2015 Celebration of Philanthropy Awards Dinner

November 14, 2015
Lexington, KY

Thank you, Marcia, and again thank all of you for being here.

Tonight you are helping us celebrate the generous donors who invest in KCTCS…for their philanthropy.

Philanthropy – it’s a word we don’t use that often.

Its original meaning – “love for mankind” – is defined more specifically today as “voluntary action for the common good”.

Philanthropy is transformative…it transforms the lives of the donors themselves by satisfying their innate desire to make a difference, to improve the lives of others, to pay it forward to the next generation.

And at the same time, it transforms those who benefit from their generosity, which in turn improves the quality of life for everyone around them…thus the common good.

And what a difference our donors are making on our students, our communities, and our state through their “voluntary action” of investing in KCTCS.
Since our creation in 1998, private giving has totaled $181 million. Over the same period, our endowment has grown from $12 million to nearly $52 million.

This increase in philanthropy over the past 16 years has made an incredible impact on our ability to meet our mission of enhancing the employability and quality of life of Kentuckians.
Today, our donors are supporting a system of comprehensive 16 community and technical colleges with 73 campuses across Kentucky that provide essential and affordable access to postsecondary education to more than 120,000 students last year.

They are also supporting the vital education and training offerings in more than 700 credit programs that fuel the workforce in the key industry sectors that drive Kentucky’s economy.

Through their generosity, our donors have invested in campus improvements from renovation to new construction and enhancing our teaching and learning environments in science, healthcare, energy, technology, and manufacturing.

Many of tonight’s honorees have created scholarships to help both financially needy and academically deserving students ——-from high school students in our dual credit programs to students in our technical programs who are pursuing careers in high-wage, high demand occupations ——to those who are transferring to four-year universities, both public and private.
Important investments have been made in our arts and humanities programs, to new equipment and laboratories, to support childcare services, and even our strategic planning efforts to chart our pathway to a more prosperous future for the Commonwealth.

And what an impressive array of donors they are! –
From Business/Industry we celebrate:
AEP – Kentucky Power
AEP River Operations
Appalachian Regional Healthcare, Inc.
Appalachian Wireless
Central Bank & Trust Co.
Century Aluminum of Hawesville
JPMorgan Chase & Company
Leitchfield Bank
Mountain Telephone
MPD, Inc.
Rhoads and Rhoads
United Community Bank of West Kentucky

The Foundations we celebrate tonight include:
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
Burnette Family Charitable Foundation
Carrollton College Educational Foundation
Dow Corning Foundation
Duke Energy Foundation
Elizabethtown-Hardin County Industrial Foundation Training Consortium
Laura Goad Turner Charitable Foundation
R.C.Durr Foundation

We are also celebrating some amazing individuals including:
Bill and Meredith Schroeder
Cornelia Dozier Cooper Endowment Fund
Donald R. Miller
Dr. and Mrs. Jyotin Chandarana
Elizabeth Smith and John Kelsey Family
Ernest M. Tucker
Lee and Sue Flischel
Steve Nance
W.O. and Lois Newell in Memoriam

And from City/County Government, we celebrate:
Bell County Fiscal Court
Christian County Fiscal Court
City of Hopkinsville
City of Madisonville
Lexington Fayette Urban County Government

Let’s give all of these donors another round of applause.

Their giving ranges from outright support for current needs to building permanent endowments, leaving legacies through bequests and trusts, and raising funds through special events.

All of these forms and purposes of giving are important to KCTCS and make a significant difference on our colleges, our students, our communities, and the Commonwealth.

As most of you know, our major fundraising focus for the past 18 months has been BuildSmart, which was approved by the Kentucky legislature in April of 2014 authorizing KCTCS to issue agency bonds and raise local funds for the top capital project for each of the 16 KCTCS colleges.

To date, we have raised $26.5 million in private gifts and pledges for our BuildSmart projects, several of which are already under construction or soon to break ground.

Never in the history of the Commonwealth has there been a time when all 16 of our colleges were able to design, build, and/or renovate buildings on their campuses all at one time.

In several cases, we are constructing entirely new campuses with the help of local advocates, volunteer fundraisers and donors who are committed to expanding access to higher education for their communities.

So let me say a special thanks to those donors who are investing so generously in this unique opportunity, and so quickly!

BuildSmart is the perfect example of philanthropy that is transformative, that stimulates the voluntary action of local stakeholders, and that benefits the entire Commonwealth of Kentucky by building a stronger, more responsive and flexible system of two-year colleges that allow our citizens to reach their dreams of a better life.

After all, isn’t that what’s all about? It’s about making dreams come true. Your dreams and the dreams of others.

For our students, it’s the dream of getting the training and education they need to pursue a career that builds a successful life for them and their families.

Nearly 90% of KCTCS students need financial assistance to attend college, and were it not for your generosity their dreams may never come true.

So on behalf of our students…thank you.

For our faculty and staff, it’s the dream of creating environments that nurture our students, that support the very best in teaching and learning, and that expand essential programs and services needed to ensure student success.

With limited state support for our colleges, your philanthropic investments create that margin of excellence that otherwise would not be possible.

So on behalf of our faculty and staff…thank you.

For the communities we serve, it’s the dream of economic development and prosperity by ensuring that local business and industry have the skilled workforce they need to be productive, efficient, and globally competitive, to enhance the earning potential of their citizens, and to improve the quality of life for everyone.

So on behalf of the communities we serve…thank you.

And finally, for the Commonwealth of Kentucky, it’s the dream of making our state the best place in the world to live, work, and play.

So on behalf of all Kentuckians…we thank you.
We are so grateful for the private sector investment in KCTCS. As key investors in our mission, we hope you will join us in our efforts to encourage the Kentucky General Assembly to begin reinvesting in postsecondary education during the upcoming legislative session that begins in January.

Since 2008, the state’s investment in postsecondary education and specifically KCTCS has declined to levels that threaten our ability to meet the needs of our students, the businesses and industries we serve, the communities that depend on us and the future of the Commonwealth.

Through a special advocacy campaign, called Fuel the Force, we hope you will visit our website – FueltheForceKY.com and “Become a Champion”.

With your help, we want our elected officials to know the investment in KCTCS is an investment in Kentucky jobs!

As I close, I want to personally thank the many companies and organizations here tonight that sponsored our Celebration of Philanthropy Awards Dinner.

We could not do this without you and we are grateful for your continuing support.

And to all of you here tonight, we thank you for joining us to celebrate our donors and their incredible philanthropic investments in KCTCS.

I hope you will stay for the rest of the evening -for the next hour or so, please enjoy the soft jazz music provided by the Positive Movement Band…

Mingle, talk, and if possible, personally thank our awardees and corporate sponsors here tonight.

At approximately 10 pm, our featured entertainment…the Soul Searchers…will invite you to continue our celebration on the dance floor.

Again, thank you for being here…and good night!

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