Hancock Launches $10 Million Endowment for The Hancock Promise, Announces Major Gifts Including $250,000 Grant From Santa Barbara Foundation

The program provides high school graduates their first year free of tuition and fees at Allan Hancock College

PressConferenceDECEMBER 13, 2017--Backed by individuals, foundations and businesses from throughout the community, Allan Hancock College officially launched a five-year, $10 million endowment to fund The Hancock Promise during a press conference on its Santa Maria campus Wednesday. The program provides high school graduates with the opportunity to get their first year free of tuition and fees at Allan Hancock College. Less than four months after unveiling The Hancock Promise, the college has received gifts and pledges to the endowment totaling more than $2 million.

“We are grateful for the overwhelming support from our PromisePressConference2 partners who see The Hancock Promise for what it is for our community, a game-changer,” said Hancock Superintendent/President Kevin G. Walthers, Ph.D. “When fully funded, this endowment will allow us to say that anyone who graduates from a high school within our district can receive a college education and their first year tuition free at Allan Hancock College.”

Doris Lahr, the mother of Larry Lahr, a member of Allan Hancock College’s Board of Trustees since 1994, kicked off the endowment campaign with a gift in May. Since then, businesses and organizations like Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), Marian Regional Medical Center, the Murphy Family Foundation, Union Bank and Aera Energy have offered pledges and gifts to support the endowment.

During the press conference Wednesday, representatives from three community organizations announced their commitment to support The Hancock Promise. 

Ronald V. Gallo, Ed.D., president and CEO of the Santa Barbara Foundation, reported that his  Board of Directors approved a one-year grant of $250,000 in support of The Promise. The grant will directly pay for the tuition and fees of Hancock Promise students.

“The Santa Barbara Foundation is thrilled to be an early supporter of The Hancock Promise,” said Gallo. “Allan Hancock College has proven to be an important and courageous resource to the communities it serves.”

PressConference3The Rotary Club of Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Maria Kiwanis 4 Kids Foundation also declared their gifts to the endowment.

“The goal of the Santa Maria Kiwanis 4 Kids Foundation is to ensure the success of children in the Santa Maria Valley,” said Maynard Silva, president of the Noontime Kiwanis Club of Santa Maria, whose group pledged $18,000 to the endowment. “The Hancock Promise will help thousands of students every year receive a college education. We are proud to support a program that will impact the success of future generations.”

“We know The Hancock Promise will positively impact the community and are proud to support the program,” said Gregory A. Pensa, a member of Allan Hancock College’s Board of Trustees and representative of the Rotary Club of Santa Ynez Valley. “We challenge all other service groups in the community to do the same."

The Hancock Promise begins summer 2018, and is open to anyonePressConference4 who registers at Hancock immediately after graduating from a high school located in the Allan Hancock Joint Community College District, which includes Cuyama and northern Santa Barbara County. Promise students will save more than $1,200 in tuition and fees, receive priority registration and establish an academic plan for success with personalized counseling.

“The Hancock Promise Fund will be an important 2018 priority for the Allan Hancock College Foundation,” said Guy Walker, a board member of the Allan Hancock College Foundation, who will serve as the campaign chair. “Over the next five years, our goal is to ensure, in perpetuity, that the Hancock Promise is here to support our students and our community. We are well on our way toward that goal!”

For more information about The Hancock Promise and the endowment, please visit www.hancockcollege.edu/promise.

- AHC -

Caption 1: Backed by individuals, foundations and businesses from throughout the community, Allan Hancock College officially launched a five-year, $10 million endowment to fund The Hancock Promise during a press conference on its Santa Maria campus Wednesday. Pictured at podium: Hancock Superintendent/President Kevin G. Walthers, Ph.D.

Caption 2: SB Foundation (l to r) Barbara Andersen, chief strategy officer with SB Foundation; Lynette Muscio, director of development with SB Foundation; Hancock Superintendent/President Kevin G. Walthers, Ph.D.; Kathy Simas, North County director of SB Foundation; Diane Adam, Chair of the SB Foundation Board of Trustees; Guy Walker; chair of The Hancock Promise Fund; Ron Gallo, president and CEO of SB Foundation; Sharyn Main, senior director of community investments for SB Foundation.

Caption 3: Rotary Club (l to r) Hancock Superintendent/President Kevin G. Walthers, Ph.D. ; Guy Walker, Chair of the Hancock Promise Fund; Greg Pensa, president-elect of Rotary Club of Santa Ynez Valley and AHC trustee.

Caption 4: Kiwanis Donation (l to r) Hancock Superintendent/President Kevin G. Walthers, Ph.D.; Guy Walker, Chair of the Hancock Promise Fund; Jason Davie, vice president of Noontime Kiwanis; Maynard Silva, president of Noontime Kiwanis.

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Last Modified Dec 13, 2017