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MAC Foundation targets areas for annual campaign

PARK HILLS — Mineral Area College Foundation Inc., the 501.C.3 non-profit organization that benefits the college, has selected target areas for the 2005 Annual Fund Campaign.

In addition to the General Scholarship Fund, the Flat River Junior College Scholarship Fund, and the Enhancement Grants, divisional needs have been identified in the library and nursing program.

“The Foundation’s mission is a simple one which seamlessly aligns with the goals established by the MAC Board of Trustees,” said Peggy Ropelle, who is assistant to MAC’s president and works closely with the foundation.

“MAC Foundation is fortunate to have alumni and friends who are interested in financially supporting the college’s mission,” she said. “People in our area realize the value of higher education and incorporate MAC Foundation in their annual charitable giving plans. In working with donors, the gift-giving reasons vary greatly.

“Reasons range from loyalty to Flat River Junior College or Mineral Area College, to camaraderie and college friendships, to business and economic interests, to straight-forward tax deductions. Whatever the reason, MAC Foundation is ready to work with anyone who wishes to make an annual fund contribution or gift of another kind.”

Ropelle said MAC’s teaching and learning environments are enhanced when contributions are made.

For additional information concerning the 2005 Annual Fund Campaign or other gift ideas, contact Peggy at 573-518-2114.

General Scholarship Fund

About 70 percent of Mineral Area College students received financial assistance to pay their college-related expenses. The small tuition hikes, implemented to offset recent state funding, have increased the students’ expenses.

According to Financial Aid Director Denise Sebastian, “The average full-time MAC student receives approximately $3,490 in financial aid each year. Our office goal is to direct students to grants and scholarships that do not need to be repaid.”

However, many students resort to borrowing money to finance their education.

“Unfortunately, some students leave MAC with major student loans to repay,” Sebastian said. “That is unfortunate when the students work so hard to earn an education to support themselves. I see first-hand how helpful scholarships are to our students.

“Every week we have students — some in tears — who fear they will have to leave school because of financial reasons. When you hear and see the concerns and loss of hope that we see in many of our students, you understand the power of scholarship and how it truly changes lives.”

Ropelle said if everyone who has benefited from MAC or FRJC contributed some money, $5, $25 or $50, each year, MAC’s General Scholarship Fund could greatly impact students’ academic success and reduce the anxiety associated with the financial stressors.

FRJC Scholarship Fund

Ropelle said remembering the rich Flat River Junior College history provides the impetus to create the Flat River Junior College Scholarship Fund.

“FRJC impacted the lives of those who attended, from 1922 until 1965, in so many ways — academically, professionally, and socially,” Ropelle said of MAC’s precursor. “This scholarship will keep FRJC viable to future MAC students who apply for financial aid.”

Ropelle said meeting, working, and receiving letters from FRJC alumni “are some of the most rewarding aspects of my position at MAC.”

“Everyone who has shared a story, donated a yearbook, or brought by photo has taught me so very much about FRJC’s value as an institution of higher learning as well as a place where many long-lasting and valued friendships, even romances, were formed,” she said. “To all of you who attended FRJC and made it a wonderful institution, it is because of your successes and loyalty that Mineral Area College exists today as a quality institution bringing higher education to our local area. I encourage you to become a charter member for this FRJC Scholarship Fund.”

Enhancement Grant

Gil Kennon, dean of the Career and Technical Division (formerly the Vocational-Technical Division), selected the Nursing Department for this year’s Enhancement Grant funds.

“To better serve the needs of our students and ultimately our area’s health care needs, MAC’s nursing program is a good investment of dollars,” said Kennon, who is also a MAC graduate. “By donating to the Enhancement Grant, every dollar of your donation is matched with approximately $3 from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education funds for equipment and furnishings. It brings your tax dollars back to our area.”

Kennon said the nursing program needs to expand the number of seats available in the program to serve the demand for nurses in our immediate area and throughout the state.

Currently, MAC’s LPN and RN programs annually accept 36 and 32 students, respectively, per program. For this year’s programs, approximately 250 applications were received.

Divisional Needs

The Arts & Sciences Division and the Career & Technical Division both have financial needs as they prepare for the upcoming North Central Association accreditation visit in 2007-2008.

Library Accreditation Needs

Arts and Sciences Dean Steve Kurtz said MAC’s library serves MAC and Central Methodist University students, faculty and community users, and although MAC’s annual budget allocates funds for library support, the costs of updating and expanding library resources and the library’s technology needs are increasing.

“To provide library users with quality and up-to-date resource materials to satisfy the North Central Association accreditation standards, the library needs to ensure access to resources that are necessary to support learning and teaching,” Kurtz said.

Nursing Lab Renovation

Dean Kennon said, in terms of the funding process for the Career and Technical Division, “While the Enhancement Grant funds can purchase equipment and furnishings, the funds cannot be spent on any renovation costs. Therefore, to do the actual nursing lab renovation, it will cost about $10,000. If everyone who is a MAC nursing graduate or has received care from a MAC nursing graduate would make a small contribution, the nursing department could accomplish the remodeling goal.”

The Foundation

Mineral Area College Foundation is a 501(C)(3) not-for-profit corporation under Missouri law. The Foundation exists solely for the benefit of Mineral Area College, serving as the preferred channel for private gifts to all areas of the college.

“Whatever your gift-giving reason, Mineral Area College Foundation is available to assist you with your charitable giving plans to invest in Mineral Area College and ultimately our local communities,” Ropelle said. “Frequently, individuals tell me they cannot make a gift large enough to make a difference. I remind them that the success of the Foundation’s 1988-89 Endowment Challenge raised over a half million dollars from hundreds of individual gifts of all sizes. One of our area’s greatest strengths is the willingness to work in partnership with each other.”

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