TCC announces capital campaign co-chairs

Griselda “Babe” Lehrer and Annette Weyerhaeuser are serving as the honorary co-chairs of the Tacoma Community College Foundation’s Invest In Your Future capital and endowment campaign.

The campaign is focused around three goals: enhancing access to higher education, strengthening academic programs and funding capital improvements.

“Whenever I hear a heart-warming story of how a TCC Foundation scholarship has breathed fresh hope of attainable success into the life a disadvantaged student, I am deeply moved,” said Lehrer, who has been active on the TCC Foundation Board since 1986 and is a TCC honorary degree recipient. “I remain a strong advocate of TCC. My reason for joining the TCC Foundation Board is reaffirmed by the service that TCC offers the community. I am proud to be a part of the TCC Foundation’s fundraising success.”

Lehrer, of Tacoma, is a well-known community activist and the former owner of Lyon’s Apparel. In addition to her involvement with the TCC Foundation, Lehrer was the Marvin Klegman Memorial Fund Chair, and has been a campaign leader and volunteer with Tacoma Public Schools, the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts, MultiCare Health Foundation, Museum of Glass and Girl Scouts Pacific Peaks Council. She has also co-authored two books.

Weyerhaeuser said, “My association with TCC has been a great satisfaction to me. I have been especially interested in the First Generation Scholarship program, the study abroad program and the Children’s Center. It has been such a joy to witness the excitement and hope that the students experience as they embrace the opportunities offered at TCC. Such an education opens expected and unexpected doors, now and in the future … It is for these reasons that I have enthusiastically agreed to serve as honorary co-chair for this most necessary and vital campaign.”

In addition to supporting the TCC Foundation and the Tacoma Art Museum, Weyerhaeuser, a Tacoma resident, serves on the board of the Sequoia Foundation, the Forest Foundation and the Stewardship Foundation. She has an interest in social issues as well as education and the arts. She is a founding member of the City Club of Tacoma, and is also a TCC honorary degree recipient.

Invest In Your Future campaign initiatives include raising funds for student scholarships and grants; an Early Childhood Education and Learning Center; the study abroad program; employee leadership development; equipment for health care training programs; a Center for Ethical Development; Learning Resource Center improvements; an Information Commons (open computer lab); and various campus beautification projects, including a Japanese Garden.

“Only 56 percent of TCC’s $28.1 million operating budget came from state funds in 2004-2005,” said Ms. Mel Zanjani, vice president of Institutional Advancement and executive director for the TCC Foundation. “While more than 60 percent of Washington’s college students attend community colleges, two-year colleges receive less than 40 percent of the money allocated by the state of Washington for public higher education. Moreover, less than one percent of all the charitable dollars received by colleges throughout the country each year goes to community colleges.”

Funds raised through the Invest In Your Future campaign will be administered by the TCC Foundation, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation that accepts and administers private gifts on behalf of the college. Gifts to the TCC Foundation benefit college programs and activities not funded through state operating and capital budgets.

To learn more, contact Al Hove, campaign manager and TCC director of development, at 253.566.5336 or