Santa Ana, Calif. – Two generous gifts totaling $51,000 have been established with the Santa Ana College (SAC) Foundation. These monies, in the form of a legacy gift and scholarship, will directly support student scholarships and increase access to higher education.
A legacy gift was recently bequeathed to SAC by Judge and Mrs. Lester Van Tatenhove, who were longtime Santa Ana residents. They started the Bret Van Tatenhove Memorial Scholarship at the college—in memory for their son—after he passed away in the late 1970s, and have now graciously left a $47,000 legacy gift to be added to his memorial scholarship. This gift will create an endowed scholarship in perpetuity that will assist Santa Ana College students who are full-time transfer students who demonstrate academic excellence.
“My parents were married for 60 years and loved Santa Ana College,” said their daughter Dani Wall. “They believed in helping the community, particularly individuals who faced financial obstacles. They knew that the best way to honor Bret’s legacy was to help educate future generations.”
The Van Tatenhove family regularly hosted foreign exchange students who attended SAC, and saw first-hand the value of a community college education and of international relations. As a result, Judge and Mrs. Van Tatenhove formed a United Nations Association chapter in Orange County and worked with UNICEF, which aids children throughout the world.
In addition, the City of Santa Ana Scholarship for High School Students—initiated by Santa Ana City Councilmember Juan Villegas—increases access to education for graduating seniors residing in the Santa Anita neighborhood of Santa Ana. The City of Santa Ana Council Special Event program allocates $10,000 per fiscal year for each Councilmember to support eligible organizations, such as non-profit entities and neighborhood associations.
“The City of Santa Ana’s Council Special Event Sponsorship Program provides an opportunity for Councilmembers to support programs and events in need within the City," said Councilmember Villegas. "It is a privilege to be able to support youth education and ensure that all Santa Ana youth have the same opportunities.”
This year, eight students were awarded $500 each to use for tuition and college related expenses. Three of the recipients attended the SAC Foundation’s scholarship ceremony on May 18, where more than $400,000 in scholarships was awarded to nearly 300 students.
“We are incredibly grateful for the generous memorial scholarship and legacy gift the Van Tatenhove family has established at Santa Ana College,” said Christina Romero, executive director of advancement and the SAC foundation. “This, along with our partnership with Councilmember Villegas and the City of Santa Ana, shows our students that the community supports them and is fully committed to helping them achieve their academic goals.”
To learn more about the SAC Foundation and ways to support Santa Ana College students, please visit www.sac.edu/foundation
About Santa Ana College
Santa Ana College (SAC), which turned 100 years old in 2015, serves about 18,000 students each semester at its main campus in Santa Ana. The college prepares students for transfer to four-year institutions, provides invaluable workforce training, and customized training for business and industry. In addition, another 11,000 students are served through the college’s School of Continuing Education located at Centennial Education Center. Ranked as one of the nation’s top two-year colleges awarding associate degrees to Latino and Asian students, the college is also recognized throughout the state for its comprehensive workforce training programs for nurses, firefighters, law enforcement and other medical personnel. SAC is one of two comprehensive colleges under the auspices of the Rancho Santiago Community College District. Visit www.sac.edu to learn more.
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