CARTERVILLE, IL (KFVS) - John A. Logan College officials announced Friday, September 13 that the College's Foundation has recently accepted a $1.48 million gift, the largest gift in the nearly 50-year history of the college.
An area couple, which has requested to remain anonymous, asked that the gift be used to establish scholarships for students studying in the field of science and technology, engineering and math. It will fund 10 tuition and fee scholarships each year.
"Words cannot describe how grateful we are for this very generous gift," said JALC Foundation Executive Director Staci Bynum. "It is a wonderful testament to the power of philanthropy."
Bynum said the couple has given the gift of education to students they will never meet.
"The gift of education is a very powerful gift and the Foundation Board of Directors is honored that this couple respected John A. Logan College enough to create these educational opportunities for our students."
Bynum said the funds couldn't have come at a better time.
"Our enrollment continues to grow at John A. Logan College, and as enrollment increases, so does our need for new scholarships," he said.
Despite the growing student population, state grant funding has suffered drastic cuts.
"The MAP grant originally paid for 100 percent of tuition costs for students who qualified," said Sherry Summary, Director of Financial Aid. "Over the past 10 years, funding has gradually decreased. Now, the MAP grant covers approximately 50 percent of tuition costs, so the need for financial assistance is significant."
With the increase in student need and decrease in state funding, the pressure is on for the Foundation to deliver. Twenty-six people located throughout the JALC District serve on the Foundation's Board of Directors.
"This is a tremendous gift and we are so thankful to the donors for their trust in the JALC Foundation," said organization president, Elaine Melby. "It is our hope that more people will consider the Foundation when making major gifts because education is very important to our community."
JALC President Dr. Mike Dreith is excited about the opportunities that the gift will present.
"We were obviously delighted with the news and look forward to making the gift work for the betterment of our students," he said. "I think this is a testament to the legacy of excellence at John A. Logan College and the recognition that education can change lives."
The donation provides an opportunity for the College to be a leader in a national initiative designed to move American students from the middle to the top of the pack in science and math achievement over the next decade.
Vice President for Instructional Services, Dr. Deborah Payne, recognizes the benefits.
"This generous gift will enable John A Logan College to offer academic scholarships to students interested in majoring in science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs. We look forward to welcoming a new group of Logan STEM Scholars," she said.
Logan plans to welcome the first group of scholarship students next fall.