Former state Sen. Jim Mathewson Thursday donated $75,000 to the State Fair Community College Foundation on behalf of himself and his late sister, Luerena Mathewson See.
Mathewson made the presentation at the college’s annual Donor and Scholar Luncheon attended by more than 100 SFCC students, scholarship donors and other guests.
SFCC President Dr. Marsha Drennon called Mathewson’s donation a generous and forward-thinking gift for the students.
“Jim and Luerena have been longtime supporters of the college,” said Drennon.
“What they have given SFCC is extraordinary. We are immensely grateful to them and to all these donors who continue to support our students.”
The contribution included $50,000 from the estate of his older sister, who died May 22 at age 89. It will go toward the Luerena Mathewson See Scholarship, which stipulates that all recipients must have graduated from Warsaw High School.
That gift is in addition to a $250,000 gift from her estate donated to the foundation in August 2011. Mathewson said auditors recently completed tax work on the estate and found the additional $50,000 to add to the scholarship.
Mathewson and his wife Doris also donated his $25,000 compensation as estate executor to the James Mathewson Scholarship, which is open to any student.
SFCC sophomore pre-nursing student Rachel Young spoke at the luncheon, thanking her scholarship donors for the difference they’ve made in her life.
“I have grown to admire nurses and doctors in the medical field,” said Young, a 2010 graduate of Lincoln High School. “They were always people who cared so deeply for others and wanted to do nothing but help in any way possible, and that’s the kind of person I strive to be.”
Young said she was very sick as a child and had decided by age 12 to become a nurse. She had three goals: strive for academic excellence, get accepted into and complete the nursing program at SFCC and incur as little college debt as possible.
“With these goals in mind, I chose State Fair Community College because of the quality of its nursing program, its affordable tuition and fees and a convenient commute,” said Young.
She applied for and received the Edward J. Kullman and Norene Sartin Kullman Scholarship, which was established by Mike and Karen Gruhn of Lincoln in memory of her parents. The scholarship is earmarked for recent graduates of Lincoln High School who are full-time SFCC students.