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Elise Hamner
Foundation Director
Kelsey Guenther
Foundation Developer

(541) 888-7211 or (541) 888-7209
Email Southwestern Foundation

SWOCC Foundation
1988 Newmark Ave.
Coos Bay, OR 97420


Your gifts make education possible

When you choose to support the Southwestern Foundation you are choosing to improve people's lives right here in our local community. We fundraise and “friend-raise” to support our students through scholarships, volunteerism and community collaboration.

Some of our most impactful work is providing scholarships. This year, the Southwestern Foundation will award more than 100 scholarships to students attending Southwestern. More than half of our students are the first in their families to go to college and pursue professional and high-tech training. Without this assistance, many of our students could not attend college.

We invest in other projects to help students on their paths to become tomorrow's leaders. We also focus on faculty innovation, supporting study abroad, and continuing our campaign to complete a new health and science technology building.

This is all made possible thanks to the support of generous donors who care about education and our community.


Meet our Board of Trustees and Staff

Who We Are

We are fortunate in the SWOCC Foundation to have a committed board of trustees made up of business and community leaders, and alumni. These individuals are passionate about our college and committed to meeting students where they are and in equitable ways to help all students thrive. Our Foundation staff and volunteers strive to connect donors, alumni and friends with SWOCC in ways that are meaningful and create opportunities for diverse students of all ages and interests. 100% of gifts to our Foundation support scholarships, faculty excellence and capital investment. This in turn is important to our college in ensuring students complete studies, SWOCC attracts inspiring faculty and we maintain world-class facilities.

Photo of foundation trustee Carolyn Thompson
Carolyn Thompson

2022 Distinguished Alum
Certified Public Accountant, Carolyn D. Thompson CPA LLC

Photo of foundation trustee Dr. Patti Gates, O.D.
Dr. Patti Gates, O.D.
Vice Chair

Optometrist, Coos Bay Vision Center

Foundation trustee LaMont Swinson
LaMont Swinson

2019 Distinguished Alum
Branch Manager, Directors Mortgage

Cap Sharples, member Foundation Board of Trustees
Cap Sharples

Retired College Advisor

Photo of Southwestern Oregon Community College Foundation trustee Jackie Chambers
Jackie Chambers

Coquille Indian Tribe, Tribal Council

Photo of Southwestern Oregon Community College Foundation trustee Carma Erickson Hurt
Carma Erickson Hurt, D.N.P.
Foundation Trustee

Nursing Instructor, Private University

Photo of foundation trustee Dr. John Flaxel
Dr. John Flaxel

Retired Ophthalmologist, Bay Eye Clinic

Photo of Foundation Trustee Caddy McKeown
Caddy McKeown

Retired State Representative

Foundation trustee Arnie Roblan
Arnie Roblan

Retired State Senator

Our Mission

We support Southwestern Oregon Community College through promotion of philanthropy to improve people’s lives – socially, culturally, economically and educationally – through Friend-raising and Fundraising.


Foundation celebrates peace tree planting

Southwestern Oregon Community College joins with more than 30 other Oregon communities in the Hiroshima Peace Tree project. This tree symbolizes our college’s and our community’s long history of friendship and trade with people from around the world.