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Foundation celebrates $1.5 million in scholarships, support for 2013-14

From left: Foundation for Seminole State Board of Directors Vice-Chair Melanie Cornell; Seminole State President Dr. E. Ann McGee; Florida College System Foundation Treasurer Brian Buwalda; and FCS Foundation members Isa Adney and Randy Berridge. More photos from the Celebration of Giving are available online.

The Foundation for Seminole State College celebrated $1.5 million in scholarships and program support for the College and its students – including a record $670,000 in scholarships awarded directly to students – during its Celebration of Giving on Aug. 21.

About 125 people – including several new Foundation Board of Directors members – attended the event, which gave donors the opportunity to interact with students, faculty and staff on campus, and also to be recognized for their support.

"The reason we're here is to simply say thank you," said Foundation Executive Director John Gyllin. “Your generosity and support are changing lives and giving students the opportunities to achieve and graduate.”

Corporate Champion Awards

During the event, the Art and Phyllis Grindle Foundation Inc. and the Orlando Magic Youth Fund (OMYF) were presented with the Foundation Board of Directors' top honor, the Corporate Champion Award.

Former Florida legislator and businessman Art Grindle and his wife, Phyllis, were longtime benefactors of Seminole State College and were the first individuals to make a $1 million donation to the College. The Grindle family continues its commitment to the College through support of the Grindle Honors Institute. This year, the family made a $250,000 commitment to ensure Seminole State students have an outstanding honors experience through scholarships, travel and programming.   

The Orlando Magic Youth Fund has been an outstanding advocate for Seminole State’s First Generation Freshmen initiative. OMYF’s two grants, totaling $125,000, established the Molding Another Generation In College (M.A.G.I.C.) program, designed to help first-generation college students achieve success. The Orlando Magic provide additional support to Seminole State through the Foundation’s annual Dream Gala and to students through their scholarship program.

2013-14 highlights

Highlights of the Foundation’s record-breaking fiscal year include:

  • Awarding more than $1.5 million in scholarships and program support, including $670,000 in scholarship funds awarded to students, and ending the year with a record $19 million in assets.
  • Raising $325,000 at its two signature events, the Dream Gala and the Dream Cup Challenge Golf Tournament – another record-breaking accomplishment.
  • Raising more than $72,000 for scholarships and program support through a faculty and staff giving campaign.
  • Receiving a grant of $77,000 from the Duke Energy Foundation to bolster the College’s STEM programs, which impact Seminole State and Seminole County Public Schools students.
  • Receiving a $40,000 contribution from the Florida College System Foundation, which has provided nearly $180,000 to the College, to assist our nursing and first-generation students as they continue their education

Student Impact

Students, faculty and staff from Seminole State’s Accounting, Engineering and Construction, Interior Design, Public Safety, Nursing, and First Generation Freshmen programs were able to interact with and thank donors for their support while displaying projects or accomplishments from their programs. Students from the Grindle Honors Institute and the Fine Arts Department greeted guests and entertained them with live music and performances.

Seminole State alumni Alex Setzer and Isa Adney also extended appreciation to donors. Setzer is the newly elected chairman of the College's District Board of Trustees, and Adney is a Florida College System Foundation board member and published author.

“As an alumnus of Seminole State, I understand firsthand the resources it takes to go to college, and we really can’t thank our donors enough,” Setzer said.

Adney talked about the power of receiving scholarship support and the opportunity to pay it forward to help change the lives of current and future Seminole State students.

“Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy opportunity,” Adney said. “Thank you for investing in and believing in the students of Seminole State College.

The Foundation awarded its two 2014 Corporate Champion awards to the Art and Phyllis Grindle Foundation Inc. (above) and the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation (below).
About the Foundation for Seminole State College: The Foundation for Seminole State is a not-for-profit, tax-exempt corporation dedicated to enhancing Seminole State College's programs and services through the development and management of private contributions, public grants and community partnerships. For more information, visit the Foundation website.

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