More than $266K raised at annual Wallace State Student Investment Luncheon


Attendees of the Wallace State Future Foundation Student Investment Luncheon look over silent auction items up for bid. The luncheon raised more than $266,000 to support scholarships.

HANCEVILLE – More than $266,000 was raised during the 14th annual Student Investment Luncheon hosted by the Wallace State Community College Future Foundation, with support from presenting sponsor Jackson & Williams and dozens of other sponsors, faculty and staff.

Wallace State President Dr. Vicki Karolewics welcomed the more than 600 in attendance at this year’s luncheon, recognizing special guests and thanking sponsors. “We appreciate your commitment to being a part of this event,” she said. “Thank you to all who have participated, offered contributions, bought tickets, donated auction items, worked and served.”

“The annual Student Investment Luncheon is about changing a student’s life by investing in their education and producing successful graduates,” said Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce President Leah Bolin, who currently serves as the president of the Future Foundation Board of Directors. “All proceeds from today’s event will benefit Future Foundation scholarships. Over the last decade, the Foundation has awarded over $1.3 million in scholarships to almost 1,500 deserving students.”

The Foundation has more than 150 named and endowed scholarships, with 18 new named and endowed scholarships added for 2018-2019. A scholarship becomes endowed when its cumulative contribution reaches $25,000 or more. Endowed scholarships will remain active for perpetuity, with the ability to help students far into the future.

An alumna of Wallace State, Bolin asked other Wallace State students in the audience to stand, noting that about half of the hundreds in attendance did so. “Many of us owe our education to this institution,” she said.

Fellow alum and Foundation board member Dale Greer, director of the City of Cullman Economic Development Authority, provided an update on the Foundation’s Major Gifts Campaign, which began quietly more than a year ago with a goal of raising $10 million to support student scholarships, cutting edge instructional technology, assist in building an emerging workforce and an entrepreneurship center. With a recent $2 million grant from the Department of Commerce to build a new technical education center that will include new facilities for Welding and an entrepreneurship incubator, the campaign has now raised more than $6.4 million.

“Because of generous donors like all of you in this room, hundreds of students have had their lives changed for the good through the opportunity to complete a college education,” Greer said. “Their stories and those stories of the students around you today started with each of you.”

For more information about the Wallace State Future Foundation, visit