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By CCWeek Staff  /  
2017 March 13 - 02:27 pm

Grants & Gifts

A Summary Listing of Grants and Gifts at Colleges Around the Nation

From left, Michael D. Reese family includes Doug and Debra Reese, Pat Reese, and Susan and Phil Chizum

One man’s love of flight will help others soar in their own academic pursuits. The Portland Community College (Ore.) dedication of the Michael D. Reese Hangar meant much more than a new name on a structure. Reese’s widow Patricia and family wanted to honor his legacy and create opportunities for Aviation Maintenance Technology students. Their $270,000 donation to the PCC Foundation will create an endowment, which will fund two fullride scholarships each year. The naming affects the East Aviation Hangar in Building 6 at the college’s Rock Creek Campus. Michael Reese began his career with Standard Oil and opened his own service station in 1956. He expanded his businesses to include German Auto Parts, Gateway Body Shop, various real estate acquisitions, and Western Wrecker Sales, which he continued to operate until he died in 2010. In his spare time, Reese picked up the hobby of flying at an airpark in Sandy. Once he earned his pilot license and various ratings, he purchased a variety of aircraft like a Piper Tri-Pacer, two Super Cub seaplanes, a Twin Aztec, a Super Stinson on floats, A36 Bonanza, two Beechcraft Barons, a Bucher, a Widgeon, a King Air, a Cessna 172, and a helicopter. The money from the donation is needed for the students studying and training inside the hangar. The total cost for the eight terms required to complete the Aviation Maintenance Technology program is about $16,000. The program helps supply the region’s aviation maintenance workforce. It operates in a modern, 26,000 square-foot, twohangar complex with 15 aircraft used exclusively for instruction, including five helicopters.


The Eugene Applebaum Family Foundation recently provided a six- figure gift to the Henry Ford College (Mich.) Foundation for the Detroit Promise Scholarship. With this funding, a campus coach has been installed on the main campus of HFC. “The Applebaum Foundation has been a great community partner in southeastern Michigan for many years and we are grateful for this meaningful contribution on behalf of our students. I am honored and humbled for their support and the difference it will make in the lives of so many young people from Detroit,” said HFC Vice President of Development A. Reginald Best, Jr. The Detroit Promise Scholarship (formerly known as the Detroit Scholarship Fund) was founded in 2013 and is administered by the Detroit Regional Chamber Foundation. Since its inception, the Detroit Promise has awarded more than 2,000 Detroit high school graduates the opportunity to attend higher education institutions across the state of Michigan, including HFC, tuition-free. “Providing education advancement opportunities has always been a high priority of the Applebaum Foundation. Through our discussions with the Michigan Educational Excellence Foundation and the DRCF, we wanted to focus our funding in an area that would make an impact and would embrace a cohort of students. They presented the idea that the engagement of a campus coach is a very effective way to proactively and personally connect with students to help them with the transition to college and to help ensure the overall retention and success rate,” said Andrew Echt, director of the Applebaum Foundation. “Studies showed that a campus coach in parallel with a structured engagement format doubled graduation rates among low-income, first-generation students and that the best college to serve as a model to succeed would be HFC. That resonated with us because we hope this can serve as a prototype for all the other community colleges in the state to emulate. In addition, it is an opportunity for a young person to really sharpen and augment his or her professional development by becoming a campus coach, enhancing their leadership skills and serving as a model for others to follow,” Echt said.

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