Departments receive equipment, remodeling; AC Foundation awards money to fund projects that college budget cannot cover


By JEREMY BATES and CLAIRE EKAS, Staff Reporters ¦

The Amarillo College Foundation grant program enables faculty and staff to apply and receive money for special needs that cannot be funded through the annual budget.

Recently, the Foundation awarded $50,000 to more than 20 different AC programs.

The Amarillo College Foundation is a nonprofit and tax-exempt foundation that seeks to improve AC in various ways. The board of directors of the AC Foundation is made up of local business owners, AC staff and faculty members and community volunteers.

To apply for a Foundation grant, faculty and staff must complete a one-page application with a project budget and submit it. The six members of the Foundation grants committee review, discuss and make awards.

The committee meets quarterly to go over college wide grant requests. Every program that receives grant funding must report the impact the money has made within six months of receiving the funds.

One group that was awarded grants includes the respiratory care program, which received funds to help students prepare for state board exams and purchase equipment.

“This program is highly technical and can require expensive equipment that our budget doesn’t always allow for. The grant we received allows us to purchase the same equipment that students will use in the field. This certainly is a good thing,” Valerie Hansen, respiratory care program director, said.

AC’s radio station, FM90, was also a recipient of a grant that helped pay for the remodeling of the broadcast studio.

Stevi Breshears, mass media major and editor-in-chief of “The Ranger,” noted the impact these grants can have.

“Having access to the resources at FM90 and PPBS gives us the opportunity to learn not only through experienced professors, but by working with studios full of industry standard equipment. This type of hands on experience can’t be found everywhere, and we are truly lucky that the Amarillo College Foundation awarded the grant to remodel the broadcast studio.”

The speech department was another grant recipient this year.

“The grant we received was to purchase iPads for the speech faculty,” Michelle Orcutt, speech department chair, said. “It really helps the teachers.”

In addition to these special program grants, the Foundation also provides scholarships for students. In 2017, they awarded 1,600 scholarships. Foundation officials said they will award more than $1 million in scholarships for the next year.

The Foundation accepts gifts for these grants and scholarships from community individuals, groups and businesses. The donor can either designate the money for specific purposes or for general unrestricted support of Foundation activities.

Other forms of gifts accepted by the Foundation include stock and property upon approval of the board of directors. Donors can also give in memory of friends or relatives.

To learn more about the Amarillo College Foundation call (806) 371-5000 or visit

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