History of the Ellsworth Community College Foundation
The corporate existence of Ellsworth College Foundation began in August 27, 1958 as a 501(c) 3 corporation. Its primary effort consists of raising funds used for scholarships, equipment purchase, and building and ground improvement.
The Foundation was initially created to raise funds for construction of a new administrative building (Kruse Main) to replace Old Main, which was destroyed by fire in 1949. It has also conducted successful fund drives to construct other campus buildings, including:
Raising $450,000 for an Indoor Swimming Pool.
1988, it initiated the successful $1.715 million Second Century Challenge Capital Campaign which raised money to help construct Reg Johnson Hall, the Gentle Student Center, restore Bullock-Jones Hall, remodel Kruse Main, and construct an outdoor recreation area directly west of Martin Ellsworth Dittmer Gymnasium. Money from the campaign was also used to remodel McClure Hall.
A fund drive was also completed which paid for building the Calkins Nature Area Interpretive Center.
2006-2012 a Capital Campaign was conducted to raise $6 million dollars to build the Robert & Arlene Hamilton Campus (Agriculture & Renewable Energy Center and, Equine Facility) and the Dale Howard Family Activity Center.
2011 Completed the Don Henrich Athletic Building.
2014-2017 Conducted the 125th Continuing the Vision Anniversary Campaign which raised over $1.25 million dollars which went towards scholarships. It helped to increase the number of endowed scholarships to over 125 and raise $1.25 million in scholarship dollars.
The Foundation also acts as the agent for gifts to campus organizations, athletic teams, and funds such as the E-Club, Friends of the Calkins Nature Center, and the Friends of the Pat Clark Art Collection.
The 18-member board of directors meets monthly and governs the Foundation and oversees the Office of Development and Alumni Affairs, as well as investments to perpetuate the Foundation’s growing endowed scholarship program. The office was created in 1984 with a part-time volunteer director charged with raising money for academic scholarships. The Foundation hired it first full-time director in 1986 who concentrated on deferred gifts through wills and estates.
During the same period, planning for the college’s centennial celebration and exploration of a major fund drive was undertaken. In 1988, the office’s second full-time director was given the responsibility of coordinating the Second Century Challenge Campaign and conducting an annual year-end mailing and Spring Un-phonathon to raise funds for the college. A part-time director was held in 1996. A $100,000 fund drive to complete the Calkins Nature Area Interpretive Center was successfully completed.
As of 2020, the Foundation office holds two full-time positions, Director and Office Associate. The Foundation also maintains an endowed scholarship program for students at Ellsworth Community College. Currently there are over 130 endowed scholarships varying in amounts from $250 to $5000.These scholarships provide approximately 300 awards each year.