HCC gets $192,000 donation for scholarships

By Linda Conner Lambeck Staff Writer, CT Post
December 11, 2010

BRIDGEPORT — The Housatonic Community College Foundation has gotten an early Christmas present: the largest single gift to its endowment fund in its 20-year history.

The $192,000 donation from the Manufacturer’s Association of Southern Connecticut, Inc., will be used to support scholar­ship awards to Housatonic students living in greater Bridgeport and pursuing studies related to the man­ufacturing industry.

“ We believe our do­nation in support of the technology programs at HCC is an exceedingly good use of our funds,” said Don Janezic, chief fi­nancial officer of Bigelow Tea Company and current MASC chairman. Janezic is also on the foundation.

“MASC has had a long­term commitment to pre­serving, promoting and protecting manufacturing in Southern Connecticut, and we can think of no better way to fulfill our mission than by encour­aging and supporting the education of students en­tering the manufacturing industry,” Janezic added in a written statement.

Anita Gliniecki, presi­dent of Housatonic, said the income from the gift will be used to sup­port full or part- time scholarships for up to a half- dozen students an­nually in the communi­ty college’s technology and pre- engineering and pre- environmental sci­ence programs. There are about 80 students in Housatonic’s pre- engi­neering and College of Technology programs.

“Anything directly relat­ing to manufacturing,” said Gliniecki, who said the as­sociation has given to the college in the past and was in the process of liquidat­ing its investment. The as­sociation selected Housa­tonic as well as other area colleges as recipients.

“ They saw the commu­nity college as a vehicle for leveraging the funds because students that come into our industrial tech program enter for two years then transfer in­to other universities,” said Maureen Dowdle, Housa­tonic’s director of Institu­tional Advancement.

Janezic said the associ­ation had its roots in the city and in Housatonic saw the opportunity to use the money to help educate manufacturing company employees who work on the shop floor.

Many get their basic and technical skills, be it in electrical, drafting, technology or manufac­turing, at a college like Housatonic.

Gliniecki said the as­sociation recognized that most production workers need an associates de­gree or better to get by.

At Housatonic, students heading for a career in industrial engineering can take a two-year pre engineering program and then transfer to a four-year college. The college has agreements with several area colleg­es that allow for seam­less transitions.

After 10 years, the in­come from the gift may be used at the discretion of the foundation’s scholar­ship committee.

The association has provided scholarship money to Housatonic in the past. Housatonic re­ceived two $ 150,000 gifts during its major capital campaign that ended two years ago.