An anonymous donor has pledged $7.9 million to Tallahassee Community College, the largest single financial gift in the college’s 50-year history.

The announcement was made Monday during a meeting of the college’s district board of trustees by Heather Mitchell, vice president for resource development and executive director of the TCC Foundation.

Two other gifts of $25,000 each, also were announced Monday. The foundation’s $10 million “TCC. We Rise” campaign opened in March, as part of the college’s 50th-anniversary celebration. The college plans to announce the campaign total next week.

No details were provided about who donated the $7.899,051. The money will be paid out over 20 years and be used for scholarships.

“Financial need is the single greatest barrier to obtaining a college education,” TCC President Jim Murdaugh said. “Scholarships level the playing field for students who seek a college education. Of course, scholarships also attract and reward high-performing students. This gift will have a long-lasting impact on TCC and our current and future students.”

Thomson Brock Luger & Company CPAs are contributing $25,000 to support the renovation of an accounting classroom on TCC’s main campus.

“We saw the classroom needed renovation and, because of our long-term relationship with the college, we felt it was the best way for us to show our appreciation to TCC for the positive impact it provides to our community,” said the company’s Matt Hansard. “We also considered our contribution as a way we could support the success of our profession’s future.”

Several of the firm’s leaders have personal connections to TCC.

Partner Greg Cochran is an alumnus, and his daughter Elizabeth is enrolled as a freshman. Senior partner Harold Brock has a grandchild attending TCC. Managing partner Fred C. Luger served on the college’s Business and Management Advisory Board, and tax partner Ann Marie Bachman has been a member of the TCC Foundation’s President’s Circle.

Also contributing $25,000 toward a classroom renovation is Southern Strategy Group, a prominent lobbying firm. The gift is in honor of Stacey Webb, a member of the firm who died in 2015. Webb led the firm’s education practice and was a strong voice for Florida’s community college system.

Before joining Southern Strategy Group, she had served as assistant chancellor for community colleges and workforce education at the Florida Department of Education and as president of the Foundation for Florida’s Community Colleges, according to TCC.

She was also a member of the “TCC. We Rise.” campaign steering committee in its development stage.

“Learning is not a spectator sport,” said Mitchell. “For students to have success in the classroom, they must engage through discussions, projects and collaborations. Funds to support classroom renovations help us ensure that our classroom designs encourage student interaction and engagement.”

In May, the Pensacola Street Partners, which includes Kim B. Williams, president of MARPAN supply and recycling company, William Boyette, chairman of PSBI construction company, and Kenneth Sweeney, a local architect, donated a gift of $1 million to the campaign.

By:  Bryon Dobson
Tallahassee Democrat