Month: March 2016

Head of Missouri Community College Association to Deliver Commencement Address

March 22, 2016 | Campus News

Rob Dixon, president/CEO of the Missouri Community College Association, will deliver the address at East Central College’s forty-sixth annual spring commencement Saturday, May 14.  The ceremony will begin at 11:30 a.m. in the gymnasium in the Donald D. Shook Student Center on the ECC campus in Union.

“We are proud to have Mr. Dixon deliver the commencement address to our graduates,” noted College President Dr. Jon Bauer.  “As a community college graduate himself, Rob knows the importance that our colleges play in moving our state forward. He is a highly respected leader in the capitol and around the state, and I am pleased that he will be joining us at East Central to celebrate the achievements of students who have chosen the community college path.”

The Missouri Community College Association represents the state’s 12 community colleges, their boards of trustees, administration, faculty, staff, and students.  MCCA is a membership organization for Missouri’s community colleges, providing government advocacy, networking, and information and education resources for its members.  It is the largest higher education association in the state, with approximately 2,000 members.

Prior to joining MCCA, Dixon served in a variety of roles at the Springfield (MO) Area Chamber of Commerce, including interim president/CEO and executive vice president. His overall responsibilities included leadership and management of staff and programs in economic and workforce development, public affairs, local government policy, communications, community development, and strategic planning.  Prior to his work in Springfield he served as executive director of the Hollister (MO) Area  Chamber of Commerce.

Dixon joined the U.S. Marine Corps after high school, where he served as an intelligence analyst in Afghanistan and Pakistan immediately after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  He was recognized with several commendations and awards for leadership and performance as a U.S. Marine.  Dixon received an honorable discharge as a sergeant after five years in the Marine Corps.

Dixon earned a Master of Public Administration degree from Missouri State University, a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and an Associate of Arts in Political Science from St. Charles Community College.  He is currently pursuing a professional certification in association management through the Institute for Organization Management.

Dixon and his wife, Melanie, have one son, Eddie.

More than 450 students are candidates for graduation at ECC.  Associate degrees and career/technical certificates will be conferred.  The college will also present awards to the outstanding student and outstanding alumnae for 2016.

rendering of East Central College's Business and Industry Center

Foundation Kicks Off Campaign

March 21, 2016 | Campus News

A $1.2 million campaign has been kicked off by the East Central College Foundation to raise money to help the college renovate the former Gala Center into a Business and Industry Center.

The Foundation campaign, Building for Success: An Initiative for Tomorrow’s Workforce, will solicit contributions for remodeling the space into a Business and Industry Center that will house ECC’s precision machining, industrial engineering technology and HVAC programs.  Lab and classroom space to accommodate non-credit welding classes is also planned for the building.  Credit classes in welding will continue to be located at Four Rivers Career Center in Washington through a partnership program with the School District of Washington.

ECC’s Center for Workforce Development also will be located in the facility, which will allow for the expansion of training opportunities.

“The mission of the ECC Foundation is to support the growth and development of East Central College in whatever manner might be beneficial to our students, staff and facilities,” said Shannon Grus, executive director.  “This campaign does that.”

“This new Business and Industry Center will create more economic opportunities for our students and our communities,” she said. “It will serve as the regional training provider for business and industry, generating bottom up strategies to spur growth.”

Grus said gifts to the campaign will allow for expansion of programs and offerings in the four technical fields utilizing the latest technology. Evening and weekend opportunities will also be possible with the new space.

“Area manufacturers have a continual need for skilled workers,” Grus stated. “Many more graduates are needed to meet the local and regional demand for workers and the Business and Industry Center will provide that.”

Dr. Jon Bauer, president of the college, stated that this project marks the beginning of an exciting chapter in the history of ECC.

“The purchase and renovation of this building will lead to a state-of-the-art facility that will support some of our high demand career and technical programs,” he said. “When complete it will be the focal point of our work with businesses and industries in the region.”

“As we prepare students for the workforce and help companies become more competitive through training of existing employees, this facility puts East Central College at the leading edge of workforce development in Missouri,” he added.

“We know from employers that a skilled workforce is the most critical need they face,” he said. “Our responsibility is to produce graduates who can meet this demand and contribute to raising the economic trajectory of our region.”

Gifts & Pledges

Donors can make a one-time donation or pledge an amount to be paid over one to five years.  Grus said pledges, matching gifts from an employer, planned gifts, gifts in memory or in-kind donations will be accepted.  Capital donations of $1,000 or more will be recognized in a permanent location in the building.

“In addition to the naming opportunity for major gifts, the campaign has established additional contribution levels,” said Grus.

The campaign giving levels are major gifts: $25,000 to $100,000; leadership gifts: $15,000 to $24,999; special gifts; $5,000 to $14,999; and general gifts: up to $4,999.  All donations are tax deductible. The ECC Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Tax Credits

The project was approved to receive up to $600,000 in tax credits from the Missouri Development Finance Board to assist with fundraising efforts, so the original campaign goal of $600,000 was pushed to $1.2 million.

Grus noted that the tax credits are now available to individuals and corporations that contribute to the campaign.   Any taxpayer is entitled to the tax credits. Contributors will receive a 50 percent tax credit for their donation.

Project Details

The college purchased the 19,807 square foot building in April 2015 for $1.2 million.

This month, college trustees awarded a $3,050,000 contract to K&S Associates, St. Louis, for the renovation work which began March 14.  Once completed, the center will total 28,388 square feet.  The contractor expects to have the building ready for use in mid-September.

Along with the ECC Foundation’s capital campaign, funds for the renovation will also come from a $1.2 million Economic Development Administration grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Commerce as well as institutional funding.

“For a minimal investment, the college will have a first-class center for technical education for the benefit of students and the greater community,” said Grus.

Nominations Accepted Through March 31

March 1, 2016 | Campus News

The East Central College Foundation/Alumni Office is seeking nominations for the 2016 Outstanding Alumni Award.

“Each year, thousands of students begin or continue their professional journey at ECC,” noted Shannon Grus who serves as executive director of the Foundation.  “Through March 31 we will accept nominations of former ECC students who have gone on to become leaders in their professions and positively impacted their community.”

To be considered for the Outstanding Alumni Award, nominees must have completed a college credit course at ECC at some point in their educational journey.  Attainment of a degree or certificate from ECC is preferred but not required.  Nominees must also be looked upon by their peers as leaders in their field, with a demonstrated commitment to community.   Residency within the college district is not required.  An explanation of 500 words or less as to why the person is worthy of consideration should accompany the nomination.  The nomination form can be accessed from the ECC Foundation webpage:  Individuals can also email or call 636-584-6506 to request the form or more information.

Selection will be determined by a committee drawn from ECC alumni and the Foundation.  The 2016 award will be presented at East Central College commencement ceremony on the Union campus Saturday, May 14.

The ECC Alumni Association established the Outstanding Alumni Award in 2002 to recognize the accomplishments of former ECC students.  Past recipients include:  2002-Tanya Voss; 2003-John Griesheimer; 2004-Tom Robertson; 2005-Chris Manhart; 2006-Deborah Koelling; 2007-Tammy Watz and Dr. Frank Miller; 2008-Ken Schmidt; 2009-Chris Stuckenschneider;  2010-Ann Schroeder; 2011-Ted Coburn, 2012-Linda Mahon, 2013-Joseph Purschke, 2014-Amy Wildhaber, and 2015-Tony Kreutz.