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The PCC Foundation brings good news to the state Capitol

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Cheryl Hinerman, a member of the PCC Foundation Board of Directors, talks political strategy Tuesday with Foundation Executive Director Rick Zurow, in the lunchroom of the state Capitol in Salem. (Dana Haynes)

We did something fun on Tuesday. A delegation from the PCC Foundation went with me to Salem to deliver good news.

Believe me: That’s in short supply in the Capitol these days.

The news was this: The James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation challenged all 17 of Oregon’s independent community colleges to raise more funds than ever before, dedicated to student scholarships.

Seven of the community colleges have hit their goal and will max out the challenge grant. Seven more are darned close, with the deadline set for March 31. We’re in that group.

Our goal at PCC is to raise $691,000. As of yesterday, as we walked through the Capitol, we were at a little more than $682,000!

With the economy in dire woes, the lawmakers with whom we met were happy to hear some something positive for a change. “Thank you for bringing good news into my office!” Rep. Sara Gelser, D-Corvallis, beamed.

“Wow. This is nice,” added Rep. Tina Kotek, D-Portland. “Somebody had to have good news, I guess.”

This incredible surge in giving, dedicated to students, is the latest in a long list of positive, student-centric news. It started in 2007, with the Legislature beginning the process of refunding community colleges. It continued in the 2008 supplemental session, when lawmakers increased funding for the Oregon Opportunity Act. It continued through 2008 as the metro-area business community stepped up to help PCC’s bond measure campaign, and ran up to November, as voters said “yes” to the measure. Now, our own staff and faculty have dug deep into their own pockets, donating to the PCC scholarship fund with record numbers.

No wonder the lawmakers were happy to see us in Salem!

To learn more about PCC and the Legislature, click here.

About Dana Haynes

Dana Haynes, joined PCC in 2007 as the manager of the Office of Public Affairs, directing the college's media and government relations. Haynes spent the previous 20 years as a reporter, columnist and editor for Oregon newspapers, including ... more »

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