Grant assists TCC, UWT transfer students

Tacoma Community College (TCC) has received a matching grant of $100,000 to fund scholarships for students who transfer to the University of Washington Tacoma (UWT).

The Hites Family Community College Scholarship Foundation awarded the grant to TCC earlier this month. Local businesses and individuals contributed $50,000 in matching funds to make the grant possible, according to TCC Foundation Executive Director Robin Echtle.

“Efforts to raise the $50,000 were led by project co-chairs and long-time dedicated supporters of TCC, John and Patricia Lantz,” Echtle said. “Contributors include KeyBank with its capstone grant completing the match, Columbia Bank, a generous grant from an anonymous donor, and gifts from several private individuals.”

The $150,000 total will fund endowed scholarships through the Hites Family Community College Scholarship for Continued Study at UWT. Endowment earnings will be used to fund scholarships to future graduating or transferring TCC students for continued study at UWT.

“At KeyBank, we recognize that access to education is critical to the economic health of our region,” said Steve Maxwell, Key Bank South Puget Sound District President. “That is why we are so pleased to be able to assist Tacoma Community College and the UW Tacoma in their efforts to secure the Hites Foundation Challenge Grant.”

More than 40 percent of TCC students and 60 percent of UWT students qualify for financial aid. With unprecedented numbers of layoffs and displaced workers, this figure continues to grow. The establishment of this new scholarship opportunity is a part of a larger economic recovery effort by TCC and its community partners to create access to higher education.

“The scholarship endowment will provide tremendous benefit to students who attend TCC then transfer to UW Tacoma, as hundreds do each year,” said Dr. Patricia Spakes, Chancellor of UWT. “Our colleges have a strong track record of working together to expand educational opportunities in our region.”

“I am proud of the ways that we at TCC and our community partners come together to meet the needs of this community,” said TCC President Pamela Transue. “This is a great example of that. Our partners helped us secure the $50,000 necessary to win the $100,000 match. Particularly in these tough economic times, it is gratifying to know that our community understands the important role community colleges play in our continued economic recovery.”