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News Contact:
Cathy Summa-Wolfe
, Executive Director
Communications, Community Relations, and Advancement

COM Scholarships Get Major Boost from Anonymous Donor

Challenge Grant Earmarked for Academic Scholarships and Support of Older Students

KENTFIELD, CA—May 7, 2014—An anonymous challenge grant of $200,000 administered through the Marin Community Foundation will fund a record number of academic scholarships for eligible College of Marin students over the next two years and also will support lifelong learning for older students through the Community Education Emeritus College Program.

The anonymous donor created the Haddie Academic Scholarship Fund challenge as a means of inviting other donors in the community to support student academic scholarships at College of Marin.

“We are very grateful to our anonymous donor for their very generous gift to our students and we hope that others in our community will help us meet the challenge,” said College of Marin Superintendent/President Dr. David Wain Coon. “Our students have been particularly hard hit by the economic turmoil in recent years and these funds couldn’t have come at a better time.”

According to College of Marin’s Financial Aid Office, never before in the history of the college have students had a greater need for financial assistance. College of Marin’s demographically diverse* student body has been particularly and increasingly vulnerable to the economic pressures of recent years.

Financial aid applications have more than doubled in the past six years at College of Marin from 2,037 applications received in the 2006/2007 academic year to 5,053 in academic year 2012/2013.

At $1,000 per student, the Haddie Academic Scholarships are more than three times larger than the average scholarship amount previously awarded through the College of Marin Foundation, which averaged about $300 per award.

College of Marin expects to award approximately 100 Haddie Academic scholarships over the next two years. This is a record number of scholarship awards available to College of Marin students in a two year period.

“The Haddie Academic Scholarship Fund is potentially a real game changer for our students,” said Coon. “Not only will they receive larger awards but as many as 100 students will receive the awards over the next two years.”

The Haddie Academic Scholarship Fund scholarships will be administered through the College of Marin Enrollment Services and Financial Aid Offices. The application deadline is July 15, 2014, for students planning to enroll in fall 2014 semester. Eligible students are encouraged to apply. Eligibility requirements for the Haddie Academic Scholarship and a downloadable application form are available online.

Donations to the Haddie Academic Scholarship Fund may be made through the College of Marin’s Advancement Office. Donors may also establish their own named scholarship as part of the Haddie Academic Scholarship challenge. For more information call Cathy Summa-Wolfe at 415.485.9528 or

The anonymous gift also will establish a robust Haddie Emeritus College Scholarship Fund for older students interested in enrolling in College of Marin’s Community Education Classes and will support adding more popular free or nominal fee older adult classes to the Community Education curriculum over the next two years.

“There is a growing population of older adults in Marin who want to stay active and engaged but can’t really afford the cost of Community Education classes, which average about $90 per class,” said Dr. Jason Lau, director of community education, lifelong learning and international education. “One of our goals is to enhance the quality of life of our residents. These funds will provide much needed support to the program and will allow more older adults to enjoy a wide variety of stimulating classes.”

Lau expects to begin offering Haddie Emeritus College Scholarships in fall 2014 and new classes in spring 2015. For more information about Community Education and Emeritus College,


Eligibility Requirements for Haddie Academic Scholarships

  • Recipient must be enrolled at College of Marin in at least 9 units
  • Have at least 2.5 GPA

The first award will be in the amount of $500.

The second award of $500 will be given in the second semester; it is contingent upon verification that the student is still enrolled at COM in at least 9 units, has maintained a GPA of at least 2.5, and has spent the initial $500 scholarship on academic-related expenses (i.e. books, school supplies, COM parking, computer equipment/software, tablet for school use). Haddie Academic Scholarship awardees will also be required to provide receipts to demonstrate that second semester scholarship funds were used on academic expenses, as well.

*In fall 2013, approximately 46 percent of all credit students were of Hispanic, Asian, African American, Native American, or other non-Caucasian decent. According to a report by the College of Marin research office, the College’s Hispanic population has doubled since 2001.

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