Prince George’s Community College has raised more than $18 million in the first year of a capital campaign, exceeding its $15 million target, PGCC President Charlene Dukes said Oct. 9.

Dukes, speaking at the PGCC Foundation Partners for Success’ awards dinner at the Gaylord Resort and Convention Center at National Harbor, hailed the success of the campaign to raise money through the PGCC Foundation from local corporations and private donors to help pay for faculty and workforce training, upgrade building and technology on the campus and fund scholarships.

Gov. Martin O‘Malley and two major PGCC benefactors were applauded for their financial support by Dukes as she pointed out that the campaign’s new aim is to raise $25 million over the next two years.

“This event gives us the chance to thank the community that supports us. Our neighbors, friends, business people and those interested in service and civic responsibility,” said Dukes. “We’re very excited because quite frankly it’s all about supporting educational access and opportunity beyond high school,” Dukes said.

O’Malley was praised for his higher education policies. The governor has supported a four-year tuition freeze at Maryland colleges and universities, committed $2 million in school construction and been an advocate for PGCC’s new Center for Health Studies.

“PGCC is a very special place; a place of innovation, opportunity and diversity. The future is being built there every day by hardworking moms and dads and kids coming right of high school, going to get the skills they need to succeed,” O’Malley said.

Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker endorsed the campaign and said he is pleased with its progress.

“This raises a lot of money for the good work that the PGCC Foundation does and makes sure that we provide quality education to the folks of Prince George’s and the state of Maryland,” Baker said.

David and Suzanne Hillman of the Hillman Family Foundation were singled out for their $2.8 million donation that launched the Hillman Entrepreneurs program.

Hillman scholars start their higher education path at PGCC then transfer to the University of Maryland to complete a business studies curriculum.

Hillman scholar Kelly Harrod, one of the most recent awardees, said she was excited to join a program with like-minded students who are focused on business education. She admitted that she became emotional when she received the exciting news of winning a scholarship earlier this year.

“My mother passed away right before my senior year and I knew that I couldn’t afford college. When I got the scholarship and it paid for everything, I’m pretty sure that I cried,” Harrod said.

NBC 4 Washington was honored for their commitment through civic service and community partnerships for several events including the Safe and Secure Community Shred and the Bluebird Blues Festival. 

Teria Rogers

Special to the AFRO