HANCEVILLE, Ala. — The Wallace State Community College Future Foundation closed out its major gifts campaign in style Wednesday, bringing in more than $237,000 at its 15th annual Student Investment Luncheon and surpassing its $10 million goal by almost $500,000.
“Our story began with all of you, but countless stories are yet to be written for Wallace State students because of your generosity,” Dale Greer, chair of the Future Foundation’s “Our Story Began with You” major gifts campaign, told the crowd of more than 600 in the Tom Drake Coliseum. “We cannot thank you enough.”
Greer recognized Roy Drinkard and Betty Leeth Haynes for their important roles as honorary co-chairs of the Foundation’s major gifts campaign.
Wallace State President Dr. Vicki Karolewics gave special thanks to the event’s presenting sponsor, Traditions Bank.
“Traditions Bank has been a strong support or Wallace State, our students and the Future Foundation,” Karolewics said. “We are pleased to announce that the Traditions Bank Board of Directors has furthered their commitment to supporting scholarship for new and current Wallace State students through a naming opportunity. You are currently seated in what will now be known as the Traditions Bank Arena.”
The Future Foundation’s major gifts campaign generated $2 million for construction of the Center for Entrepreneurship, along with a new Technical Training Center for Welding, which is scheduled to begin early next year. That was provided through a $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce. “We appreciate the support received from Congressman Robert Aderholt on this project,” Greer said.
Almost $3 million was raised to support instructional technology, surpassing the $2 million goal that will support Mechatronics, Welding Technology, Machine Tool Technology, Aviation, Engineering Technology and Construction programs.
The primary focus of the campaign was to raise funds to provide scholarships for current and future Wallace State students. More than $5.1 million was raised through grants, cash, pledges, estate and planned gifts.
The Future Foundation had surpassed its $10 million goal even before Wednesday’s events, but with the $237,439 raised at the luncheon, the tally for the campaign overall is $10,477,757.
Along with $194,000 in table sponsorships, the luncheon brought it $17,000 from its silent auction, $18,000 from its live auction and more than $8,000 in cash donations.
The live auction included everything from a gazebo to a trip to Tuscany, Italy, but the biggest fundraiser at $4,000 was a 4-carat diamond ring donated by Lionel Bates to benefit the Hannah Bates Memorial Scholarship Fund.
Other live auction items included:
• Tuscany, Italy trip for $2,700
• Hank Williams Jr. Experience for $2,500
• Iron Bowl tickets for $2,300
• Little’s on the Lake cabin rental for $2,000
• Beach Club Condo trip to Fort Morgan for $1,900
• Gazebo for $1,400
• Wizard of Oz cake for $850
• Huntsville Airport travel voucher for $400
• Gentleman’s Bourbon Dinner at Dreher’s for $250
• Designs by Grace Valentine’s Wine Dinner for $160, sold five times
“The annual Student Investment Luncheon is about changing a student’s life by investing in their education and producing successful graduates,” said Tim Compton, president of the Wallace State Future Foundation. “Over the last decade, the Foundation has awarded over $1.6 million in scholarships to over 2,000 deserving students enrolled in dual enrollment, academic, health and technical programs.”
Compton announced that Rep. Randall Shedd,R-Fairview has established a scholarship fund for Dual Enrollment students in his service area, which will support up to 10 students each year.
Compton also announced a number of new endowed scholarships, including the Dr. Garlan E. Gudger, Sr. Scholarship, which became fully endowed with the support from Sen. Garlan Gudger, Jr., son of the late Dr. Garlan Gudger, Sr., who served as Dean of Students at Wallace State for many years.
Another endowed scholarship was created by Drinkard Development in honor of Roy Drinkard, “one of the greatest business minds, community leaders, generous and energetic 99-year-olds I know,” Compton said.
Other endowed scholarships announced include the:
• Cullman Housing Authority Scholarship, established by the Cullman Housing Authority Board of Directors; Ricky Kreps, chair; Steve Sides, executive director
• Doris and Ozell Hinkle Endowed Scholarship, in memory of Ozell Hinkle and in honor of Doris Hinkle by their family
• Gerald and Shirley Swann Endowed Scholarship, established by Stan and Suzanne Wood in honor of her parents
• Wallace State & Athens State University Transfer Endowed Scholarship, established by the WSCC Alumni Association and Athens State
The Wallace State Future Foundation provides scholarships and assistance to Wallace State students who may not normally qualify for traditional scholarships or who may need some help in order to complete their education. Awards to students range from $25 gift cards for gas or food to partial and full scholarships. For more information about the Future Foundation or to donate, visit www.wsccfuturefoundation.org.