In the hectic hustle of the holidays, moments of reflection are rare, but I invite you to pause a few minutes to bask in another year of achievements made possible by many individuals and partners who are making brighter futures for our students.
Thanks to our donors’ generosity, our students have hope for a brighter tomorrow. We are grateful for the $1,082,307 in total private giving as of June 30, 2018. We appreciate our employees who have also caught the vision of investing in students’ futures. Their participation grew by 45%, raising $42,885. In all, $339,850 in Foundation Scholarships were awarded to 221 students.
Our community understands student success suffers when life circumstances get in the way. That is why the Tiger Cupboard food pantry on campus and the Helping Hands Fund for students in a crisis were started this year. We are fortunate to be surrounded by contributors who understand that students occasionally need support beyond the classroom.
We are delighted to celebrate the accomplishments of high-quality faculty and staff each year through our Faculty Chairs of Excellence program (here and here), Faculty Fellowships (here and here), and Employee Excellence Awards. It takes good people to create a successful learning environment on campus—an environment that has captured outside attention resulting in several awards for our workforce and technical divisions (here and here).
We appreciate the team of dedicated college professionals who committed to go beyond their daily work to make students’ lives better through areas of focus that grant projects make possible. They helped secure $5,255,240 in competitive, public grants as of June 30, 2018, including a $200,000 Tennessee Promise Forward Grant, and a $626,624 grant to expand our daycare program into evening hours, as well as provide daycare expense assistance for low income student parents.
The 7th annual Dinner of Firsts recently honored Chattanooga State alum, EPB President and CEO David Wade. Over its history, this event has netted more than $417,000 for First in the Family scholarship support, benefitting first-generation college students. This milestone would never have been reached without our dedicated volunteers, sponsors, table hosts, and donors who helped set a new record this year of $77,000 in proceeds.
We have expanded our athletic program and embraced new partnerships to benefit our students, but what matters most to me is that we improved the lives of thousands of students and their families this past year. The Chattanooga State Class of 2018 included undergraduate and technical students who earned 2,178 credentials, because of their determination and hard-work. Many attended college part-time while juggling work and family responsibilities in order to provide a more secure economic future. As we approach the start of a new year, may we draw on the inspiration we gain from their success to further energize efforts bringing brighter futures to all who follow.
Happy Holidays to you and yours!