Schoolcraft Foundation:
Give Now

eNews 14th Edition

Schoolcraft College Foundation
Schoolcraft College Students

Investing in Student Success Now and into 2021

The Schoolcraft College Foundation is known for and values its role in connecting donors who desire to support students financially. Scholarships are part of the Foundation’s long history of serving the Schoolcraft community, but here are a few things you may not know.

Student with computer

With the onset of the pandemic in March, the Foundation went into response-mode and utilized unrestricted funds to respond to the campus’s immediate needs. Increasing the number of computers in the laptop loan program, working with corporate funders like Bosch to secure additional dollars, providing funds for the purchase of chemistry lab kits for students who had to immediately switch from classroom lab classes to online lab classes and purchasing internet hotspots to address the urgent needs of distance learning are just a few examples.

The Foundation staff also assists individuals and families in realizing their personal charitable goals to support the advancement of academic programs, scholarships, and the most urgent needs of the college. As we transition into a new season of giving during the pandemic, we encourage you to consider the importance of a gift to the Foundation’s Greatest Need Fund. Being nimble and responding to needs across campus when the unexpected happens has always been part of our mission but is more critical than ever. Visit our new website at scf.schoolcraft.edu to learn about new initiatives and see the impact of giving. We sincerely hope you’ll make your gift before December 31, 2020 to move Schoolcraft strongly into the New Year.

President Dr. Glenn Cerny

New President Previews Priorities

Previewing presidential priorities, President Glenn Cerny told Schoolcraft Foundation supporters and board members that Schoolcraft College will thrive in today’s competitive landscape by providing every student “a personalized experience,” a “reality-ready” education, and a vibrant social experience rivaling any campus in Michigan. 

After mingling with the audience on the VisTaTech Center patio, Cerny noted the construction boom on campus and said Schoolcraft is uniquely situated to offer students the choices they demand. “It’s not about our buildings,” he said of Schoolcraft’s secret to success, “it’s what we put in them.”

“You’re given a lot of options when you come to Schoolcraft College,” Cerny said. “We have the ability to move you wherever you want to go.”

Some students want two years of training and a job. Others want a quality, affordable two-year head start on a bachelor’s degree. Others want a mid-career boost, a career change, or they’re looking for a hobby after retirement. “We serve all types of students and prepare them all for the modern workplace,” Cerny said. “That’s what we mean by ‘reality ready.’”

Programs inside the College’s new Manufacturing & Engineering Center in Livonia’s industrial corridor give students practical experience in welding, digital design and other manufacturing fields.

Programs in the Health Sciences Center and the St. Joe’s IHA ambulatory care facility, which is under construction, prepare students for various careers in Health Sciences, including sterile processing, surgical technology, radiology technology and physical therapy to meet the needs of an aging population.

Business partnerships have paved the way for the St. Joe’s Sports Dome and sports medicine facility, which is under construction and part of the Schoolcraft’s appeal to students craving a fun and lively social experience.Closing the event, Cerny thanked the Schoolcraft donors and community partners for their efforts in supporting the college and students. “You guys kick it,” he said.

Current Goals and Future Dreams…
The Schoolcraft College Manufacturing & Engineering Center (MEC) and the Operation Refuge/Camp Inspire STEAM

Schoolcraft College proved once again its philosophy that the future is now!  On a beautiful sunny morning, Amy Jones, Associate Dean of Occupational Programs, and John Wright, Executive Director of Facilities Operations, conducted a tour of the new MEC facilities.  As the tour progressed, final adjustments were being made to the 48,000-square foot facility to welcome students this fall. 

The MEC is less than a 10-minute drive from Main Campus at 13001 Merriman Road and nearly doubles the space, housing programs in Biomedical Engineering Technology, CAD, Engineering Technology, Electronics, Manufacturing Technology/CNC, Mechatronics, Metallurgy and Materials Science, Plastics Technology, and Welding. 

Associate Dean Amy Jones shares with Kathleen Owsley, from the Bosch Community Fund, how the new MEC facility has more than doubled the classroom and laboratory space.
John Wright, Executive Director of Facilities and Operations, discusses how current equipment was moved from Main Campus and placed in the specific areas of MEC in preparation for the new school year. Pastor Jean Overman from Camp Inspire and Kathleen Owsley join the discussion.
The group watches as adjustments are made in one of the hallways of the MEC.

As Schoolcraft’s MEC was being prepared to open for the current students of Fall Semester 2020, work was under way on Operation Refuge’s STEAM Café, designed to inspire future Ocelots and members of the professional trades.   A long-time partner of Schoolcraft College, Pastor Jean Overman assumed the role of tour guide, leading the group through a major focal point of Camp Inspire and Operation Refuge.

What was a barber shop/salon will soon offer K-12 students an area to begin to build their future in STEAM careers.

Opened in September for Fall classes, the MEC is perfectly located for students to go from the classroom to career.  Go here for more information about all of Schoolcraft College’s Manufacturing and Technology programs.

Even Face Masks Couldn’t Hide Smiles from Mark & Robin Whitfield

Community service and dedication to duty are nothing new to Mark and Robin Whitfield.  As a graduate of the United States Naval Academy, Mark served six years of active duty, continuing on as a Navy Reservist, eventually retiring as a Commander. 

Robin has been an active member of the Livonia Chamber of Commerce, serving on the inaugural Industrial Committee and actively seeking ways to improve professional trades and workforce development opportunities.  The Whitfields applied their dedication and expertise as financial advisors with Edward Jones to shape and implement a very generous and impactful “blended gift” scenario.   The couple’s strategy utilizes a gifting schedule over their combined lifetimes, with a final legacy gift that completes their goal for Schoolcraft College. 

A “blended giving” strategy offers donors the opportunity to make a more considerable impact on important issues by employing a planned giving vehicle to accomplish their objective comfortably and without impeding other personal or financial planning goals. 

For their strategic gifting plan, the Whitfields established two Advancement Funds in support of the College mission and fulfilling their personal areas of interest.  One supports the Veterans Resource Center, reflecting Mark’s commitment to the armed services, while the other will have tremendous impact on the Manufacturing and Engineering Center supporting Robin’s dedication to workforce development and education.  

Robin and Mark are sharing their story so others will know that planning makes an idea a reality!

Charitable Giving in 2020 under the CARES Act

On March 27, the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) was signed into law.  The purpose of the CARES Act was to motivate donors to increase their charitable giving to assist in the battle against COVID-19.  The highlights of this Act are:

Additionally, the existing “Carry-over” rules are still applicable; if a 2020 charitable gift exceeds the AGI deduction limits, the donor may carry over the excess for up to five subsequent taxable years.  While this temporary tax benefit applies to cash gift to public charities only, contributions made to supporting organizations and donor funds will still generate charitable income tax deductions based upon 60% of the donor’s AGI for cash gifts, and up to 30% of AGI on gifts of appreciated assets.

The CARES Act does not make any changes to the Charitable IRA Provision, also known as a QCD or Qualified Charitable Distribution.   Donors who are 70 ½ or above are still able to contribute up to $100,000 directly to a qualified 501(c)(3) charity from their IRA assets, rather than taking their income taxable Required Minimum Distribution, or RMD.   There is, however, potential for those over 59 ½ (up to the minimum age of 70 ½).  Since the CARES Act enables donors to deduct 100% of their AGI for charitable contributions of cash, making a cash contribution from their IRA may completely offset the tax liability from the distribution by taking a charitable income tax deduction in an amount up to 100% of their AGI for the taxable year.  [This is a highly complex calculation and should not be considered without the advice of the donor’s own tax advisor.]

*This information is strictly for educational discussion only and should not be considered legal or tax advice.  The Schoolcraft College Foundation recommends that everyone seek legal counsel, tax and financial advisor before taking action based upon this information.

Dedication to service inspires an amazing impact gift

Northville Couple Establishes Scholarship Fund with Pride!

Robert Chrusciel and Thomas Mallia established the College’s first scholarship to offer financial assistance to the LGBTQIA community at Schoolcraft College.  Both Rob and Tom have community college experience; in fact, Rob is actually a Schoolcraft alum.  As a result, they felt that Schoolcraft would be the solid educational component to enhance their objectives for a scholarship fund. 

“A community college can offer so much to students of all ages and educational goals” said Rob, “and we feel that Schoolcraft provides so many excellent programs and instructors to really have an impact on today’s needs.”  Rob shared that he is an example of what can be accomplished.  He wanted to establish a new career path, so he returned to Schoolcraft to begin a degree in business administration and completed his goal by transferring to the University of Michigan.  

Both Rob and Tom shared examples of the variety of classes designed to enrich the surrounding community from all perspectives; a neighbor who is now a professional artist studied at Schoolcraft.  Rob and Tom actually took advantage of French classes prior to a trip to France that heightened their vacation experience. 

This amazing couple want to send a message to students who are also members of the LGBTQIA community – that success can be achieved through hard work, dedication and taking advantage of all educational opportunities.  Their objective for the Chrusciel Mallia Pride Scholarship Fund is that the recipients will use this opportunity to attain pride in what they can achieve and in who they are.

Interested in Starting an Advancement or Scholarship Fund? 

There are many opportunities to transform lives and impact students. For information on starting a named fund or an endowment fund to support an area of the college that is important to you, please call Dawn Magretta, Executive Director, Schoolcraft College Foundation & Alumni Relations, at 734.462.4455. 

Foundation Virtual Planning & Finance Programs

On Tuesday, October 27, William “Will” Thorpe, Chief Marketing and Development Officer, Institutional Division, Mason Investment Advisory Services, Inc., discussed the impact the presidential election will have on investment portfolios and savings, 401(k)/IRA accounts.  If you missed this session, click (HERE) for a recording! 

Coming up: 

Impact on Students Lives

Schoolcraft College helps students achieve their dreams of an education, and philanthropy is one of the ways to make these dreams possible.  Here is an example of how, together, we made a difference: 

Eric Cheek interview: https://youtu.be/Tn07-VR3WFE
(Credit:  Video from Dr. Christopher Woods) 

Foundation Announces 2020 Distinguished Volunteers

The Schoolcraft College Foundation will recognize six Distinguished Volunteers as part of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) National Philanthropy Day.   

Each year the Association of Fundraising Professionals celebrates National Philanthropy Day.  This special day is set aside during the month of November to recognize the great contributions to philanthropy, and those people active in the philanthropic community, that enrich our world.   Schoolcraft College Foundation joins the celebration by nominating individuals or couples for the “Distinguished Volunteer” award.  This year’s Schoolcraft College Foundation’s Distinguished Volunteers are:


29th Annual National Philanthropy Day

This year, because of COVID, all awardees including the Foundation’s Distinguished Volunteers will be recognized on Sunday, November 22, on Detroit Public Television.  The Foundation is proud of this year’s Distinguished Volunteers, and all of the wonderful donors and supporters who help further the mission of Schoolcraft College.

Alec Thomson Joins Foundation Board

Dr. Alec Thomson, professor of political science and history at Schoolcraft, was elected to the Schoolcraft Foundation Board of Governors.  Alec earned his Master’s degree in history from Arizona State University and his Ph.D. in political science from Wayne State University.  For over a decade he was the president of Schoolcraft’s Faculty Forum.  Statewide, Alec served as the president of the Michigan Association for Higher Education (MAHE) and, nationally, he is the vice-president of the National Council for Higher Education (NCHE).  Finally, he is the editor of The Community College Enterprise, a peer-reviewed journal dedicated to publishing research on teaching and learning within the community college arena. We welcome Alec to a three-year board term and look forward to having representation from a faculty perspective.

Vision 2025: The Fundraising Initiative
Vision 2025 will create life-changing opportunities for students to the rapidly changing future. With help from donors and partners, the college will transform education while engaging, inspiring, and transforming the lives of students, the community, and economy.