ICC campaign brings in $200,000
By Eileen Bailey
FULTON - When the Itawamba Community College Institutional Advancement program set a goal of $200,000 for its first fund-raising effort since 1997, officials had no idea if their goal would be reachable.
Not only did they reach their goal they surpassed it, said Elizabeth Davis, director of Institutional Advancement at ICC. And hopefully, she said, they will get a little more money before the major campaign push ends this month. The actual campaign will end June 30, the end of the two-year institution's fiscal year.
The Institutional Advancement, or foundation, has raised more than $221,000 in gifts from faculty, staff, alumni, friends, businesses, industries and foundations since the campaign began in September.
"I have been touched by the generosity of people who believe in the college," Davis said. "We have had good response all the way around."
"I know we will be on this next year," she said.
Davis said the success is not only in the actual dollars raised but the fact that every "dollar raised represents something good that can be done for the college."
The annual fund drive raised $8,107 from faculty and staff; $47,695 from alumni and friends; $113,450 from business and industry; and $52,600 from foundations.
"As we confront the challenges of the future, we know that the generosity of those who assist us will make all the difference in our success," she said. "We sincerely hope that more will become committed to being a part of advancing the vision."
The campaign allowed donors to give gifts that meet a particular need or needs, she said. Others have donated to different categories established by the foundation.
Gifts given so far have been designated for endowed scholarships in memory of three of ICC's presidents - P.A. Sheffield, John S. Crubaugh and W.O. Benjamin; matches for grants; annual scholarship fund; new endowed scholarships; new annual scholarships; the Quest for Excellence Fund for instruction enhancement; campus enhancement and athletics.
Davis said through gifts ICC has established its first endowed scholarship with two more expected in the fall of 2002. Gifts also have allowed the band to purchase two French horns. And gifts to the campus enhancement fund will allow the college to construct and landscape an entrance sign on the east side of the Tupelo campus, she said.
"A gift to the college, no matter what amount, secures ICC academically and financially," Davis said. "Whether or not donors designate their contributions for a specific purpose, they can be certain that they are helping keep Itawamba Community College among the state's premier community colleges as we enter a new century."
Those contributions, she said, also assist the college as it faces a second year of budget cuts. Last year, the community college received almost $1 million in budget cuts, she said.
The college's vision to raise donated funds start in 1989 with the Partnership for Excellence. With the help of a federal matching grant, ICC raised an estimated $2 million to begin the endowment. The program lost momentum until 1997, when there were efforts made to expand the endowment.
But it wasn't until ICC President David Cole, currently serving as chief of staff for Gov. Ronnie Musgrove, sought a director for Institutional Advancement that the ball got rolling again.
The focus of the campaign has been to give options on an annual basis for supporters.
The goal, Davis said, was to "create a margin of excellence for the college by supplementing state and local funding with tax-exempt private financial support from alumni and friends and from businesses, corporations and foundations."
"Working together, we will ensure that thousands of students will have the benefit of the ICC experience, establishing the foundation for successful, productive lives. We enter the 21st century confident that ICC is a place where great futures begin and that this institution can make a profound difference for its students year after year."