Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Ionia County Community Foundation pledges $10,000 to MCC’s ‘Transforming Lives, Empowering People’ campaign


The Ionia County Community Foundation (ICCF) recently awarded Montcalm Community College $10,000 to support the college’s “Transforming Lives, Empowering People” campaign.

Through this gift, the ICCF supported the renovation of the Kenneth J. Smith Building on MCC’s Sidney campus. The building serves as a major campus destination as it holds more than half of the college’s Sidney campus classroom space, its flagship nursing program, and courses in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

“This is what we’re all about,” said ICCF President Tom Dickinson. “It’s right in our niche. Giving back to our community is our motto.”

The goal of the Foundation is to make Ionia County a better place to live, work, play and learn. As such, this contribution demonstrates that the board values the importance of community college.

“Education is so important,” Dickinson said. “It’s the key to success.”

The ICCF primarily supports non-profits, such as schools and fire departments. This is the fifth impact grant the Foundation has awarded.

“MCC plays a vital role in educating our much-needed workforce,” said Executive Director of the Ionia County Economic Alliance and ICCF Board Member Ryan Wilson, “and if we want MCC to have the vital resources the college needs to truly do an amazing job educating people, we need to do our part in supporting the college through this campaign. Because Ionia County doesn’t have a community college, MCC is the best option for our residents to receive education and training locally.”

Lisa Lund, Executive Director of the MCC Foundation, said this gift is a generous demonstration of the commitment the ICCF has for higher education.

Investments like this positively impact our community and region for years to come,” Lund said. “The Ionia community has been a long-standing partner, with the college serving several school districts through dual enrollment and traditional course delivery. We are grateful for this partnership and the opportunity to serve the educational needs in the community.”

MCC’s “Transforming Lives, Empowering People” campaign is designed to develop resources and programs to help students gain access and be successful at MCC.

The lead initiative of the “Transforming Lives, Empowering People” campaign was the $5 million renovation of the Kenneth J. Smith Instructional Building, which opened last year. The Smith Building is the college’s Center for Nursing & Health Careers and the Center for STEM Learning. Specialized spaces include clinical simulation labs, preparation and debriefing rooms, treatment rooms, a clinical testing and training apartment lab, science and biology labs, phlebotomy labs and specialized student learning spaces, as well as the addition of specialized equipment and technology.

In addition to the Smith Building renovation, other campaign initiatives include:

  • $500,000 toward a STEM Program Development and Technology Fund for equipment, technology and curriculum to support teaching and learning.
  • $500,000 toward First-Generation Scholarships to benefit students who are the first in their family to go to college.
  • $250,000 toward Mid-Career Scholarships to benefit middle-income students who do not qualify for financial aid, but also do not have the means to pay cash for college.
  • $450,000 toward Program-Specific Scholarships to benefit students in specific program pathways.
  • $300,000 toward the MCC Express Conductor Program to provide a point of contact (conductor) to work with students from their first point of contact with the college to the time they enter classes and throughout their time at MCC.

For more information about MCC’s “Transforming Lives, Empowering People” campaign, visit or contact MCCF Executive Director Lisa Lund at or 989-328-1284.