Local alumni and philanthropists Cheryl and Terry Holden have struck again in the best way. This time, they have given a historic $5 million gift to Clackamas Community College.
The funds will benefit career and technical education capital projects and initiatives, will provide scholarships for students in CTE programs and will benefit veterans at CCC, according to a news release from the college.
As a thank you, the college will rename its Industrial Technology Center to the Holden Industrial Technology Center.
The Holdens have a long history and connection with the college and the surrounding communities. Cheryl Holden grew up in Estacada and Terry Holden in Molalla.
When Terry Holden graduated from Molalla High School, he received a scholarship, per the news release, which had a huge impact on him and made college accessible. Because the gift changed his life, he said he believes in paying it forward.
"Until then, I was still undecided in which direction I should follow," Terry Holden said. "A generous scholarship gave me a clear path and made my decision easy."
From that point, he knew he would one day create a scholarship of his own.
In 2016, he did that by establishing the CCC Holden Scholarship Promise, which benefits students from the couple's hometowns of Molalla and Estacada as well as Colton. The scholarship has been awarded to 40 students.
Then in 2018, the Holdens teamed up with Molalla alumni Dale and Julie Burghardt to give $220,000 to Molalla High School for career and technical education.
"The Holdens have supported many worthy causes, but career technical education has always been at the top of their list," CCC President Tim Cook said. "Their affinity for affordable education and their deep love of their hometowns makes this gift to the college especially meaningful. Students for many years to come will benefit from their generosity."
The gift comes during a hard time at the college, as several programs, including CTE programs like welding and automotive service technology, face cuts because of a reported ongoing budget deficit.
The college is looking to reduce its budget by $1.3 million for the next fiscal year, according to spokesperson Lori Hall.
However, the gift cannot be used to prevent program eliminations or reductions, Hall said, because the Holdens designated the funds for students, career technical education capital projects and veterans, not general funding.
"Though it helps students afford college, it does not change the profit/losses of any of our programs," Hall said.
Clackamas will transition the ITC to the Holden Industrial Technology Center later in spring and summer. For more information about the center, visit www.clackamas.edu/bondinformation.
For more information about CCC scholarships, visit www.clackamas.edu/scholarships.
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