Posts Tagged ‘Foundation’

  • Goal Four: Partner with the Community

    Strategic Planning

    Monday, March 15, 2010

    March 15, 2010
    by Sandy Shugart

    When a college commits itself so completely to an agenda of improving student learning results, as we have, there is a danger of becoming so focused on the internal programs and systems of the college, the variables we control, that we can neglect the community we serve. No one could reasonably describe Valencia as self-absorbed, but the risk remains as we engage in our daily work and manage the challenges our recent economic situation has created so we can do our daily work. But Valencia has a rich tradition of partnering with and serving the community. Perhaps it was born out of our earliest history, when there was a heated debate in the community over whether a comprehensive public community college was even needed in Orlando, now that a public university had been established.

    Fortunately for Orlando, the advocates for the creation of Valencia prevailed at last, including the founding president of the university, Dr. Charles Millican, who foresaw along with Raymer Maguire and others the possibility of a partnership between the university and community college that would better serve our community than either could alone. Today, UCF takes in almost 750 new freshmen from Osceola and Orange counties each year; Valencia takes in more than 3500. Most are headed toward further study at UCF or elsewhere after graduation, and although UCF is the third largest university in the U.S., it is still true that sixty percent of their graduates are transfers, the majority from Valencia. By partnering in our community, we have created the most powerful engine for college access in America.

  • Mary Collier Inspires and Enables Achievement

    Monday, October 19, 2009

    One of my favorite people in the world, Mary Collier, also happens to be an unseen hero to countless students who have benefited from her leadership and contributions to the Valencia Foundation. Funding she helped to establish enables Valencia graduates go on to UCF, UF, USF, FSU and many more institutions nationwide.

    In 1982 Mary Collier was named Valencia’s first Distinguished Graduate. A non-traditional student, she went back to college after raising her children. Today, she and her family are among the staunchest supporters of the college and largest donors to our foundation.

    A foundation board member for more than 20 years, she has served two terms as its president. Mary’s story continues to inspire those who may at first be tentative at the prospect of going back to school. She truly lives by her belief: “Anything you can imagine…you can do.” Much of what Valencia is able to imagine and do is beause of people like Mary Collier.

    — Sandy Shugart