Carroll Community College Announces Major Gift Campaign

Release Date
Trish McCarthy Carroll, Public & Corporate Relations Officer, Carroll Community College, Work: 410-386-8184
Press Release

“Investing in a Brilliant Future” campaign will enhance excellence and opportunity for students, citizens and businesses in Carroll County 

Westminster, Md., December 7, 2018—Carroll Community College (Carroll) announced at its annual Starry Night Gala the goal of raising $8 million to elevate its commitment to the community   by creating new programs, funding need-based scholarships and investing in state-of-the-market technologies. More than 400 business leaders, government officials, board members, alumni, employees, and students attended the event on December 7th.

“For 25 years Carroll has been the community’s college, providing higher education, professional certification, business development, and lifelong learning opportunities to more than 135,000 students of all ages and backgrounds. As we proudly celebrate and honor the College’s bold past during our 25th anniversary as an independent college, we must intensify our efforts to ensure the brilliant future of our students, County residents and local and regional businesses,” said Dr. James Ball, President of Carroll Community College. “This is a defining moment for Carroll, one that will have a powerful impact on our community for the next 25 years and beyond.” 

The “Investing in a Brilliant Future” campaign has already raised $6.2 million toward the $8 million goal, thanks to the extraordinary generosity of more than 400 donors. The four strategic priorities of the campaign have already received strong support:

  • High Impact Programs for Economic Development To prepare students for in-demand jobs and jobs of the future, Carroll has launched new programs in cybersecurity, digital fabrication and audio-visual technology, as well as enhancing programs in Allied Heath and STEM.
  • Scholarships and Student Access To keep Carroll an affordable first choice for its students, it is imperative that Carroll continues to provide the highest quality education at the lowest possible cost through donor-funded scholarships. Easing the financial burden on students enables them to focus on academic achievement and allows those pursuing professional development and licensure who do not qualify for financial assistance to achieve their goals.
  • State-of-the-Market Equipment and Learning Technologies To provide Carroll County employers with the most qualified workforce, it is essential to upgrade and maintain the College’s educational tools and technology infrastructure. 
  • Advancing Student Success Additional funding for tutoring support and hands-on, in-the-field learning opportunities are essential for student success both in school and in the workforce. In addition, it is critical that Carroll faculty remain informed of current developments and future trends in their respective fields and that the College invests in its educators through professional development.  

“I want to thank all of the donors who have already shown their support for Carroll,” said Steven Wantz, Executive Director of the Carroll Community College Foundation. “Their generosity will help students achieve their dreams and change lives for generations to come.”

One student, Emily Rasado-Cruz, whose dream is be an educator, put it best: “Having a scholarship means I feel cared for, someone cared enough about my education. I am one step further in fulfilling my dream. Thank you, you have no idea the difference it makes in my career.” 

Thanks to investments from local businesses, the philanthropic community, county government and individual donors, a number of programs have already been funded.

  • A new initiative, the Carroll Promise Scholarship Program, will provide more than $300,000 to 97 first year students, more than doubling the amount already provided by the College on an annual basis
  • Seed funding for new, innovative programs including Drone Pilot Training, Cybersecurity, and Entertainment Technology, as well as the new 3D scanning and printing Digital Fabrication Lab 
  • State of the art equipment for the Nursing Program, including high fidelity simulation mannequins and web-based video systems to record and stream treatment scenarios
  • Continued funding of the STEM Scholars honors program for high-achieving high school and college students, enabling them to pursue careers in high economic impact jobs of the future
  • An Early Childhood Education Outdoor Learning Lab to support teacher education
  • Computers, printers, classroom projectors and network upgrades to support classroom learning
  • The Commissioners Challenge Grant for Technology, offered by the Carroll County Commissioners in late 2017, will match donor contributions up to $350,000 each year for the next five years to fund technology infrastructure investments.   

“Providing this challenge grant will pay dividends for Carroll County,” said Steve A. Wantz, County Commissioner from District 1 and ex-officio for Carroll’s Board of Trustees. “Our goal is to make Carroll County a regional hub for high technology jobs, and the Commissioners are committed to supporting the College to enable that vision.” 

According to an economic impact study from Emsi, $107.5 million in annual impact to Carroll County is generated by the College, its students and graduates. By 2020, 69% of Maryland’s jobs will require a post-secondary education, which underscores the importance of Carroll Community College to the community.

“Supporting the College helps ensure the future of Carroll County, providing jobs, bolstering the economy and helping students obtain a great education and jobs,” said Greg Kahlert, President of the Kahlert Foundation. “So many students live and work in the community and support the well-being of the County. I just can’t imagine the community without the College. I hope more and more people realize these benefits and give as they are able,” said Kahlert.

Carroll is an integral player in providing highly trained workers for major institutions in Carroll County. “I look at the College as the pipeline for our future nurses,” said Leslie Simmons, President of Carroll Hospital and Executive Vice President for LifeBridge Health. “We have a collaborative relationship, one that produces excellent nurses who know what they have to do to be successful.” 

Annette Danek-Akey, Senior Vice President of Fulfillment, Penguin Random House and President of the Carroll Community College Foundation Board of Directors, echoes the importance of Carroll in enabling an excellent workforce. “Carroll Community College consistently provides us with a capable and educated bank of potential employees, and additional skills training and education for our current employees. They prepare the future leaders of our organization and our community.” 

While the economic impact of Carroll is significant, the impact on individual student lives cannot be underestimated. David Bollinger, Carroll Community College Trustee and Campaign Chair, emphasizes the importance of scholarships in transforming the lives of students, encouraging others to give.  “Give a student an opportunity. Providing scholarships allows them to graduate with little or no debt, get a job, prosper and in turn contribute to the community.”  

One student whose life has been changed through Carroll is Amanda DeRose, a 2011 graduate of Carroll and one of the College’s Hill Scholars. The Martin K.P and Kelly W. Hill Scholars Program is a selective admissions cohort program for entering first-year students who take challenging honors courses, receive individual attention from a dedicated advisor, and obtain customized support in transferring to four-year colleges. 

Now working at the College as Coordinator, Student Activities and Leadership, DeRose credits her experience at Carroll for her success.  “Without Carroll, I wouldn’t have figured out how much I adore school and learning. After graduating from Carroll, I knew I wanted to help others do the same.  I could not ask for a better place to grow and give back,” said DeRose. 

More than 90% of Carroll students call Carroll County their home, and many give back to the local economy after graduation. One such alumnus is James Rainey, Founder and President of Applied Technology Group of Eldersburg, an advanced analytics and information technology firm that serves the national security community. “I am grateful that I started my education at Carroll, and I support the College because it provides a state of the market learning environment that is consistent with what technology workers will encounter in the real world,” said Rainey

“I am honored to serve in a county where our citizens’ commitment to community is unparalleled,” said Dr. Ball.  “Our supporters often refer to Carroll Community College the ‘jewel of the county.’ I humbly ask the community to Invest in a Brilliant Future for our students.” 

To find out more about the “Investing in a Brilliant Future” campaign and explore giving opportunities, please go to