Your Impact

Major Gift Enhances Fine Arts Gallery

The Cella Family Foundation recently made a generous major gift of $50,000 to fund operations for the COM Fine Arts Gallery. The funds will greatly enhance exhibit production and staffing for the oversight of the gallery. In making this gift, L.J. Cella of The Cella Family Foundation said “California Community Colleges are the unsung heroes of higher education. College of Marin’s extraordinary commitment to the visual and performing arts is a boon to students and the surrounding community. We are pleased to be a strategic partner with College of Marin and its Fine Arts Gallery program.”

COM Fine Arts Gallery supports the curriculum of the Art Department through exhibitions of emerging and established artists, who hold a strong vision, engage in a critical dialogue and are globally relevant. The study and experience of art provide exceptional learning opportunities for both COM students and the greater Marin community.


Anonymous Fund of MCF Student Scholarships, Community Education Classes and Events

In 2014 an anonymous donor made a grant to the College of Marin through the Marin Community Foundation to fund a record number of academic scholarships for eligible COM students over a two-year period and also to support lifelong learning for older students through the Emeritus Students of College of Marin (ESCOM). In 2016, the same donor generously renewed a commitment to fund scholarships by donating $100,000 over two years and increasing support to $70,000 for the ESCOM program for older adult learners.

More than ever students have a greater need for financial assistance. COM has a diverse student body that is increasingly vulnerable to economic pressures. At $1,000 per student, the scholarships are larger than the average scholarship amount previously awarded.

The Community Education program, with the assistance from this grant, offers reduced fee or free classes, an Afternoon Authors Series, and a Mini-Medical Seminar. There is a growing population of older adults in Marin who want to stay active and engaged but who cannot always afford to attend Community Education classes. The grant from the Haddie Fund provides much-needed support to the program and will allow older adults to enjoy a wide variety of stimulating and enriching classes.


Insurance Gift Benefits the Geology Department

The donor, Ervin Wegscheider (Erv), took many classes over the years in the COM Geology Department including the Biology of Marine Mammals class and the Alaska class.Faculty fondly remember Erv visiting to say hello when he was on his daily walk around campus, and he would always comment on an interesting  scientific article that he had just read. Mr. Wegscheider included the COM Geology Department as a beneficiary in his life insurance policy. Upon his passing, the insurance company issued the funds to the Geology Department.Recently, a portion of the almost $10,000 gift was used to purchase lab equipment and teaching materials to enhance instruction and benefit students who take Geology classes. For more information about a gift of insurance to COM see our resources page or please contact Linda Frank at


Peter Haas Grant Supports Biotechnology Lab

College of Marin bioscience students and employees in the workforce have access to a newly renovated wet lab designed to simulate real-world environments thanks to a $50,000 grant from the Peter E. Haas Jr. Family Fund.  The capital grant allows the College to retrofit and restore a multi-functional bioscience laboratory at the Indian Valley Campus in Novato.

“This generous Haas grant will help the College prepare students for highly competitive, higher-paying jobs,” said Dr. David Wain Coon, Superintendent/President. The newly renovated facility will serve a growing core of science students on the Indian Valley Campus as well as high school students seeking specific knowledge and skills in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) areas.

The lab will also be available for specialized training designed for students as well as employees of the College’s industry partners.  The development of new skills will open the doors to increased opportunities or career advancement in local medical, bioscience and biotechnology industries.  


Book Grants for COMPASS Students

The first Jack Eldridge Book Grants were awarded to three COMPASS program high school students, congratulations to these hard working COMPASS students: Marco Aguierre, Ana Hidalgo and Alex Quinonez who are taking summer session courses at COM.

College of Marin Promoting and Supporting Success (COMPASS) is the focal point of the College’s agenda to eliminate educational inequity in Marin County. With funding provided by the Marin Community Foundation, COM is working in collaboration with the Marin County Office of Education, all Marin public high schools, and several community-based partners. COMPASS is based on a contract between students, families, high schools, and College of Marin, in which participants, beginning in the 9th grade, agree to fulfill certain responsibilities.

COMPASS students will graduate closer to college-ready, have a deep understanding of and practice with the expectations of a successful college student, easily have more than 20 units of transferrable college credit, and be awarded free attendance for the first year should they matriculate to COM.

If you would like to provide book grants to deserving students, please donate here.


Student Accessibility Services—The George Sandy Foundation

Since 1991, the George H. Sandy Foundation of San Francisco has been providing funding for the College of Marin disabled students program.  In 2014, the Sandy Foundation awarded $20,000 followed by a second part of the award of $15,000 in 2105. The 2014 grant award for disabled students program of the Student Accessibility Services (SAS) was used to update software and add new software, purchase network licenses, voice recorders, Smart Pens, and Dragon Dictate licenses. The 2015 grant award assisted in continuation of the technology upgrades as accomplished with the first part of the grant award.

In 2015 the Foundation made grants totaling $1.9 million and ranging in amounts from $5,000 to $60,000. The foundation provides funding in part to 501 (c) (3) organizations that provide support services to disabled individuals.

Enjoy this video about the Adapted Physical Education Program at College of Marin!


In Kind Gifts

College of Marin accepts gifts-in-kind (e.g., property, equipment, securities, real estate, artworks) intended by the donor to benefit the College. Such gifts are reviewed with special care to ensure that acceptance will not involve financial commitments in excess of budgeted items or commit the College to other obligations disproportionate to the gift. When gifts-in-kind are given to the College with intent for the donor to receive a tax deduction it shall be the responsibility of the donor and a requirement of the IRS that the donor, not the College, obtain an independent appraisal of the gift for tax purposes.   For more information about making an In Kind Gift to COM see our resources page or please contact Keith Rosenthal at