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Cardinal Foundation receives $200,000 donation from anonymous benefactor

Gadsden, Ala. — The Gadsden State Community College Cardinal Foundation has received a $200,000 donation from an anonymous benefactor. The funds will be used for scholarships and other financial assistance programs known as the Cardinal Foundation Excellence in Leadership Scholarships for students at Gadsden State.

“We are so appreciative of the anonymous benefactor who is giving so generously to Gadsden State students,” said Mark Condra, foundation president. “This is certainly a unique, unprecedented opportunity to be able to give local students financial assistance to advance their education and career opportunities.”

The $200,000 donation must be disbursed to eligible Gadsden State students during the 2022 calendar year and are available to students on all five campuses. At the behest of the anonymous donor, the funds must support workforce readiness as well as student leadership within college organizations and in the community with special consideration given to military veterans.

“One of the most impactful ways to fast-track students of great need is through our workforce readiness programs,” said Becky Watson, development officer for the College. “We have programs that give students the opportunity to complete a skills training program, a certification program or an associate degree program. These funds will assist students in achieving a credential that prepares them for direct-entry into the workforce.”

She said $100,000 of the donation will be awarded in scholarships for those pursuing credentials in one of Gadsden State’s many workforce readiness programs. Funds can be used for tuition and fees in career technical courses and skills training programs.

“We have excellent career technical training opportunities that give students academic, technical and employability skills,” said Dr. Kathy Murphy, Gadsden State president. “Through the new Excellence in Leadership Scholarships, we will be able to offer these opportunities to even more students. We are so grateful for the kindness of the donor who is so willing to contribute to our students and their future.”

A portion of the donation -- $60,000 – has been earmarked for leadership scholarships awarded to students who demonstrate leadership on campus and aspire to motivate fellow students to assert themselves to become leaders on the campus and within the community.

The Cardinal Emergency Fund was created in December to assist students on all five of Gadsden State’s campuses who are experiencing times of financial duress. The donation allows for $30,000 to be placed in this fund.

“Thanks to the generous donation, the Cardinal Foundation will now be able to provide financial assistance through rent payments, car repairs, childcare expenses and other emergency circumstances,” Murphy said. “This grant is very meaningful to our students in so many ways.”

Payments through the Cardinal Emergency Fund will not be paid directly to the student. An application must be completed. The student must also demonstrate financial need as well as provide invoices for the payments due.

The remaining $10,000 of the anonymous donation will go into the Cardinal Opportunity Fund, which will aid with conference fees, tools needed for classes and testing fees.

Applications for the Cardinal Foundation Excellence in Leadership Scholarships, the Cardinal Emergency Fund and the Cardinal Opportunity Fund will be available March 1 at

The Cardinal Foundation is an approved IRS 501 (c)(3) support organization established to raise, manage, distribute and steward private resources to support the mission of Gadsden State. The Foundation is managed and controlled by a board of directors. For more information, visit