The Richland Community College Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation seeking the private funds that provide distinction in the educational programs and facilities at Richland Community College. The Foundation is guided by a board of community leaders who provide stewardship over all funds raised by the Foundation. Its mission is to support the College by strengthening connections to the community, promoting excellence in teaching, and providing access for student success.
In 1986, the Foundation became a leader in the state when board members and volunteers raised an initial $2 million through charitable gifts. Today, the Foundation manages over $12,000,000 in assets.
Each year the Foundation awards scholarships to over 500 students attending Richland Community College. Several endowed scholarships also provide funds for transfer students to complete degrees at four-year state institutions in the state of Illinois.
The Foundation has led several capital campaigns that helped complete additions on the College’s campus. These buildings include the Schrodt Health Education Center, the Industrial Technology Center, and the newest additions, the Dwayne O. Andreas Agribusiness Education Center which opened for classes in 2008, and the Center for Sustainability and Innovation, dedicated in 2010.
In addition to raising funds for scholarships and capital projects, the Foundation awards grants for faculty and staff development, has added to the College’s art collection, and has purchased state-of-the-art equipment such as human patient simulators for the health professions programs. Through a restricted endowment, the Kitty Lindsay Learning Resource Center is able to add technology each year making sure the Center offers Richland Community College students the latest platforms for learning and accessing information.
In 2007, the Foundation launched a major gifts campaign known as “Investing in Our Future” to raise funds for the future of Richland Community College. During the campaign, the Foundation received a $6,800,000 bequest from the estate of long-time supporters Walter and Alice Scherer of Decatur. This contribution is the largest to date given by an individual to an Illinois Community College. Because of this gift and the generosity of the community, the campaign exceeded its goal of $17 million in 2010, well ahead of schedule.
How the Foundation Supports Richland
The Foundation supports the College in these ways:
- Providing scholarships for full- and part-time students
- Increasing and enhancing the physical and cultural environment of Richland Community College
- Assisting the Richland Community College Alumni Association
- Accepting gifts of money, appreciated stock, property, works of art, educational or historical materials, and related assets having real value
- Establishing endowments, scholarships, buildings, equipment, and other programs needed by the College
- Acting in a fiduciary capacity to carry out these goals