The Garrett College Foundation was founded in 1982 as an independent non-profit (501(c)(3) corporation established to receive and administer funds to further the educational opportunities and the educational environment of Garrett College. The Foundation pursues individual and organizational gifts and grants in support of scholarships, student and faculty development, special programs and capital projects. Gifts may be made for the current fiscal year (annual giving) or may be held in perpetuity to produce investment income (endowment funds). Deferred gifts through bequests, trusts and similar instruments are also welcome. The Foundation Board is responsible for ensuring that donations to the College are managed wisely and used for the purposes intended by the donors.
Garrett College serves a diverse student population, many of whom require financial assistance in order to attend. For local students who have graduated from high school or completed the high school diploma by examination (GED) in a given year, the Garrett County scholarship covers any gap in tuition and fees remaining after other financial aid has been awarded. However, for students out of high school for more than a year, this resource is not available. Moreover, for a full-time student the actual cost of attendance, including textbooks, supplies, transportation and personal expenses, can be more than twice the amount of tuition alone. The Foundation’s scholarship resources help to extend financial aid in these circumstances but are still far less than is needed.
Several scholarship funds have been established to support special populations. The Audrey Naylor Fund for Adult Learners is an endowment intended to encourage older students to begin or return to college. The International Scholarship endowment brings students from other countries to enrich the educational experience. The Garrett College Athletic Supporters Scholarship fund provides assistance for talented athletes consistent with the guidelines of the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) and Garrett College. Other individual scholarship funds have been established for students in specific fields of study.
All gifts made in support of scholarships for students at Garrett College are held by the Foundation in restricted or endowed accounts. Note: Unless a donor has specified otherwise, one-time memorial gifts are deposited in the general Garrett College Foundation scholarship account.
Faculty and Student Development
The annual operating resources of the College are focused on the basic elements of teaching and learning. In lean budget times, available resources must be carefully prioritized and economies sought. For faculty, occasional in-service seminars and workshops are provided but there is no central resource for their continuing education and professional development. Likewise, funding for student activities that further their development within and outside the classroom is limited. Financial support through the Foundation can expand the opportunities available; for example, a fund has been established by a generous donor to be used for faculty/student travel grants related to the curriculum.
The College’s core buildings are now more than 40 years old; a ten-year strategic plan for renovation of these existing spaces has been submitted to the Maryland Higher Education Commission. Though all community colleges are eligible for state facilities assistance, a local match is typically required that includes both County and private support. For example, Garrett College’s new library would not have been possible without the generosity of a community donor. In many cases, the College’s need and the community’s need coincide, as in the Community Athletics and Recreation Complex (CARC) recently completed or the Arts Center that has long been envisioned by county residents. The Foundation conducts gift campaigns for such capital projects.
In the Fall of 2011 the College launched the Joan & Bill Crawford I Can Swim! Program for kindergartners in collaboration with Garrett County schools and in conjunction with the opening of the CARC aquatics facility. In 2012 the program expanded to include fifth-graders. It is supported in part by County funds and in part by private donors, including the Crawford family. The Foundation will continue to work with a community-based committee to raise annual and endowment funds to sustain the swim program over the long term. The Foundation is pleased to support creative enterprises of this sort that further the College’s mission.
The Foundation is responsible not only for fundraising but also for friend-raising on behalf of Garrett College. The Executive Director and the members of the Foundation Board serve as community ambassadors. The Foundation also manages the College’s relationship with its alumni and in conjunction with the President’s office, produces an annual report and newsletters for the College’s alumni and friends.
Garrett College and the Garrett College Foundation are financially independent entities. The Foundation employs its own accountant and external auditor, from separate accounting firms. There is no co-mingling of College and Foundation funds. All gifts to the College, including all monies designated for scholarships, come to the Foundation, with the exception of proceeds from activities such as car washes, bake sales, etc., which may be held in agency accounts for the use of the related organizations. Gift records and expenditures are reconciled monthly by the Foundation accountant with the Foundation office.
The Foundation is the owner of the Laker Hall student residence and holds the related building debt through First United Bank & Trust Company. The College operates Laker Hall under a lease agreement with the Foundation. The Foundation Board has the right and duty to monitor performance under the lease agreement and the debt instrument in conjunction with the Bank and the College.