January 4, 2021

Eva Schulte, WCC Executive Director for Institutional Advancement
Whatcom Community College
(360) 383-3326

Whatcom Community College Foundation announces successful completion to $2.5 million Igniting Futures campaign

The Whatcom Community College (WCC) Foundation, in Bellingham Washington, concluded its Igniting Futures campaign this month, successfully raising $2.5 million for scholarships and college programs. While the campaign began before the COVID-19 pandemic, the funds raised have had a direct, positive impact helping ensure students achieve their academic and career goals during a time when many are experiencing financial strain.

“We are incredibly grateful to our Whatcom County community for making our first major fundraising campaign a success. The investment in the lives of our students creates a future path many didn’t know was possible,” said Kathi Hiyane-Brown, WCC President.

Dollars raised went toward two different goals: Student scholarships and funds designated to college programs and emergency needs. The $1.8 million raised for scholarships will allow WCC to award up to 50 more scholarships each year, as well as grow the Foundation’s ability to provide annual reoccurring scholarships. The remaining $738,000 raised enables the Foundation to award mini grants to faculty and college programs not funded by the state. Over the course of the campaign, the Foundation awarded 48 grants that supported student success, the advancement of equity, and innovations related to the transition to online education. Donations to the campaign also created a $225,000 endowment to support student scholarships and College programs long term.

“The WCC Foundation rose above and beyond our goal thanks to our campaign co-chairs, Phyllis Self and Chuck Robinson, and the generosity of donors,” said Carolyn Simpson Scott, M.D., WCC Foundation Board of Directors Chair. “As a result, we were able to support five times as many students with emergency funds as in previous years. This support is critical to our students' success."

The College and WCC Foundation recognize the wide-spread need for financial support in the community right now and will begin a new campaign to raise funds for direct emergency needs related to the pandemic, such as food and housing insecurity, technology and Wi-Fi, tuition and book support, and childcare.

The upcoming emergency funding application will open for students on December 30. WCC Foundation scholarships for 2021 will follow with an application open date of January 20. To learn more about how the WCC Foundation is supporting students and igniting the future of the community, visit If you are interested in assisting this effort, please contact or visit us online.

About Whatcom Community College Foundation: The WCC Foundation enhances educational opportunities by providing student scholarships, supporting faculty development and assisting with key college initiatives. Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, WA, is regularly recognized as one of the top 150 community colleges in the nation by the Aspen Institute. While WCC's physical campus is closed, our online services and commitment to student success continue. For more information, visit

        We acknowledge that Whatcom County is located on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples. They cared for the lands that included what we’d call the Puget Sound region, Vancouver Island and British Columbia since time immemorial. This gives us the great obligation and opportunity to learn how to care for our surrounding areas and all the natural and human resources we require to live. We express our deepest respect and gratitude for our indigenous neighbors, the Lummi Nation and Nooksack Tribe, for their enduring care and protection of our shared lands and waterways.
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