Organization Matters – Valencia Foundation

With net assets totaling over $66 million, the Valencia Foundation is one of the largest community college endowments in the country and provides much needed financial support to help our students meet their educational goals. This article is the ninth in a series called “Organization Matters” in which we will share information about changes in college and campus leadership.

The Foundation operates as a separate, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation and is focused on providing scholarships to help meet financial need that is unmet by state and federal financial aid programs. Geraldine Gallagher, President and CEO of the Valencia Foundation, leads the team of nine who manage over 650 individual scholarships, endowed chairs, and other programs to support student, faculty, and staff needs.

You may not know that the Foundation owns the Downtown Center building as well as the land on which the Osceola Campus is built. These, and other real estate investments, provide enough income to meet the Foundation’s operating costs so that all donations go directly to the intended purpose: a scholarship, an endowed teaching chair, etc. The Foundation is led by a Board of Directors, which is staffed by more than 60 community volunteers. This group meets regularly to steward the Foundation’s investments and expenditures, and raise new funds for scholarships and other forms of support.

Recently, the Foundation reorganized to enhance existing support provided to the community, to the college, and to student scholarship recipients. Michelle Matis, named Vice President for Administration and Finance, now supervises the Foundation support team (see organizational chart). This provides greater flexibility for Geraldine, who works in the community every day, helping our community leaders and philanthropists to understand the mission of the Foundation, thereby encouraging new gifts to the endowment.

“Monetary issues remain three of the top five reasons students must drop out of college,” wrote Geraldine on the Valencia Foundation website. “Many potential Valencians will never get to the college door because they simply cannot fathom how to juggle their living expenses with tuition and book costs.” For these reasons, the work of the Foundation is vital – to help thousands of students achieve their dreams and make a difference in our community.

If you would like more information about student scholarships, academic programs or planned giving, contact Donna Marino, at or at extension 3128.

Read more about the college’s reorganization:

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