Distinguished educator and public servant Dr. Jack Scott has been selected to lead an ambitious, multimillion-dollar fundraising campaign to invest in one of the San Gabriel Valley’s most vital economic engines: Pasadena City College.

The Impact Campaign, launched by the nonprofit PCC Foundation and helmed by Scott, is the first comprehensive major gifts campaign in the College’s history. The initiative aims to meet the needs of a rapidly changing 21st Century workforce by bridging the “skills gap” between employers’ demands and job seekers’ abilities.

“If you really want to improve the lives of individuals, and also improve the economy of our region, the more we educate our students the better,” said Scott, a former PCC president, state legislator and chancellor of the California Community Colleges System. Scott will reach out to corporations, foundations, alumni and community members to build support for the Impact Campaign.

At its meeting Wednesday night, the Pasadena Area Community College District Board of Trustees endorsed the campaign as it sets out to “acquire vital resources to advance the College’s vision.”

“Under the leadership of its president, James P. Sarni, the PCC Foundation has selected an ideal general campaign chairman for this effort in Dr. Jack Scott, who has graciously agreed to serve,” the Board said in an official proclamation.

The Board noted that surveys conducted by the PCC Foundation found that civic, business, alumni and philanthropic communities in the area are eager to support the initiative.

The Impact Campaign has identified four areas of investment that promise substantial returns:

Scholarships: PCC already offers generous financial aid and scholarships, yet many students are still deterred by the costs of a higher education. Investing in a scholarship fund and endowment program will make post-secondary education attainable for more students who are academically talented and/or financially disadvantaged, and this will boost the region’s collective prosperity.

Career and Technical Education: An ever-evolving economy demands that employees master new tools and technology in healthcare, police and fire trades, business administration and auto mechanics, among many other fields. The Impact Campaign aims to meet these demands with fresh investments in upgraded curricula and state-of-the-art equipment.

Arts: The arts thrive at PCC, and every student in every field has access to the College’s rich resources. The brand-new Center for the Arts is testament to the campus’ commitment to bringing top-tier performances and exhibitions to the region. Maintaining an ambitious arts program requires funds for theater and dance productions; music, cinema and design equipment; upgrades to studios and arts spaces; and a robust curriculum available to students and the community.

Athletics: Participation on a sports team heightens student engagement, promotes retention and builds athletic skills for those who aspire to compete at a four-year institution. PCC’s sports facilities, once considered among the best among California’s community colleges, are in need of upgrades that can no longer be delayed. Investment in these facilities is critical to attracting talent and maintaining a safe and inviting athletic program.

The launch of the Impact Campaign comes as Pasadena City College has received wide recognition for its innovative learning environment and student success rates. These achievements led the Aspen Institute to name PCC one of the top 10 community colleges in the nation.

Here are a few of PCC’s many accomplishments:

  • The College confers more associate degrees for transfer than any other community college in California.
  • PCC serves a diverse student population: 43% are the first in their families to attend college, and 76% are students of color.
  • Earlier this year, the College took a bold step when it rolled out the PCC Promise Program, which offers a year of tuition-free education to eligible full-time students from within the district.

The College has become an engine for regional growth, and thousands of alumni populate the ranks of local business, industry and civic life. Through the Impact Campaign, PCC will partner with the surrounding region to build a gateway to educational opportunity and economic prosperity for decades to come.

“If you want to make a difference in transforming lives,” said Dr. Scott, “invest in education.”

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