Support for Student Success Gets a $100,000 Boost!

Posted on January 28, 2019

The Community Foundation is proud to announce two new endowment funds created by generous donors to support our Complete Your Degree Program and our focus on “college, career and life success.”  This brings the number to five of endowed funds dedicated to student success in college, which has been a focus of the Foundation since late 2017.

Dr. David Mordis created one of the funds in honor of his parents, Robert and Sophie Mordis. “I wanted to honor my parent’s memory and their passion for education,” Dr. Mordis said.  “Thanks to a recommendation from my friend Jim Nyeste, who has the Nyeste-Regling Scholarship Fund, I found the Community Foundation who will be a great steward of my donation.”

The Community Foundation’s Complete Your Degree (CYD) Program is a unique approach to supporting student success and college graduation rates by providing support for a wide range of life needs as well as tuition and books.   

“Our CYD program was initially supported by a few very significant endowed funds,” said Phyllis Ledyard, a board member of the Community Foundation.  One of those is the Alexander and Celeste Lamere Fund which supports students from Marine City High School attending St. Clair County Community College.  According to Ledyard, the Lamere Fund has a 100% acceptance rate so far, but it is limited to Marine City High Students.

Ledyard played a prominent role in helping an anonymous donor establish the other newly endowed fund that will support the CYD program.  “This new endowment doesn’t have any geographic restrictions which will allow us to help students from anywhere in the region,” she said.  “As a long-time board member of the Community Foundation I am well aware of the value of unrestricted gifts like these that don’t have strings attached.”

The Community Foundation of St. Clair County has received national attention for its innovative Come Home Program, which pays recent college graduates to move back home to live and work.  However, the Come Home Program is actually the smallest program area comprising the Foundation’s focus on college, career and life support.  The Foundation manages multiple endowed funds for traditional college scholarships and is the largest scholarship provider in the Blue Water Region.  The Community Foundation predicted that its Complete Your Degree Program would top $1 million in total funds awarded within the first three years, and believes it is on track to do so.

Phyllis Ledyard added “If we believe that everyone is entitled to a decent education, it would only make sense to talk with friends and encourage them to support such an effort as the CYD program and life needs.  By having the CYD program in St. Clair County and supporting student life needs, we are helping to build a much better educated community.”

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