Trident Tech foundation raises $4.2 million

Trident Technical College Foundation’s Building Opportunity capital campaign brought in $4.2 million in less than a year, exceeding its goal by more than $1 million.

Kim Sturgeon, the foundation’s executive director, said about $2 million of that will be used for a “desktop cloud computing initiative,” which will give students access to the software they need both on and off campus. Most of the rest of the money raised will go toward student scholarships.

The campaign began in early 2012. But its public phase was launched in September, with the announcement of a $1 million pledge from the Zucker family and the InterTech Group.

“It’s amazing,” Sturgeon said of the response, “the momentum of the campaign has been incredible.”

The cloud computing system not only will save students money by giving them access to the software they need, Sturgeon said. It will result in significant cost-savings for the college by eliminating the need to replace aging desktop computers. With a cloud system, users need only a monitor, keyboard and a mouse.

Trident Tech president Mary Thornley said the financial support is important because the school is vital to the area.

“We must ensure that the college has the facilities, equipment, and human and financial resources necessary to fuel the region’s economic growth and to make relevant training accessible to everyone who seeks a better life and livelihood,”

Other donors to the campaign include: the Mark Elliott Motley Foundation, Samuel and Sunny Steinberg, Skip and Skeet Godow, MWV, Piggly Wiggly, Western Union and Wells Fargo.

Businesswoman Darla Moore also pledged $100,000 to the campaign after giving a keynote address at a campus event in November. And Dick Elliott of Maverick Southern Kitchens leveraged his own $100,000 pledge through what he called the Maverick Match and rallied others in the hospitality industry to contribute more than $140,000 to the campaign.

Sturgeon said the college isn’t about to launch another capital campaign. But school leaders plan to continue fund-raising. “We’re going to keep the momentum going.”

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