Hartnell receives $20 Million philanthropic gift from Mary and Andy Matsui

Publish Date: 
Nov 6, 2017

Hartnell receives $20 Million philanthropic gift from Mary and Andy Matsui

215 acres of land with lots of possibilities

SALINAS, Calif.  – At a press conference on Thursday, November 2, 2017, Teresa Matsui, on behalf of her parents Mary and Andy Matsui, announced the philanthropic gift of 215 acres of land north ​east​  of Salinas valued at $20 Million.  The audience received the news with a standing ovation.

The land is located within the future growth area of Salinas. This gift is the largest that the Hartnell College Foundation has received in its history. 

The press conference began with the Color Guard from Soledad ROTC followed by an introduction by President of the Board of Trustees, Manuel Osorio and Superintendent/President, Dr. Willard Lewallen. President of the Foundation Board, Anne Secker and Vice President of Advancement, Jackie Cruz joined the group at the podium to accept the gift from the Matsui Family.

“Education was always a high priority for my parents, so it was not surprising that they focused their philanthropy on education, and awarded scholarships to students whose lives could be transformed through the power of education,” commented Teresa. “We also came to believe that Hartnell was uniquely positioned to maximize the impact of my parents' gift to the benefit of the Salinas Valley and Monterey County.”

“With this generous gift of land, the Matsui family continues to demonstrate their confidence in Hartnell College, faculty, and staff with their abilities to provide a successful and healthy environment for our Salinas Valley student population,” remarked Trustee Osorio. “The Hartnell College Board of Trustees immensely appreciates their investment in our community.”

Andy and Mary have designed their philanthropy to achieve two crucial goals for our students’ education and preparation for the local workforce. 

  • First, for the first two years, the land’s lease income will provide approximately $400,000 in scholarship support for Cohort 5 of '​Computer Science Bachelor’s Degree in 3 years​'​ (CSin3) program, in collaboration with CSU Monterey Bay, to earn a Computer Science Bachelor’s Degree in 3 years. 
  • Second, this foresighted gift gives Hartnell the extraordinary fiscal ability and flexibility to continue our work to develop new and innovative programs and student support that focus on building a strong, local workforce.

“The announcement of this gift was very emotional for me,” shared Dr. Lewallen. “When I thought about the generations of families whose education dreams will be impacted by this gift, I had difficulty keeping my composure during the press conference. I am honored that the Matsui Family has placed its trust in Hartnell College to continue and to expand its noble work in transforming lives and strengthening our communities.”

“The power of transformation was also a big theme in our family. You could live a rather predictable life, or you could upend those expectations and forge a new existence through vision, hard work, and sheer force of will,” Teresa added. “This is an unrestricted gift, so Hartnell is free to do what its leadership determines to be in the institution's best interests.”

During the presentation, the audience inside the Student Center heard from CSin3 Cohort 4 student, Ariel McCarthy, who shared how the Matsui scholarship has helped her, as a single mother of one, to keep her focus in completing the program successfully. She said that thanks to the $25,000 scholarship she received, she was able to move closer to college and afford transportation. 

In recognition of their inspiring philanthropy across all of Monterey County, Anne Secker, Dr. Willard Lewallen, and Manuel Osorio presented Mary and Andy Matsui with the Transformational Philanthropic Award. Both Mary and Andy accepted humbly with a smile on their faces.  They also received a letter from Congressman Jimmy Panetta and a certificate from Senator Anthony Cannella.


Since 2004, the Matsui Family has given more than $8 Million in scholarships to 200 students [and counting] from Monterey County high schools and community colleges. The Matsui Family through the Matsui Foundation has awarded $30,000 and $25,000 scholarships to students to pursue a bachelor’s degree in computer science through the accelerated CSin3 program.  Cohorts 1 and 2 have successfully graduated and the outcomes of completion and job placement are unlike any other figures in the entire country.

Hartnell Community College District – established in 1920

The Hartnell CCD serves over 17,000 students annually through its main campus in Salinas, the Alisal Campus in East Salinas, the King City Education Center, and various outreach learning centers throughout the Salinas Valley. Hartnell College, a Hispanic Serving Institution, provides associate degree and certificate programs, workforce training, courses in basic skills, and prepares students for transfer to four-year colleges and universities. Hartnell College is recognized for its innovative public and private partnerships that support world-class education for STEM, career technical education, fine and performing arts, humanities/social sciences, nursing/healthcare, and athletics. We are proud to be the winners of the 2015 Innovation Award for CSin3 – a Computer Science bachelor’s degree in three years.  We are growing leaders through opportunity, engagement, and achievement. For more about Hartnell CCD, visit www.hartnell.edu.