By: Jody Donaldson, Scholarship & Alumni Officer at Kirkwood Community College

You must be the change you wish to see in the world”  — Gandhi

Living a purposeful life is what I aspire to do; alongside other like-minded individuals. I am privileged to share my days working at the Kirkwood Community College Foundation raising money for student scholarships and support. I enjoy spending my free time volunteering to make a difference and providing entities that add to the quality of life. Through this post, it is my pleasure to share with you about a well-deserved award, for a highly respected organization: ACT.

National Philanthropy Day® (NPD) is a special day set aside annually during the month of November. The purpose of this day is to recognize the great contributions of philanthropy—and those people active in the philanthropic community—to the enrichment of our world.

NPD was originally conceived of and organized by Douglas Freeman in the 1980s, and the first official events held in 1986 after President Reagan signed the official NPD proclamation. The day provides an opportunity to reflect on the meaning of giving and all that it has made possible. NPD celebrates the endless daily contributions individuals and organizations across the world make to countless causes and missions. (National Philanthropy Day, 2017)

The Eastern Iowa Association of Fundraising of Professionals hosted their annual National Philanthropy Day celebration Tuesday, November 14 at the Radisson Hotel in Coralville, Iowa.

On behalf of the Kirkwood Community College Foundation, I am pleased to share that the recognition and celebration of this year’s Outstanding Philanthropic Organization (Large Business) was proudly presented to ACT, Inc.

In August 2010, ACT, Inc. contributed $2 million to the Kirkwood Foundation to establish the ACT Endowed Scholarship Fund. The full-tuition scholarship is awarded to students pursuing studies and careers primarily in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) areas, identified by many Corridor business and industry leaders as crucial to the strength and economic growth of Iowa and the Midwest.

The ACT, Inc. Endowed Scholarship, established under the leadership of then-ACT Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dick Ferguson, is an extension of ACT’s mission to offer financial and volunteer support to the community through initiatives that support education and workplace efforts. Since its inception, the endowed scholarship has provided $508,600 in full-tuition scholarship support to 150 Kirkwood students and is intended for students with diverse or underrepresented attributes. The fund has grown to more than $2.8 million and will continue to grow for perpetuity.

In recognition of the ACT, Inc. Endowed Scholarship gift to the college, Kirkwood has named a designated area within Linn Hall as the ACT Math and Science Pavilion. This area houses math, physics, engineering, and computer science classrooms and offices. The largest area of the Pavilion is the “Math Emporium” providing 120 computer workstations.

Kirkwood is grateful for the partnership ACT has provided to the college, faculty, and students over the course of many years. ACT’s dedication to STEM education and the students of Kirkwood will have a long-standing positive impact on the future of our workforce and community.

Congratulations to ACT, Inc. on receiving the 2017 Association of Fundraising Professionals Outstanding Philanthropic Organization (Large Business) award!

Jody Donaldson is the Scholarship & Alumni Officer at Kirkwood Community College.