IOWA FALLS – Robert and Arlene Hamilton have once again made a major financial contribution to Ellsworth Community College in Iowa Falls. ECC Provost Dr. Nancy Muecke and Director of Development Kaitlyn Bartling have announced a pledge of $2.5 million from the Hamiltons to support agriculture scholarships and the establishment of an agriculture “chair” at the College.
The scholarships will be in the amount of $5,000 per year, nearly full tuition and fees. Two scholarships have already been awarded for Fall 2013 and two additional will be announced soon; the number of scholarships will grow in coming years. As enrollment in the College agriculture programs grows, an Agriculture Department Chair will be established.
Dr. Muecke explains, “This extremely generous gift from Bob and Arlene Hamilton will create exciting opportunities for the Ellsworth Community College agriculture programs and our students. We’ve seen growth in our agriculture programs as a result of the Hamilton’s earlier investment in our agriculture facilities, and we anticipate that our future success will be inextricably tied to this gift. The Hamilton’s generosity will assist us in growing, innovating, and serving students in ways that would not be possible otherwise.”
ECC Agriculture Professor Kevin Butt adds, “This gift will highlight and support our agriculture programs in a way we could only dream of. The Hamiltons’ investment in our program and students will help us achieve our mission of becoming one of the top community college agriculture programs in Iowa and the Midwest.”
Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton were longtime farmers and entrepreneurs north of Iowa Falls; they currently reside in West Des Moines. Ellsworth College Foundation Board member and former ECC Dean Duane Lloyd says, “Bob and Arlene Hamilton are a joy to work with, and they’ve never forgotten their roots. They are well-known for their work ethic, and for their passion about production agriculture. Their generosity will long be remembered because it will make a lasting difference in the lives of so many ECC students, and in the lives of future generations of farmers and other agricultural entrepreneurs.”