TSJC Educational Foundation celebrates 50th anniversary

VALLEY — The Trinidad State Junior College Educational Foundation has been in existence since 1968 with a focus on raising, accepting, and managing private gifts that benefit Trinidad State Junior College. With 50 years of history, growth, and success, this monumental milestone is worthy of celebrating and recognizing the significance of the Foundation in its role of serving the college and the community for five decades.  

In January 1968, a forward-thinking, dedicated group of individuals who were genuinely interested in the welfare and growth of Trinidad State Junior College decided to establish the TSJC Educational Foundation. And so, the Articles of Incorporation were created under the Colorado Nonprofit Corporation Act and were approved January 12, 1968. Thus, the Foundation became a private, non-profit corporation operating as a separate entity from the college.

The Foundation’s mission is to promote the growth and development of Trinidad State Junior College.  As has been the case for 50 years, this mission is accomplished through financial support that encourages and invigorates student success as well as financial support that strengthens the college’s capacity to enhance programmatic, instructional, and capital needs.

The group that established the Foundation were risk takers and visionaries. Founding members Roy Boyd, Charles Latuda, and Harry Sayre recalled in a 2005 interview that the first contribution was a gift of stock given by a student’s father. According to Sayre, College President Guy Davis provided the impetus to establish the Foundation.

“Davis wanted to make sure the gift was not mingled with state funds,” stated Sayre. It is through the efforts of those individuals and several others like them that have guided and developed the Foundation into the current thriving and robust organization able to enhance the educational opportunities at the college. With over $8.4M in total assets, the Foundation continues to concentrate on the long-term growth and sustainability of TSJC. Two thirds of the total assets are limited by donor restrictions to either a specified purpose or time including funds of perpetual duration (endowments). Currently, the Foundation manages over 80 endowments.

The general goal of the Foundation is to support the efforts of the college in developing needed instructional facilities and programs by contributing financial resources to supplement other sources which would not be sufficient in themselves. In other words, private dollars raised by the Foundation do not replace other revenue streams; rather private dollars allow the Foundation to bridge the gap between the needs and the resources of the college. Private dollars stimulate quality and excellence into instructional, programmatic, and capital needs of the college all for the benefit of the whole student experience. The desired outcome is student excellence in academics and skilled training to drive student success.

In the last 10 years alone, the Foundation has assisted the college to the tune of nearly $4M – $2.5M in scholarships, $1M in programs/instructional support, and $500K in capital improvements. Thanks to private contributions from the community, alumni, and other philanthropic-minded individuals the Foundation has received contributions of more than $4.7M during that same time.

Since its inception, the Foundation has provided funding for several areas including academic and vocational programs, campus beautification projects, acquiring and renovating a childcare center for the Alamosa community whereby students gained hands-on experience in Early Childhood Education, and the purchasing and remodeling of a 9,000 square foot building adjacent to the Valley Campus initially as a Student Center and now the Health Sciences facility. Most notable may be the millions of dollars in scholarships awarded to talented and deserving students over the past 10 years.

Given its mission to support the growth and development of TSJC, the Foundation is first and foremost a fundraising organization. The members of the Foundation have been crucial to the success of the Foundation’s fundraising goals and are civic-minded citizens of the communities served by TSJC. Foundation members have a vested interest in the growth and welfare of the college as well as the community. In order to ensure the success of the Foundation’s mission, Foundation members serve as an ambassador of the college and of the Foundation by sharing knowledge of issues, activities, and the need for community investment in order to continually foster greater private support for TSJC and its students. Members serve as a conduit with individuals who may benefit the Foundation or college by gaining a greater understanding of its functions or facilities.

Current Foundation members representing the San Luis Valley include: Toney Cantu, LeRoy Martinez, Jeff Owsley, Kathy Rogers, Cheryl Santi, and Randy Wright.

The Trinidad State Junior College Educational Foundation is a private, non-profit corporation founded in 1968 to raise and manage private gifts for TSJC. The Foundation’s mission is to promote the growth and development of Trinidad State Junior College. A diverse group of volunteer community members oversee the operations of the Foundation to benefit the college and its students. Through the generosity of the Foundation’s donors, the Foundation has provided resources to ensure a quality education through contributions to student scholarships, instructional programs, professional development, capital improvements and campus beautification projects for the present and future sustainability of Trinidad State.