Education builds stronger community for all

April is Community College Month and Clinton Community College has been celebrating throughout the month.

Free Continuing Education Classes, an online artist reception, a virtual High School Fine Arts Day, social media historical photos, and guest editorials have reminded us of the impact CCC has on our community.

That community impact began in 1946 when the referendum to begin a community college was approved by the Clinton voters. Seventy-five years later, voters of the Eastern Iowa Community Colleges approved the $40 million bond referendum to support the expansion of career and technical education. Thank you for your support.

As Community College Month ends, CCC is looking ahead to the celebration of our 75th Anniversary in September. In that first class of 86 students in 1946, half were veterans having returned from World War II. Our first dean, Paul B. Sharar, believed education was a means to a better life than the commonplace that might have been. He believed education impacted not only the student, but others in the student’s life.

That is true for students today. CCC students are our family members, friends, neighbors and co-workers. As our workforce improves, the quality of jobs available improves. By encouraging students to take classes and to earn a certificate, diploma, or degree, we are building a stronger community for the future.

In my role as president of the Paul B. Sharar Foundation, named in honor of the first CCC dean, I see the many ways our community supports students and college programs. During the pandemic, needs for technology and online training became apparent, and the Sharar Foundation provided funding for computers and online training kits.

The Student Assistance For Emergencies (S.A.F.E.) fund assisted students with unique needs created during the pandemic. Textbooks, High School Equivalency Program tuition vouchers, and Opportunity Grants are also funded through the generosity of many donors. Scholarships continue to be a large area for financial assistance, with almost $220,000 awarded to students this academic year. A new 75th Anniversary scholarship has begun and will be awarded next year.

On September 9, 2021, students, staff, faculty and the community will celebrate Clinton Community College’s 75th anniversary. Thank you for celebrating with Clinton Community College, the community’s college!

Chuck Duax, president, Paul B. Sharar Foundation

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