friend spotlight

CREW Orlando and AIA Orlando continue to tee off for students

Valencia Foundation’s successes are the direct result of successful partnerships with organizations and individuals who do their part to contribute, advocate and invite others to learn about Valencia Community College. Partnerships with organizations like Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Orlando and American Institute of Architects, Orlando Chapter (AIA), take the important step in setting the philanthropic curve in today’s world – finding new and unique ways to bring funds to those who need it most and over an extended period of time.

CREW Orlando, formed in 1987, is the local chapter of CREW Network, an international organization comprised of over 8,000 members in 66 chapters. This association was formed to attract the most powerful and influential professionals in the commercial real estate industry. Offering a unique business development network, CREW Orlando represents key decision makers in virtually every discipline of commercial real estate. Over 63% of CREW Network members are chief executive officers, presidents, owners, partners or senior managers and CREW Orlando boasts an average of 15 years of experience in the commercial real estate industry.

With current foundation board chair Helen Von Dolteren-Fournier of AEGIS Law Firm PL and current foundation board member Sarah Kelly of Wayne Automatic Fire Sprinklers leading the charge for partnership with CREW, CREW’s support includes scholarship endowment, an annual golf tournament, a planned mentoring program and CREW Careers ™, an interactive program designed to introduce female high school students to the career opportunities available in the commercial real estate industry. The CREW Orlando Scholarship was created to support our students who seek a future in commercial real estate. Their scholarship endowment value stands at $230,663 with more than $22,000 awarded in student scholarships in recent years. Serving as a role model for AIA Orlando, CREW Orlando has raised some $80,000 including state match through their annual golf tournaments for student scholarships since 2002.

AIA was founded in 1857 to “promote the scientific and practical perfection of its members” and “elevate the standing of the profession.” Today, AIA has over 83,000 members with its Orlando chapter among the largest in the state of Florida comprising over 600 members. The Orlando chapter serves to create opportunities for professional development and fellowship, encouraging members to become active leaders in the community and the profession.

For 19 years, AIA Orlando has organized golf tournaments at some of the finest courses in Central Florida. Attended by the area’s top architectural design professionals, the tournament draws support from throughout the community in the form of sponsorships, golf teams and in-kind donations. Former foundation board member C.T. Hsu, FAIA, of C.T. Hsu + Associates PA and current foundation board member Alan Helman, FAIA, of HHCP Architects Inc. inspired the AIA Orlando board to devote their golf tournament proceeds to Valencia. With Michael Lingerfelt, AIA, and Nathan Butler, AIA, both serving as AIA Florida vice presidents and with Michael seated as golf committee chairman for 5 years, AIA’s golf tournaments have generated $227,000 for scholarships, including matching funds since 2002. Additionally, AIA Orlando established the American Institutes of Architects scholarship for those pursuing their studies in Architecture and Building Construction with more than $60,000 awarded to students in recent years. AIA Orlando’s total endowment is over $61,000.

Unique partnerships such as those with CREW Orlando and AIA Orlando helps Valencia Foundation give students opportunities to learn and succeed and keep within our goal to provide access for every person in our community who wishes to attend college.

Reprinted from: 2006-08 Valencia Foundation Biennial Report

open opera summer classes

Robert Swedberg, Former Orlando Opera Director, to Offer Summer Classes at Valencia

Following the success of last year’s summer opera program, visiting artist Robert Swedberg, former director of the Orlando Opera, will return to Valencia to teach two summer classes: Opera and Music Theatre Workshop, and Yoga for Performers.
Both courses are open to members of the community. Participants must enroll at Valencia and will receive two hours of college credit for each course they take. The fee is $174.72 per course. Seniors over age 59 and dual-enrollment students can join for free.
Opera and Music Theatre Workshop
This course addresses all aspects of opera and musical theatre production with a focus on music preparation, character analysis, and performance skills. The class will culminate in a program of semi-staged and costumed operatic and musical theatre excerpts. 
To join this class, participants must register for the Valencia course MUO2001, CRN # 32821. The class will meet every Tuesday and Thursday from 5:20-6:55 p.m. from June 8-Aug. 3 on Valencia’s East Campus. This course requires an additional fee of $35.  
This course is designed to help performers balance their physical, mental and spiritual practice through yoga. Professor Robert Swedberg is a certified yoga instructor, and has developed this course specifically for the needs of the performer, using elements of several different yoga styles. Each participant will be assisted in building an individual yoga practice relevant to body type, physical condition and goals. 

To join this class, participants must register for the Valencia course MUS2930, CRN # 32784. The class will meet every Tuesday and Thursday from 3:06-4:40 p.m. from June 8-Aug. 3 on Valencia’s East Campus. 

Robert Swedberg served as the general director of Orlando Opera from 1990-2007. Prior to that, he was the general director of Syracuse Opera and also held positions with Opera Carolina, the Seattle Opera and Pacific Northwest Wagner Festival. He also worked as a professional singer and voice teacher for several years. Currently, he serves as an associate professor of voice at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance.

Valencia’s East Campus is located at 701 N. Econlockhatchee Trail in Orlando.

For more information, please contact Wendy Givoglu, dean of Arts and Entertainment, at 407-582-2218 or

Yoga for Performers

Source: Valencia Marketing & Strategic Communications

student gives thanks

You have not realized this yet, but you are helping me achieve my dreams in a country of limitless potential. Those dreams will be a foundation for my children and the generation that proceeds long after my legacy is nothing but a whisper.

I do not come from poor beginnings nor do I come from an extremely wealthy family line; however, my family has always reminded me of the importance of education. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for providing me with this type of assistance. Thank you for setting an example in a society that keeps our greater generation growing into bright individuals.

 Jayson F., computer engineering
2009/10 Foundation Scholarship Recipient


Valencia Receives $100,000 Walmart Minority Student Success Award

 Valencia Community College has been selected by the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) to receive a Walmart Minority Student Success Award—a $100,000 grant to help build on Valencia’s demonstrated successes in enrolling, retaining and graduating first-generation, minority college students. The $100,000 grant is being made possible by a $4.2 million grant to IHEP from the Walmart Foundation.

Valencia was selected as one of only 30 minority-serving institutions (MSIs) to help first-generation students get into and stay in college.

“Valencia is honored to be selected as one of several outstanding higher education institutions nationwide to receive the Walmart Minority Student Success Award,” said Valencia President Sanford C. Shugart. “Thanks in part to this award, we will be able to enhance and expand our work with first-generation students.”

IHEP President Michelle Asha Cooper said, “The institutions in our 2010 Minority Student Success cohort broaden and deepen the pool of MSIs committed to ensuring the success of first-generation students both at their campuses and beyond. We are pleased to be working with them on programs that are sure to serve as models to all of higher education.”

“At Walmart, we understand that education is critical to the lives and well-being of all Americans. We’re proud to support giving that enables the success of first-generation college students,” said Margaret McKenna, president of the Walmart Foundation.

The other 2010 winners include: Adams State College (Colo.), Bloomfield College (N.J.), Bowie State University (Md.), Coppin State University (Md.), Delaware State University (Del.), El Camino College (Calif,), Fort Belknap College (Mont.), Hampton University (Va.), Leech Lake Tribal College (Minn.), New Jersey City University (N.J.), United Tribes Technical College (N.D.), University of Houston- Downtown (Texas), University of New Mexico (N.M.), and Winston-Salem State University (N.C.).

For more information about the initiative and grantees, visit the IHEP Web site at .

About The Institute for Higher Education Policy

The Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) is an independent, nonprofit organization that is dedicated to increasing access and success in postsecondary education around the world. Established in 1993, the Washington, D.C.-based organization uses unique research and innovative programs to inform key decision makers who shape public policy and support economic and social development. IHEP’s Web site,, features an expansive collection of higher education information available free of charge and provides access to some of the most respected professionals in the fields of public policy and research.

About Philanthropy at Walmart Stores, Inc.

Walmart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) and the Walmart Foundation are proud to support the charitable causes that are important to customers and associates in their own neighborhoods. Through its philanthropic programs and partnerships, the Walmart Foundation funds initiatives focused on creating opportunities in education, workforce development, economic opportunity, environmental sustainability, and health and wellness. From February 1, 2008 through January 31, 2009, Walmart – and its domestic and international Foundations – gave more than $423 million in cash and in-kind gifts globally. To learn more, visit

Source: News and Information, April 21, 2010, Marketing and Strategic Communications, Valencia Community College, 407-582-1015

donor spotlight: Helen Von Dolteren-Fournier, Esq.

Helen created the Valencia/UCF Frances Millican 2+2 Scholarship in 2007.

Helen’s roots in philanthropy and community run deep in Central Florida. She plays an indispensable role as one of Valencia Foundation’s key leaders and is the longest and among the top contributors. Her history as a volunteer at Valencia goes back more than fifteen years when she became involved with Valencia’s displaced homemakers program in the 1990s. Valencia Foundation’s board chair since 2008, Helen has helped the foundation thrive through even the most challenging of circumstances.

Under her leadership as chair of the board’s finance committee, Valencia Foundation implemented a new, comprehensive investment policy, revised financial policies, addressed audit issues, developed new financial strategies and continued to raise monies, meeting a $2.5 million first year external funding goal and more than $31 million in seven years. Under her leadership, the endowment has increased from $15.8 million in 2001 to more than $60 million in 2008. As head of the Valencia planned giving committee, Helen offers her professional guidance as a volunteer to field financial questions from donors and partners. In 2003, she spearheaded a campaign to raise $50,000 to name Valencia’s gallery in memory of a gifted faculty member, Anita Wooten.

Her personal contributions support the arts, women in transition, Valencia’s paralegal program and honors college, the Association of American Women in Community Colleges and scholarships that support access for all. She is gifted at cultivating new donations, bringing in American Express, BENCOR Inc. and other major corporations in support of the foundation. A master of nurturing new relationships, Helen uses the foundation’s special events as an opportunity to gather dozens of friends and colleagues and expose them to the goodness of Valencia – throughout the years, they have all become donors.

As an estate planning attorney and certified financial planner, she is in a unique position to help people reassess their priorities by giving to a cause whose mission the individual shares. In fact, she makes this a part of every presentation to show how charitable giving not only feels good but it also makes good fiscal sense. Her savvy in uniting people for collaboration has been of great benefit to Valencia and the foundation.

Helen created the Frances Millican Two Plus Two Scholarship in 2007, named in honor of the wife of UCF’s founding president, to help build a financial bridge for Valencia students to the University of Central Florida (UCF). And she created the Legal Eagles Pathway Scholarship in honor of her law school graduation, which funds students from Valencia through UCF and Barry University School of Law. 

Helen is a professional with great expertise who is willing to do whatever it takes. In the words of Valencia Community College’s president, Dr. Sanford Shugart, “Valencia Foundation is honored to have the passion, knowledge and friendship of this one-of-a-kind treasure.”

The President’s Circle

Click here for a list of current President's Circle members

Valencia Foundation’s board of directors created The President’s Circle to promote learning as the center of Valencia Community College’s work. The President’s Circle allows members to play a pivotal role in helping the college president and foundation provide scholarships for students with urgent financial need.

A minimum unrestricted gift of $1,000 entitles the donor to The President’s Circle membership. Membership allows participation in a wide array of exciting opportunities and a special partnership with college president Sandy Shugart and fellow advocates of learning. Members receive invitations to the president’s home for private receptions with artists, authors and other notable individuals, passes to Valencia arts events, an opportunity to attend our special-topic forums and invitations to the foundation’s annual donor gala.

One hundred percent of contributions to The President’s Circle support scholarships for students in need. For more information on this dynamic circle of the Valencia family, contact the foundation at 407-582-3150 or visit

donor spotlight: Mary Collier

Mary Collier with Valencia President Sandy Shugart

A 1982 Valencia graduate, Mary was named the college’s first Distinguished Graduate. The owner of Collier Jaguar in Orlando, she serves as a foundation board member, capital campaign captain, leadership team member, and is among the largest individual donors through cash donations, in-kind contributions and a legacy gift.

Her scholarship donation in 2006 represents a $200,000 endowed scholarship. In addition, her family is represented through the David F. Collier Scholarship, honoring her late husband, and the Mary Smedley Collier and Family Scholarship.

Mary served two terms as president of the Valencia Alumni Association board and continues to support their work and fundraising efforts. She is a consistent supporter of foundation and college events, including American Institute of Architects (AIA) Orlando and Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Orlando golf tournaments, Valencia Foundation’s signature fundraising event, A Taste for Learning, and the alumni association’s Run, Walk and Roll event.

As a “non-traditional” student returning to college as an adult, Mary was well-versed in thinking outside of the box, especially as it relates to the success of students in need. Her foresight and willingness to make that first gift for transfer scholarships led to a major gift from Mayor Richard Crotty and a brand-new partnership with UCF to engage in joint philanthropy to support Valencia/UCF students. Without Mary’s leadership through the alumni association and the foundation, this type of scholarship assistance may never have taken route at Valencia. Consequently, we send hundreds of Valencia graduates to UCF, UF, USF, FSU and countless other institutions nationwide.

Mary’s story continues to inspire those who may at first be tentative at the prospect of going back to school. After her children had grown, she realized, “I was David’s wife, the kids’ mother and the dog’s owner. But I wasn’t Mary.” After some initial apprehension, she “dove in – it was the best thing I’ve ever done in my life. It changed my whole life.” Her endeavors and unwavering support of Valencia are focused on the successful futures of learners of all ages. She truly exemplifies her own quote: “Anything you can imagine…you can do.”

 Reprinted from: Valencia Foundation Biennial Report