Ellsworth Community College receives $2.5 million pledge
Robert and Arlene Hamilton have once again made a major financial contribution to Ellsworth Community College in Iowa Falls. ECC Provost Dr. Nancy Muecke and Director of Development Kaitlyn Bartling have announced a pledge of $2.5 million from the Hamiltons to support agriculture scholarships and the establishment of an agriculture “chair” at the College.
The scholarships will be in the amount of $5,000 per year, nearly full tuition and fees. Two scholarships have already been awarded for Fall 2013 and two additional will be announced soon; the number of scholarships will grow in coming years. As enrollment in the College agriculture programs grows, an Agriculture Department Chair will be established.
Dr. Muecke explains, “This extremely generous gift from Bob and Arlene Hamilton will create exciting opportunities for the Ellsworth Community College agriculture programs and our students. We’ve seen growth in our agriculture programs as a result of the Hamilton’s earlier investment in our agriculture facilities, and we anticipate that our future success will be inextricably tied to this gift. The Hamilton’s generosity will assist us in growing, innovating, and serving students in ways that would not be possible otherwise.”
ECC Agriculture Professor Kevin Butt adds, “This gift will highlight and support our agriculture programs in a way we could only dream of. The Hamiltons’ investment in our program and students will help us achieve our mission of becoming one of the top community college agriculture programs in Iowa and the Midwest.”
In 2007 the Hamiltons donated $1 million in support of the Vision 21 Capital Campaign for the establishment of the Agriculture & Renewable Energy Center and the Ellsworth Equestrian Center at the Robert & Arlene Hamilton campus of Ellsworth Community College. At the time, their contribution was thought to be the largest monetary gift in the history of the College.
Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton were longtime farmers and entrepreneurs north of Iowa Falls; they currently reside in West Des Moines. Ellsworth College Foundation Board member and former ECC Dean Duane Lloyd says, “Bob and Arlene Hamilton are a joy to work with, and they’ve never forgotten their roots. They are well-known for their work ethic, and for their passion about production agriculture. Their generosity will long be remembered because it will make a lasting difference in the lives of so many ECC students, and in the lives of future generations of farmers and other agricultural entrepreneurs.”
Bartling says, “It is inspiring to watch how Bob and Arlene are strategically investing in our students and the future of production agriculture at Ellsworth. We have been fortunate to see support from so many friends and alumni, and planned gifts like this allow us to be innovators in our development of programs and students. This gift will continue our tradition of excellence and increase the impact ECC has within our community. The Ellsworth College Foundation is exceedingly grateful that the Hamiltons have pledged an investment of this magnitude.”
Roger Nissly, Ellsworth College Foundation Board President, adds, “The Ellsworth College Foundation Board would like to thank Bob and Arlene Hamilton for their generous gift to Ellsworth Community College. They have left a legacy for future generations, and this gift will ensure the future success of agricultural education at Ellsworth Community College.”
Ellsworth College Foundation Board member and Green Belt Bank & Trust Chairman Steve Afdahl adds, “More than 100 years ago, Eugene Ellsworth made a series of gifts that propelled Iowa Falls into the 20th century. Today, the generous gifts from Bob and Arlene Hamilton to our college, our hospital and our community will make Iowa Falls a place to grow and prosper for the next 100 years.”
ECC currently offers several agriculture and animal science degree and certificate programs, including Ag Science, Agribusiness, Animal Science, Equine Management/Equine Science, Farm Management, Geographical Information Systems/GIS, Precision Agriculture, Pre-Veterinary Medicine, and Swine Management. ECC’s popular Agriculture transfer program is designed to transfer seamlessly to Iowa State University and several other Midwest colleges and universities. More information about Ellsworth Community College can be found online at www.EllsworthCollege.com .