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SWOCC reaching for third year of Miller Foundation Challenge grant

COOS BAY, OR – Oregon’s 17 community colleges have been challenged to outpace their fundraising for student scholarship money for the third year in a row, thanks to a challenge grant from the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation.

Southwestern Oregon Community College (SWOCC) met the challenges in 2008 and 2009 and is determined to meet the one given to the college in 2010.  The outcome is a tremendous boost to financially strapped students throughout the district. For every dollar raised the Miller Foundation matches one dollar, but only if the college raises the minimum amount delegated to it based on the size of the college.

This is an amazing opportunity for students to access Southwestern who might otherwise not be able to start or continue,” Southwestern Foundation Executive Director Karen Pringle said.

“This is an amazing opportunity for students to access Southwestern who might otherwise not be able to start or continue,” Southwestern Foundation Executive Director Karen Pringle said. “We will be able to increase scholarships if we increase giving from current donors and new gifts from donors who haven’t given to Southwestern before.”

The Miller Foundation, an independent private organization established to enhance the quality of life for Oregonians through support of the arts and education, has offered to donate $1.5 million in total to the 17 community colleges. The challenges range from $50,000 for the 10 smallest colleges up to $320,000 for the state’s largest community college.

“We feel community colleges are a vital part of Oregon’s educational system and economy,” Miller Foundation President Chuck Putney said. “However, attendance at these colleges is a financial challenge for many students. Frequently, the opportunity to attend a community college is a pathway to a living wage and a secure family.”

Pringle said the Southwestern Foundation received 189 applications for scholarships last year and has funds for 57 students from the Foundation.

“Now we are in the final year of the challenge and have until March 31st to raise $50,000,” she said.  “The Foundation is within $8,840 of the $50,000 goal for our 2010 challenge grant.”

To donate to the Southwestern Foundation, simply click on the new scholarship hot button at www.socc.edu or contact the Southwestern Foundation office at 541-888-7211 or foundation@socc.edu.

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Published Feb 10, 2011 (Updated Feb 23, 2012)

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