> Home > Foundation > About Hartnell > History

History of the Foundation

The Hartnell College Foundation was incorporated in December 1979 to raise funds to support and benefit the Hartnell Community College District. The first meeting of the Board of Directors was held approximately two years later, in October 1981.

During the early years, the Foundation focused its efforts primarily on providing money for student scholarships, and held several major fundraising events that supported the arts and scholarships. Donations were tax-deductible because of the Foundation’s non-profit status.

In 1985, Mr. and Mrs. Villeroy Gleason bequeathed their residence in King City to the Foundation. The Gleasons' home was remodeled with classrooms and office space. The Gleason Center introduced the College's educational presence in South County.

The Foundation scholarship endowment was bolstered by the Eugene and Ercia Harden Memorial Scholarship. Beginning in 1988, the Eugene and Ercia Harden Memorial Scholarships were awarded to outstanding students with high grade point averages who had engaged in many extra-curricular activities. Each Harden Scholar receives a $500 scholarship and the Harden Medal, recognizing his or her academic achievement.

Many other endowments were created, including the California Rodeo Fiesta Day Scholarship, the Henry J. Willis Memorial Scholarship, the Betty Hathaway Business Scholarship, the Dorcas Davenport Brown Memorial Scholarship, the Terezina A. Hackney Memorial Scholarship, the Elmer and Dorothy Eade Memorial Scholarship and the June Handley Memorial Scholarship.

Numerous community organizations, businesses, corporations, and individuals support the College Scholarship Program on an annual basis. The Foundation's scholarship endowments now exceed $ 1.8 million with the addition of annual scholarship contributions of more than $200,000.

In memory of Phyllis and Roy Gleason, the Gleason Faculty and Staff Awards were established to recognize Hartnell College instructors and classified staff. Each year, one outstanding faculty member receives a $2,000 award and one outstanding classified staff person receives a $1,000 case award.

In 1997, the Foundation directors adopted this mission statement: "The Hartnell College Foundation will actively support and advise the College in developing its activities, programs and facilities; will cultivate bequests and donations; and will responsibly administer funds, properties, bequests, annuities, and other instruments in the best interest of the College, the District, and the Foundation."

The Foundation, under the leadership of Executive Director Cicely McCreight, held its first capital campaign for the King City Education Center, raising more than $600,000 towards that facility, which opened in May 2002. More than 1,500 students now attend classes in King City and are able to complete their AA degree solely through that facility, if desired.

In September 2005, Beverly Grova was hired as the first dean of advancement and development of the college, and to assume the role as executive director of the foundation. This marked the college’s recognition of the importance of fundraising from private, corporate, and foundation sources to achieve its goals. Beverly came to the school having successfully launched major gift efforts on behalf of Cabrillo College, California State University, Monterey Bay, and the National Steinbeck Center.

Since Beverly’s arrival, the Foundation Board has been expanded in membership and scope of efforts. As members of the President’s Task Force—a group of college, community, and foundation board members who worked over a six-month period--they identified key initiatives that students, faculty, and staff reported as areas of high priority, and that the Task Force deemed likely to garner community support, and created a fundraising plan.

As a result of that work, the Agriculture Steering Committee began meeting in earnest almost immediately, and had a full-blown three-year operational and funding plan prepared during the summer of 2006. Support for the Library Fund was also immediate.

On December 5, 2006, the Library Fund officially launched with gifts totaling $625,000.

On March 1, 2007, the Agricultural Business and Technology Institute officially launched with gifts totaling $1.23 million.

The Hartnell College Foundation serves the students of the Hartnell College District. The college is the only public institution of higher education exclusively serving the Salinas Valley, a 1,000+ square-mile agricultural region. As of fall 2005, the college’s more than 10,000 students were 68 percent minority and 53 percent female. Latinos comprise 54 percent of the total enrollment. More than 41 percent of the college’s students are non-native English speakers and more than 50 percent are the first in their family to attend college.

The Salinas Valley population area is characterized by large numbers of migrant workers and their families, chronically high unemployment, and high rates of poverty. Hartnell is the only affordable and accessible postsecondary access point for the underrepresented students in the region. Approximately half of the student population is between the ages of 18-24, 30 percent of students are between 25 and 39, and 20 percent are forty years old and above. The campus is in compliance with federal disability regulations, and approximately one percent of our population is disabled, primarily learning and mobility impaired.