“Quiet Campaign” eclipsed fund goal with minimal cost to college; Cheryle Mitvalsky saluted at event
Supporters and friends of Kirkwood Community College gathered to celebrate a successful capital campaign Tuesday night.
College officials and community donors cheered the news that more than $11 million was pledged to The Kirkwood Foundation. The vast majority of the $11,230,529 total is directed to student scholarships and other direct support. Preliminary figures show $7.7 million in scholarship funds over the next five years, $2.35 million in future gifts for scholarships, plus more than $1.18 million in in-kind and other gifts to support the mission of the college.
George Grask of Cedar Rapids made the official announcement of the campaign’s success as Kirkwood students held up printed ceremonial numbers to display the final total. Grask is president of Cedar Rapids Truck Center, Inc., treasurer of the Kirkwood Foundation and co-chaired the “This Changes Everything” campaign along with AEGON USA CEO Pat Baird. Grask called the results “a great day and a big vote of confidence” in the college’s service and mission.
“We hear all the time how Kirkwood is a positive force in the lives of our students. Tonight we see how the community understands this college, how they see the value added to eastern Iowa every day. The Foundation got it completely right when they titled the campaign ‘This Changes Everything.’ For thousands of students now and in many years to come, lives will be better and more fulfilling through these gifts,” Grask added.
Kirkwood President Mick Starcevich added congratulations to the Foundation Board, staff and numerous donors and volunteers who “came through unbelievably” in achieving the result.
“People in this community need to realize that the final total is even more amazing when you know how it was raised. The board and Foundation staff decided to take on the campaign with no outside consultant and no added staff. What made it possible was this incredible college and the deep relationships we enjoy with our supporters. Anyone who knows anything about fund-raising has to marvel that this dedicated group raised more than 11 million dollars and spent only about thirty thousand direct dollars to do it. This Foundation is utterly remarkable and the generosity of our good friends is even more so. It’s just an amazing and wonderful thing,” Starcevich added.
Kirkwood Vice President Cheryle Mitvalsky also praised the community for the great response to student and college needs.
“We titled the campaign ‘This Changes Everything’ because for so many Kirkwood students these scholarships, coupled with the excellent instruction and caring support they get here does make a life-changing difference. We thank the donors and this dedicated foundation staff for the wonderful results we celebrate,” Mitvalsky said.
College supporters and friends also took the occasion to honor Mitvalsky for her 19 years of leadership to the college and Kirkwood Foundation. She had earlier announced her retirement from the college in June 2008. Speakers included Starcevich, Grask, former Kirkwood President Norm Nielsen, philanthropist Henry Tippie, and local civic leaders Lee Clancey and Jack Evans.
The ceremonies also officially welcomed Kathy L. Hall to her position as vice president of Resource Development. She also praised Mitvalsky’s leadership and the “solid legacy” that will continue.
“I had the pleasure of working with Cheryle and knowing her energy and deep understanding of the community during the past decade,” Hall remarked. “That knowledge only grew during the past four months when I had the honor of working with Cheryle and the Foundation to complete this campaign. Her contributions have been astounding and this latest campaign is unarguable proof of that. She should feel justly proud of this true legacy. Students forever in the future will be the beneficiaries of her care and leadership.”
Information on scholarship opportunities and ways to support students is available from Kirkwood Vice President for Resource Development, Kathy Hall at (319) 398-4943. Complete information on Kirkwood Foundation programs is available via the Kirkwood Web site: www.kirkwood.edu/foundation