TCC receives its largest private gift

Tacoma Community College (TCC) Foundation has received the largest single gift in the 45-year history of the college from Tacoma resident H.C. “Joe” Harned to support health careers training.

Harned, 93, has been a supporter of higher education for many years at area colleges and universities and in his hometown of Ursina, Penn. He has funded scholarships at Tacoma Community College for the past four years.

The TCC Board of Trustees passed a resolution on Sept. 14 to name the new Health Careers Center, which is currently being designed, in honor of Harned to recognize his contributions to TCC and higher education. The building, expected to be opened in 2013, will be named the Harned Center for Health Careers.

“This historic contribution will help us develop and equip facilities to expand access and improve the quality of our health careers programs,” said Pamela Transue, president of TCC. “Out of respect for Joe’s humble way of giving, we aren’t announcing the exact amount of the gift, but it certainly will make a world of difference to thousands of students and make our great programs even stronger.”

Tacoma Community College offers the following nationally accredited programs: registered nurse, emergency medical technician, paramedic, respiratory therapy, health information management, radiologic sciences, and diagnostic medical sonography.

The Harned Center for Health Careers will house all health care training. The building’s design will simulate the environment of a health care facility, allowing students to learn in a setting based on the hospitals or clinics they will work in once they graduate.

Construction is tentatively scheduled to start in 2011.

“This school stands out,” Harned said. “It’s hard to find someone in Pierce County that hasn’t been here, or knows someone who has.”

Harned served in the Navy during World War II, and settled in Tacoma after his discharge. He purchased his first home in Tacoma and first business – a service station on Sixth Avenue – on his $1.50-per-hour meat cutting salary. He ran the station while earning his business degree. Then he started investing in area real estate, and his instincts for the market and his willingness to invest his own time in improving the properties he purchased eventually paid off.

“Contributing to education is all about potential,” he said. “I like to tell myself when I invest in education, I’m investing in the potential of our city and nation, maybe even the world.”
Tacoma Community College was established in 1965. It serves approximately 9,000 students each quarter at campuses in Tacoma and Gig Harbor.