Letter from Superintendent/President Dr. David Wain Coon

David Wain Coon, Ed.D.Dear Friend,

At College of Marin we just concluded our 87th academic year by celebrating the successes of our graduates and of our students who are transferring this fall to universities. As we bid farewell to the class of 2014, it is essential that we pause and reflect on what more can be done to help ensure the success of future generations of our students.

A timely study released this year by the Pew Research Center highlights the critical importance of a college degree to professional success and career advancement. The study finds that among young adults, ages 25-32, who are working full-time, those with a college degree, earn about $17,500 more annually than those with only a high school diploma. According to Pew, this is the largest education-based pay gap in the modern era--more than double what it was less than 50 years ago in 1965.

Knowing that a college education provides opportunities for a better and more productive life, it is important for us to find ways to eliminate barriers to academic achievement. And for that, we need your help. One of the biggest challenges that many College of Marin students face today is paying for their college education. It is a sign of continuing economic uncertainties that the need for financial assistance to attend College of Marin has never been greater in the college’s 87 year history.

College of Marin’s demographically diverse student body is particularly and increasingly vulnerable to the enduring effects of economic pressures. In fact, in the past six years at College of Marin financial aid applications have more than doubled and in the 2012/13 academic year 41 percent of the 9300 students enrolled at the College received some form of financial aid. And yet, financial aid is not enough.

Fortunately, thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, College of Marin has received a $100,000 challenge grant establishing the new Haddie Academic Scholarship Fund. This gift will provide 100 eligible College of Marin students $1,000 scholarship awards to help them achieve their dream of a college education.

The Haddie Academic Scholarship Fund challenge grant has been administered through the Marin Community Foundation and, so far, we have received $30,000 in scholarship donations toward our “challenge” match. Additional donations are needed to help College of Marin meet the Haddie Academic Scholarship Fund challenge.

You can help us help the next generation of College of Marin students fulfill their dreams by contributing to the Haddie Academic Scholarship Fund. Donations of $25, $50, $100 or more are welcome. With a donation of $1,000 or more annually donors also have the option of establishing their own named scholarship.

For more information about donating please call 415.485.9653 or go online to http://www.marin.edu/advancement/how.html.

David Wain Coon, Ed.D.