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FM group raises $1.4M toward goal

April 1, 2010
By JOEL DiTATA, The Leader-Herald

JOHNSTOWN - Fulton-Montgomery Community College officials announced the FM Foundation has received $1.4 million from private donations toward its $2 million goal.

The foundation helps the college financially in such areas as remodeling the college and providing scholarships for students.

Members of the foundation announced the amount at the Johnstown Holiday Inn on Wednesday.

Article Photos

The Leader-Herald/Joel DiTata

Fulton-Montgomery Community College President Dustin Swanger talks about the FM Foundation at the Holiday Inn in Johnstown on Wednesday.

"Through the generosity of the people in this room and in this community ... this will change the way we do things at FM," Foundation Executive Director William Easterly said.

Easterly identified four strategic areas for support: funding innovative teaching and learning facilities; expanding academic health care facilities; increasing scholarship support; and expanding the cultural and intellectual enrichment of the area.

Easterly listed several advancements at multiple departments of the school. Classrooms, the athletic facility, computer equipment and digital TV studio equipment are some of the areas that will be receiving improvements due to the foundation's funds. The college is also interested in a radiologic technology lab with a computerized radiography system.

"We want to provide a full experience for our students," Easterly said. "You see students staying on campus, and you see students congregating, and we take pride in that."

Easterly said not only have members of the community donated, but teachers and administration have given percentages of their salaries as well.

FMCC President Dustin Swanger said the amount of money raised will continue to positively affect the aesthetics of the college and help the students.

"We have gone through a tremendous change on campus to keep pace with the community. If you haven't been on campus, you need to come and visit," Swanger said to the attendees. "We're even getting our clock tower fixed."

Although the college will remodel several aspects of the buildings on campus, Swanger said students' success is the most important focus of the college.

"Our focus is on student success; having them be successful is critical for us," Swanger said. "The number one reason students drop out of community college is due to financial reasons."

In attempt to keep students enrolled, the foundation will allow the college to grant 35 endowed scholarships to students.

FMCC student Lauren Crandall is one student reaping the benefits of the foundation's scholarships.

"It's an opportunity for me to get ahead and jump-start my career earlier," Crandall said.

Crandall said she plans to one day receive her doctorate degree after graduating from FMCC, but understands the financial situation she may face.

"I'm relying on my parents, and anything that can help them out is great," Crandall said.

Joel DiTata can be reached by e-mail at



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