JCJC Major Gift Campaign Goes Public

Written By: Rebecca Patrick
Email Address: rebecca.patrick@jcjc.edu
Date Submitted: 2011-05-09 12:06:08

ELLISVILLE – “Inspiring Greatness, It Begins with Us,” is the theme and driving force behind the second major gifts fundraising campaign in the history of Jones County Junior College. 

    Caroline Ramagos, vice president for institutional advancement, said that planning for the campaign began with a feasibility study in 2008. During this study, a cross-section of individuals, including business and community leaders from throughout JCJC’s eight-county district, as well as JCJC employees and retirees were interviewed. 

     “It’s all about our students and our communities,” Ramagos said. “The ultimate goal of this campaign is to take Jones to the next level of excellence while providing students with the best education possible and being a resource for our communities. That’s why it was vital to get input on this endeavor from a diverse group of JCJC supporters.”

            Results from the feasibility study showed overwhelming support for the college and recommended the college proceed with a major gifts campaign. Key projects, which were identified during JCJC’s strategic planning process, were tested during this study and narrowed down to four target projects.

     With a total investment goal of $7.5 million, the four target projects and projected funds needed are: Jones Hall and Centennial Plaza, $2 million; Science and Engineering, $1.5 million; Inspired Learning, $1 million; and Scholarship Endowments, $3 million.
Scheduled to open this summer, Jones Hall is a 69,000 square foot neoclassic structure that will anchor the campus by serving as JCJC’s flagship academic facility. Jones Hall contains numerous state-of-the-art classrooms designed to stimulate students to achieve their maximum potential.

     Adjacent to Jones Hall, Centennial Plaza will be a welcoming green space on campus and commemorate the essence of the institution with a magnificent bell tower.
    Under the Science and Engineering initiative, $1.2 million of the investment goal will be aimed at enhancing existing laboratories and purchasing cutting-edge equipment that will allow faculty to teach the latest techniques to students majoring in these areas. Also included in this initiative is an additional $300,000 as seed money for the creation of a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Center for Excellence dedicated to advancing awareness and learning in these areas.

     The Inspired Learning initiative is designed to help provide modern methods of instruction for the 21st Century classrooms. These methods include strengthening teaching methods through student engagement and interactive learning.

    The fourth initiative is Scholarship Endowments for which the investment goal is $3 million.  “Scholarships can turn dreams into reality for the people of Mississippi,” explained Ramagos. “That is why the JCJC Foundation awards more than 400 scholarships annually to deserving students. Giving students the financial resources to achieve their career goals will benefit our community, region and state.”

     Solicitation of funds began in the spring of 2008 with a “family campaign,” which included JCJC faculty staff, board of trustees and numerous alumni. Gifts and pledges from this phase of the campaign total more than $5 million. Now, the campaign is going public to raise the remaining $2.5 million for the four initiatives.

    Awareness and solicitation activities are now underway throughout the JCJC district. For more information concerning the “Inspiring Greatness, It Begins with Us” major gifts campaign, contact the JCJC Foundation Office at 601-477-4050 or www.jcjc.edu/centennial.


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