Join us for EmpowerEd for Student Success...a bold new campaign!

Foundation Update June 2024




MCCCD Celebrates Historic 2024 Commencement Season
with First Bachelor’s Degrees Awarded,
Keynote Address by Dr. Jill Biden

The Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) is proud to announce that it has reached a historic milestone and a new era by awarding Arizona’s first-ever community college four-year Baccalaureate Degrees during the 2024 commencement season. Each of its ten colleges held commencement ceremonies to celebrate the academic achievements of over 10,000* graduates. In another historic first, Mesa Community College (MCC) was honored to welcome the First Lady of the United States, Dr. Jill Biden, as its keynote speaker during the commencement ceremony held on Saturday, May 11, 2024.

This marks Dr. Biden’s third visit to support initiatives and events connected with Maricopa Community Colleges, with ten colleges and 31 satellite locations strategically located throughout the Valley. In 2023, Dr. Biden joined MCC to support the Mesa College Promise program, and in 2009, as the Second Lady of the United States, she visited GateWay Community College. In addition to Dr. Biden, elected officials attending commencement ceremonies across the system included Representative Lorena Austin, Mesa Mayor John Giles, Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke, and Gilbert Mayor Brigette Peterson.

“On behalf of the Maricopa Community College Governing Board, we are thrilled and grateful to highlight our students at these historic commencement ceremonies and watch them take the next step in their professional career,” Governing Board President Susan Bitter Smith said. “We are deeply honored to have First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden with us to celebrate these graduates and appreciate her leadership for community colleges around the United States,” President Bitter Smith continued. “This honor is a testament to the dedication and hard work of our faculty and staff ensuring these young leaders were provided the most affordable and competitive skills necessary to start the next chapter of their lives.”

The full story is available, here.

You weren’t a hero for just one day. You are a hero for a lifetime!

You answered the call! Thanks to the support and generosity of 334 donors during Be a Student’s Hero, the Maricopa Community Colleges annual day of giving raised over $181,195!

Your contributions allow students across all ten Maricopa Community Colleges to get the assistance they need to continue their educational journey and make it possible for us to continue to reach those who need our help the most.  Thanks to you, classroom fees can be paid, books can be purchased, food can be put on the table, rent is no longer a worry….and so much more!

The impact of your donations will change lives and all we can say is thank you!


Thank you to our Be a Student’s Hero sponsors:




Congratulations to all of the Be a Student’s Hero drawing winners, including Louise So from Glendale Community College who won this Smartwater Beach Cruiser DS, courtesy of Swire Coca-Cola.




Tomorrow Needs Us Today

EmpowerEd represents a transformative initiative by the Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation and all ten colleges to bridge the gap between potential and opportunity for students across Arizona. Addressing financial barriers and providing targeted support ensures that education remains a beacon of hope and a catalyst for economic prosperity.

EmpowerED’s Key Fundraising Initiatives:
Workforce Development: Support career pathways with local and global industries through partnerships that tailor education and training programs to the needs of the rapidly evolving job market.

Promise & Innovative Programs: Learn how you can support one of the many innovative and specialized programs, Centers, or Institutes across the District including the Maricopa Promise Program.

Scholarships & Stipends: The campaign is designed to remove financial obstacles, providing scholarships and essential support making higher education accessible and affordable to everyone.

Basic Needs: Help us enhance our basic needs assistance and emergency financial aid to tackle students unexpected expenses, helping them overcome hurdles to persist and complete their college journey.

Click here to view our Case for Support and to see how this campaign addresses student needs and workforce readiness.  Learn more at

Student Success:  Meet Aviation Maintenance Student, Alexi

As a student in the Aviation Maintenance program at Chandler-Gilbert Community College, Alexi Walker is learning the ins and outs of the Aviation Maintenance Industry. She is mastering the skills needed to maintain and repair everything from single-engine propellor airplanes to advanced jets.  Check out this video!


PNC Bank Increases Opportunities for Students Through Continued Support

Over the past three years, PNC Bank through its PNC Foundation, has invested $195,000 in the academic success of 287 students enrolled in the Maricopa Community Colleges.

The goal of the PNC Foundation Scholarship is to increase academic opportunities for low to moderate income students to improve their lifelong upward economic mobility with a foundation built upon completion of a higher education credential.

PNC prioritizes community and economic development initiatives that strategically promote the growth of low- and moderate income communities and/or provide services to these communities.

“We are proud of the work we’ve done together with PNC and look forward to building upon the great partnership that is forged,” said Brian Spicker, President and CEO, Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation.

To learn more about our other community partners, visit

Income Opportunities for Donors

Did you know you can make a gift that not only benefits our students but also provides you with a steady income stream? By utilizing innovative giving strategies, you can give back in a way that supports our students and your financial goals.

Through charitable Gift Annuities and Charitable Remainder Trusts, you can gift appreciated assets, IRA assets, or cash and receive income for life or a designated term. With a Charitable Gift Annuity, you can receive guaranteed income for life. A Charitable Remainder Trust allows you to gift an asset to a tax-free Trust, receive income, and receive other tax benefits.

Want to support our cause while securing an income for yourself? Reach out to us today to learn more about income-generating gift opportunities. Our team can provide you or your advisor with all the information you need to make a lasting impact. Contact Judy Sanchez, Chief Development Officer, MCCF at [email protected] or (480) 731-8739. Learn more, here.

Please contact a professional advisor for tax and legal advice.

Join Us for Maricopa Community Colleges Day with the Arizona Diamondbacks

The Arizona Diamondbacks, in collaboration with the Maricopa Community Colleges, are extending a special invitation to our friends, students, staff, faculty, and alumni for discounted tickets to a D-backs home game at Chase Field on Sunday, September 15th at 1:10 p.m. when they take on the Milwaukee Brewers.

Watch a great game and contribute to a meaningful cause, as a portion of every ticket purchased will be donated to the Maricopa Community Colleges, helping empower education and enrich lives. Three buyers from the college that sells the most tickets, will be randomly selected to receive two on-field batting practice passes, and complimentary tickets to a D-backs game!

Hurry! The best seats are available now! Buy tickets and learn more, here.


Have you signed up to support the Foundation through a loyalty program? 

Fry’s Community Rewards is a program that supports our students with every eligible purchase you make with your Fry’s VIP card.  Simply log-in to your Fry’s account and search for the Maricopa Community College District Foundation either by name or LV566 and click ENROLL.

We are accepting vehicle donations!

The Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation has partnered with Flexco Fleet Services to provide a vehicle donation program giving you another way to make a charitable gift and help students along the way.  Your old car may have seen “better days” but when you donate it to the Foundation, you will have a direct impact on students and receive a 100% tax deductible donation. This is a convenient alternative to selling or trading in your old vehicle and Flexco will do all the work! To learn more, or if you have a vehicle you would like to donate, please  fill out the vehicle donation form, here.