terms.  These volunteers are: Troy Damboise of Bolton, vice president and general auditor for Liberty Bank; Wally Irish of Manchester, president of W. J. Irish Insurance Agency; Donna Leonowich of Cheshire, MxCC professor emerita of Business Administration and Marketing; and Lenell Kittlitz of Rocky Hill, assistant director for construction services for CREC.

“The low tuition costs at a community college and available financial aid was once sufficient to allow students to earn their degrees and find improved career opportunities and a better quality of life for themselves and their families,” said Mary Anne B. Cox, chair of the Foundation.  “That’s no longer true.  Declining state funding for public higher education has reduced college budgets by nearly 25 percent since 2011 in many states, including Connecticut.  At the same time, decreased state funding for student aid and increasing costs create significant financial challenges for many students.  In this environment, the role of donors in sustaining educational opportunities for students is more essential now than ever.  The Annual meeting creates an opportunity for recipients and donors to meet and to recognize their shared interest in making higher education affordable and accessible for the students attending Middlesex Community College.”

The Foundation also recognized MILE, the Middlesex Institute for Lifelong Education, for increasing the numbers of student scholarships it awards through the Foundation each year (from one in 2014 to five in 2015) and for creating the Extra MILE Fund that supports students in dealing with unexpected emergencies that can interfere with their academic plans and delay completion of their degrees or certificates.  

Additionally, the Foundation recognized Ms. Hazel Robinson, formerly of Portland, Conn., for her legacy donation which established an endowed scholarship in honor of her brother Raymond S. Robinson for students attending MxCC.  Ms. Robinson’s gift was the largest single donation received in the Foundation’s history, and she is the first recipient of the Foundation’s newly introduced donor recognition award.  A new legacy society is being developed at the college to encourage similar legacy gifts that will allow donors to continue their philanthropic goals through planned giving.

For more information on the work of the Foundation, please contact Cheryl Dumont Smith, Associate Dean for Development at 860.343.5869.