CHALLENGE III: Development
Battle Creek Michigan is a community with a strong philanthropic spirit. It is the home of one of the largest foundations in the world, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, a Community Foundation, the Miller Foundation, and the Binda Foundation. The community is known for its emphasis on volunteerism, service learning, personal, organizational, and corporate philanthropy. This is the environment where Miller College was created.
The Robert B. Miller College was born from the philanthropic base of the Binda and Miller Foundations, with input from the Board of Trustees of Kellogg Community College. These three founders of the College responded to a community need of Battle Creek and the nearby counties to create Miller College.
Miller College is operated under the authority of Articles of Incorporation which identify the owner of the College as the Miller Foundation. While the lead role in funding the development of the College was shouldered by the Miller Foundation, each of the other foundations has funded and supported the College with assistance in one way or another.
The initial HLC team indicated that the College needed to make a direct effort in increasing the effort in private philanthropy with the goal of creating and growing an endowment to assist the College. This suggestion was taken to heart and the College president began to organize and move forward with a fund development strategy and plan. However, at the same time the effort continued to gain support in the form of grants and loans from the original philanthropic base.
The result has been an increase in funding from personal contributions, grants, and foundation sponsorship. The totals from all sources are: $409,877.00 in 2009-10; $446,866.00 in 2010-11; and $458,094.00 in 2011-12.
However, with the departure of the president early in the 2012-13 fiscal year and the HLC Self Study in process, the College Board of Trustees asked the two retired presidents of the College to return. Founding President Arthur Angood and President Emeritus Paul Ohm agreed to return and did so August 17, 2012.
Since that date Arthur Angood has returned in a consulting role focusing in the area of fund development. He has been working with College staff to create a fund development strategy and making donor contacts. The goal is to create an Endowment Fund that will grow over time. The details of the Fund Development Plan will be brought to the College Board as they are formatted. The first discussion will be at the board meeting on October 30, 2012.
Paul Ohm returned as president of the College and has focused his efforts on internal operations, budget, financial plans, cost control, succession planning, and the completion of the HLC Self Study.
We believe that the effort of the College Board and the past presidents is the best way to move the College forward at this time. We are committed to plan, develop, and implement a Miller College Endowment Fund in 2012-13. As the materials are in process the completed strategy is not able to be included in the Self Study. However, the Fund Development Plan will be available for the team visit in February 2013.
Many scholarship opportunities will be available to students as fund development continues to increase:
President’s Honor Scholarship
The President’s Honor Scholarship has a value of $10,000; $5,000/semester. This scholarship is awarded in the fall semester only and is a one-year award. Applicants must be registered for a minimum of 12 semester hours and possess a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.85.
The Merit Scholarship is awarded in the Fall, Spring, Summer I and Summer II semesters. $1,000 is awarded each Fall and Spring-students must be registered for a minimum of 6 semester hours. $500 is awarded each Summer I and Summer II-students must be registered for a minimum of 3 semester hours. Students must have completed at least 6 semester hours previously at Miller College and have a minimum GPA of 3.5.
The Partner Scholarship is awarded in the Fall, Spring, Summer I and Summer II semesters. $1,000 is awarded in the fall and spring- students must be registered for a minimum of 6 semester hours. $500 is awarded for each Summer I and Summer II- students must be registered for a minimum of 3 semester hours. Students must be NEW to Miller College and have a minimum transfer GPA of 3.25.
Miller College Alumni Book Scholarship
Miller College Alumni Book Scholarship has a value of $300.00. and is awarded in the fall and spring semesters only. This is a one-time gift and is not renewable at this time. Priority will be given to students who are paying the highest percentage of their educational costs out of pocket and have completed three or more semesters at Miller College.
One student will be selected per semester. A check will be written to the recipient for use at the Kellogg Community College bookstore or any online or other source for Miller College textbooks.
Wounded Warrior Scholarship
The Wounded Warrior Scholarship is awarded in the Fall and Spring semesters only and has a value of up to $2,500/semester. Applicants have served in any branch of the military or may be an immediate family member to a service man/woman as defined; dependent child and/or spouse. Funds for this scholarship are raised through the annual Conifer Open golf outing.
Due to the generosity of private donors, the Miller College Unity Scholarship was established to acknowledge and recognize students who believe that inclusion is paramount to adding value to our College, community, and society.
In order to enhance the diversity of the student population, the Miller College Scholarship Committee has developed partnerships with VOCES, a local 501c3 connecting the Hispanic/Latino community with the Greater Battle Creek community, and with Lutheran Social Services, which offers services and support to the Burmese community in Battle Creek. This scholarship is offered to their ‘membership’ through their own staff and volunteers. The decision-making committee will consist of individuals representing the aforementioned organizations and the Miller College Scholarship Chair and the Financial Aid Director will process the scholarship once awarded. Additional partnerships are currently being explored.
The scholarship is awarded in the Fall, Spring, Summer I and Summer II semesters. A qualified recipient must be a new student with a minimum transfer GPA of 2.75 or higher. Recipients will receive 50% of their tuition paid (after any applicable Pell Grant monies have been awarded) for the entire time he/she is taking classes at Miller College.
III.B. Create permanent endowments
A Miller College Endowment Fund has been created. Stakeholders, faculty and staff are encouraged to contribute to one of several donations to the College including: (1) Endowment, (2) Emergency Fund for students, and (3) Faculty/Staff Development Scholarship Fund. Donors may designate the use of the funds and donations are strictly optional for Miller College employees. The College budget reflects the amount contributed thus far.
III.C. Relieve the President of some responsibilities to allow time to engage in development activities.
The Miller Foundation created an agreement with the previous administration and the Miller College Board of Trustees to provide time and support for Fund Development.
Those goals agreed upon included:
To accomplish those goals, the President had been granted the authority to work throughout the community on Fund Development activities. Staff had been assigned to handle many of the daily responsibilities in his absence. That president (Dr. Harris) resigned on August 7, 2012. Currently, the founding president of Miller College Dr. Art Angood, volunteered to come forward and work to continue the development of our fund development efforts. President Emeritus Angood will work to complete, revise, and implement a fund development strategy for the College. This will involve his meeting with the Fund Development Committee, along with President Ohm, and newly appointed Director of Institutional Advancement, Jenny Andrews. Additional support has been received from the Binda Foundation to assist in the area of development.
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