Fort Scott Community College recently announced the award of a $900,000 Facilities Capital Challenge Grant from the Kresge Foundation in Troy, Mich.

Fort Scott Community College recently announced the award of a $900,000 Facilities Capital Challenge Grant from the Kresge Foundation in Troy, Mich. 
The Kresge Foundation is using a challenge grant to help FSCC increase its fundraising goals.  FSCC will have 18 months to raise the challenge amount of $1.8 million and, if the goal is met, the Kresge Foundation will award FSCC $900,000.
The Kresge Grant monies will be used for the completion of the “Student First, Community Always” Capital Campaign, a $10.2 million dollar effort to build a fine arts facility on the FSCC campus.  Named the Danny and Willa Ellis Family Fine Arts Center for local residents Danny, Willa and Chris Ellis of the Ellis Foundation, the building is slated for completion by the end of March. The center will house the Gordon Parks Museum/Center for Culture and Diversity, the Kathy Ellis Academic Hall, a 600-seat theatre, as well as classrooms and office space for the FSCC art, music, theatre and speech programs.
The Kresge Foundation was interested in the Gordon Parks Museum and FSCC’s efforts to honor Fort Scott native Parks.  According to Kresge Foundation President and CEO Rip Rapson, “We applaud your efforts to honor the legacy of Gordon Parks and to create opportunities for local residents to have diverse culturally enriching experiences.”
This is the first year that community colleges have been allowed to submit applications for the Kresge Challenge grants and FSCC is one of the first four recipients nationwide, the other three being in California, Texas and New York. Kresge’s decision to allow applications from community colleges “recognizes the essential role community colleges play in creating access and opportunity for high school graduates to earn two- and four-year college degrees,” according to information on the Kresge Foundation Web site.
“This is a teaching and learning facility that the college and the community has needed for years, and we are grateful that we received the Kresge Foundation challenge grant to help us meet our goal,” said FSCC President Clayton Tatro.  “It's a big challenge, but we know that our community, alumni and donors from near and far can help us meet the goal.  The support has been tremendous so far and we are proud of the fact that this building is being funded entirely from donations and not tax dollars.”
The Kresge Foundation supports communities by building the capacity of nonprofit organizations. Established in 1924 by Sebastian S. Kresge, the foundation is not associated with any corporation or organization.  Its goal is to advance the foundation’s values in six fields of interest — health, the environment, arts and culture, education, human services and community development.  In 2007, it approved 283 grants totaling $178.5 million. Current assets of the Kresge Foundation total $3.8 billion dollars.
Over $7 million has been raised so far for the “Student First, Community Always” Capital Campaign through many different types of fundraising including grants from foundations, a grant from the Kansas Department of Commerce Community Service program, and gifts from businesses and individuals. 
For more information, persons may call Director of Development Daryl Roller at 620-223-2700, ext. 503.