The Broward College Foundation was incorporated on November 5, 1971 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and the officially designated means of making private, charitable contributions to Broward College. Our purpose is to change lives through education by providing community awareness, advocacy and funding to the college.
Over the course of it’s 50-year history, the Broward College Foundation has served the College’s community of more than 1 Million alumni with program and scholarship support. More than 100,000 students have received donor-funded scholarships, with more than $100 Million going towards scholarship support.
As we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Foundation, here are some key milestones and highlights of the history and impact of Broward College Foundation.
The Broward Community College Foundation had 15 original board members. Gene Whiddon, President of Causeway Lumber Co., served as Chair of the BCC Foundation through his death in 1989. He was named the first recipient of the college’s Distinguished Service Award in 1973 and the Seahawk Award in 1978.
Incorporating Board Members:
Chair – Gene A. Whiddon, Vice-Chair – Robert L. Elmore, Secretary – Marietta M. Benevento, Treasurer – Alfred D. Harrington, Jr., Daniel S. Goodrum, Willis N. Holcombe, William F. Leonard, Clinton D. Hamilton, Stephen J. McDonald, Fred R. Millsaps, Ann M. Otto, Margaret L. Roach, David H. Rush, Cletus A. Siefker, Judy Van Alstyne
The first gift was made to the Foundation on December 15, 1971. Mr. Otto M. Burkhardt of Oakland Park made a gift to the Foundation from part of his stock portfolio. With the creation of the Otto M. Burkhardt Trust in 1971, the German-born automotive engineer and inventor began a long-time relationship with Broward Community College. Through the Trust, he has continued to assist the College even after his death in 1981 through numerous projects and programs funded by the Trust which bears his name including a student scholarship and an Endowed Teaching Chair.
After serving as provost of South Campus for three years, Dr. E. Ann McGee was named Vice President for Development and Executive Director of the BCC Foundation in December 1985. During her tenure, the first Golf Classic tournament was launched in 1988 to raise funds for scholarships and instructional aids. Dr. Larry McFarlane, BCC’s North Campus Provost first envisioned the idea of a fund-raising golf tournament for the College and went on to run the event for its first few years. Since this time, the golf tournament has raised more than $2,000,000 in support for Broward College.
The College’s first campaign was launched in the late 80s. The Endowed Teaching Chair awards were launched in 1989 in celebration of the College’s 30th anniversary in recognition of faculty’s outstanding efforts in the classroom. A $2.5 Million Endowed Teaching Chair campaign to have 30 endowed teaching chair positions created became the Foundation’s first campaign, which was supported by philanthropic individuals, businesses, foundations, and city organizations. The first Chair to be established recognized the tremendous contributions made to the College by Gene A. Whiddon, the founding Chair of the Broward Community College Foundation.
Endowed Teaching Chairs:
In 1990, the BCC Foundation was the nation’s first community college foundation to complete an endowed teaching chairs campaign. The first Endowed Teaching Chair award recipients were named in 1992. The Endowed Teaching Chair program has since grown to 36 Endowed Teaching Chairs and has had 216 recipients.
In June of 1995 the BCC Foundation received the largest single donation since it’s inception in 1971 from the estate of Edward Seese. The $4.5 Million Seese gift was contributed to Broward College to be given as scholarships to students known as the “C Scholarships”. He expressed that he wanted to help the college’s “C students” over other students for this scholarship funding because they “are often capable of greater accomplishments when relieved from the problems of outside employment while attending school.”
In November of 1995, Dr. E. Ann McGee, Vice President for Development and Executive Director of the BCC Foundation left BCC to become President of Seminole Community College in Sanford, Florida. Under her direction, the Foundation grew to over $12 million in assets.
In 1996 Judy Bowen became the new Vice President for Development and Executive Director of the BCC Foundation as it began its $12 Million Campaign 2000 in 1996 and helped reach its goal two years before the anticipated completion date. Under her guidance, the Foundation’s assets reached $55 Million.
Change in leadership:
In 2002, Vice President for Development and Executive Director Judy Bowen retired. In her time at the realm, the Foundation continued to grow significantly, and the level of support provided to the Broward Community College continued to increase. Upon her retirement, the BCC Foundation had consistently ranked in the top ten for community college fund raising, being ranked fifth nationally in 2002. Ms. Edith (Edie) Pearson took over as VP of Development and Executive Director of the Foundation in August of 2002. Ms. Pearson came to the College from American Red Cross of New York City with an extensive fund-raising background.
In 2003, the Heritage Society was founded to recognize individuals who have indicated they will include the College in their charitable estate plans. Since 2003, 36 individuals have been recognized through the Heritage Society.
One such member is Dr. Floyd Koch. Dr. Koch was a first generation in college student who believed in the power of education and went on to have a vibrant career as a dentist. Koch contributed more than $1 Million in gifts for annual scholarships to each student graduating in the Dental Hygiene Program since 2005. He also created a $1 Million endowment to fund the Dr. Floyd F. Koch Dental Hygiene Scholar Award Program, given annually to the dental hygiene student graduating with the highest grade point average, and the Dr. Floyd F. Koch Dental Hygiene Achievement Award, given annually to each Dental Hygiene Student. In 2016 the dental hygiene program was named in his honor, the Dr. Floyd F. Koch Dental Hygiene Program.
Robert “Bob” Elmore Honors College:
In 2004, founding BCC Foundation Board Vice Chair, Robert “Bob” Elmore made a $200,000 investment in scholarships for students in Broward College’s nationally recognized Honor’s Institute, which later went on to become the Robert “Bob” Elmore Honors College through an endowment in his name in 2008. “Everyone knows that young people are the future of the country and education is vital. I think the greatest need for students is during the first two years of college. I’m a Broward County citizen and this helps my community. It’s a hometown community and I believe wholeheartedly in the theory of community college.” – Bob Elmore
Change in leadership:
In November of 2005, Nancy R. O’Donnell became the new Executive Director of the Broward Community College Foundation and VP of Advancement for Broward College. Ms. O’Donnell is a proud alumna of BCC, and she went on to earn her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Florida where she graduated with the distinction of membership in the Florida Blue Key Honor Fraternity. She earned her Master of Arts in Communication from Florida Atlantic University. Ms. O’Donnell has had the longest tenure as Executive Director of the Broward College Foundation.
The Broward Community College Foundation became the Broward College Foundation on March 16, 2009 during the transformation of Broward Community College to Broward College with the addition of baccalaureate programs to meet specific, targeted needs of the community.
American Dream Scholarship:
Launched in the 2010’s is one of the Broward College Foundation’s flagship scholarship programs – The American Dream Scholarship, which is aimed toward students who are 75% completed with their degree in our community’s high-need areas with limited access to other financial aid sources to help fill the difference between what these students can contribute and what the state provides. In addition, students must be in good academic standing and reside in the tri-county area. To date, this scholarship has seen remarkable results:
• To date, a total of 3.076 students have received the American Dream Scholarship
• 2,099 American Dream Scholarship recipients have graduated since Fall 2016 (68.4%)
• Graduates have earned a combined 2,917 certificates, associate and/or bachelor’s degrees
• The average grade point average of an American Dream Scholarship recipient is 3.22
• 56.5% of all recipients are the first in their family to attend college
• 97.1% of scholarship recipients are pursuing their 1st post-secondary degree or certificate
• More than 53% of American Dream Scholarship recipients are under the age of 24
Celebrations and dedications:
2012 brought the dedication of the Rosemary Duffy Larson Gallery. Rosemary Duffy Larson was a great supporter of the arts and friend of the College. Through an endowed gift and an annual fund in her name, she greatly enhanced the College’s ability to provide our community with access to the fine arts and make an impact on students of Broward College’s Visual & Performing Arts Department.
The 50th Anniversary of the Emil Buehler Aviation Institute was celebrated in 2017 and is a testament to his impact as one of the longest standing, and largest cumulative giving support provided by an individual to the College.
In 2019, the Broward College and the Foundation announced a significant commitment from Ramola, Nitin and Dev Motwani to create an endowment to support the College’s hospitality and tourism management program. The College also officially named the program the R. Motwani Family Academy of Hospitality and Tourism Management in memory of Motwani family patriarch, Ramesh “Bob” Motwani.
In the spring of 2020, Helios Education Foundation announced a $1.2 million philanthropic investment to establish the Helios-BC2FIU Scholarship program. This scholarship is a collaboration between Broward College and Florida International University to promote equitable outcomes for underserved, minority, and first-generation students. The scholarship provides a seamless pathway to complete an Associate of Science degree at Broward College and transfer with guaranteed admission to Florida International University to complete their baccalaureate degree.
Largest gift to date:
In April of 2021, the Broward College Foundation received the College’s largest gift to date – a transformational gift of $30 Million from MacKenzie Scott and her husband Dan Jewett. This gift is being utilized to create economic mobility in Broward County for generations to come. With these resources, Broward UP will exist in perpetuity, and Broward College will strengthen its support of additional cities throughout Broward County.
In July of 2021, the College was announced as the recipient of the Community Foundation of Broward’s $1 million “BE BOLD Prize” aimed at getting Broward County residents back to work based on its innovative new EMPLOYS Program.
Largest grant to date:
In September of 2021, Broward College was named as a recipient of $30 Million over five years from the U.S. Department of Education as part of its Promise Neighborhoods program. It is a highly competitive grant, with more than 50 organizations applying for it and only seven recipients. This is the largest grant in the College’s history. Broward College is the first grantee in Florida and the first community college in the nation to ever receive a Promise Neighborhoods grant.
(Data compiled from Broward College Archives, Broward Community College by Cynthia Thuma, Broward.edu, and Broward College Foundation)