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Arthur Orr, left, and Dr. Marilyn Beck accept a $100,000 check from Wachovia Bank officials Darris Frost and Tom Weldy.
Daily photo by John Godbey
Arthur Orr, left, and Dr. Marilyn Beck accept a $100,000 check from Wachovia Bank officials Darris Frost and Tom Weldy.

Wachovia Bank donates $100,000 to Calhoun College

By Bayne Hughes 340-2432

A Wachovia Bank official issued a challenge Thursday with a $100,000 contribution to Calhoun Community College Foundation's capital campaign.

Darris Frost, Wachovia's marketing president for Morgan County, said he hopes his bank is now a leader with a donation that other area businesses and industry will follow.

Frost and Todd Weldy, service leader for the Northwest Alabama area, presented the check on behalf of the Wachovia Foundation to Calhoun President Marilyn Beck at the foundation's noon lunch meeting.

The two made the donation after getting a campus tour from Beck and Calhoun Foundation Executive Director Terri Bryson.

"One of the key areas for the Wachovia Foundation is education and work-force development," Frost said. "And we found this is a nice fit with the Calhoun Foundation. It's extremely important because of the number of students Calhoun educates. Many of the students are current or future employees."

The Calhoun Foundation is in the middle of a $3 million capital fundraising effort, led by Dr. George Hansberry and Decatur Daily Editor and Publisher Barrett C. Shelton Jr. The contribution increased the amount contributed so far to $800,000.

Beck called the gift "generous" and said she particularly appreciated that the bank's only stipulation was the money be used for scholarships. The college will create a scholarship endowment with the donation.

"It's a very flexible gift that will allow the college to make sure it goes to the most deserving students," Beck said.

The Calhoun Foundation board chairman, state Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, thanked Wachovia for the contribution, which he emphasized is a one-time gift, not a contribution spread over a five-year period.

Wallace donation

Wachovia also presented Wallace State President Vicki Hawsey with a $5,000 donation to the Future Foundation to help fund the college's Fast Track to College Academy. President Don Hubbard made the presentation.

One of Wallace's newest initiatives, the Fast Track to College Academy provides an opportunity for high school juniors and seniors to complete their high school education while earning postsecondary credit toward certifications and degrees. It operates from a central location on the third floor of the James C. Bailey Center at Wallace State.

Fast Track is similar to dual enrollment in that it offers simultaneous high school and college credit. It differs from traditional dual enrollment in two main ways — it's targeted to specific career or degree tracks, and students take all their classes on campus. Their home school still gets credit for their attendance.

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