A Brief History

The Maricopa County Community College District Foundation was established on January 18, 1977 as a domestic, nonprofit corporation for charitable, educational, and research purposes under Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, as amended. The original founders of the Foundation were employees of the Maricopa County Community College District and constituted the first Board of Directors. In 1980, Dr. Mildred Bulpitt became the first Director of the Foundation, which held $4,466 in total assets.

Reorganized in 1981, a voluntary Board of Directors formed and spent the first year “friend-raising” as a prerequisite to fundraising. Then, in May 1982, they adopted the Honors Forum Series as a special event fundraiser to subsidize Honors Scholarships.

In 1985, Rea Bennett, became the second full-time Executive Director. From 1987 to 1990, the Foundation conducted a major fundraising campaign, which raised $6.2 million resulting in the distribution of more than $1.7 million in scholarships. Then, from 1996 – 1999, the Foundation executed the “Investing in Arizona,” campaign and raised $12.8 million in new scholarship funds.

In 2001, Steve Schenk became the Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer. From 2004-2008 the Foundation conducted a focused campaign to address the serious regional and statewide issue of low high school graduation and college attendance rates. The campaign focused on the expansion of the Maricopa Community College District’s ACE (Achieving a College Education) program and raised more than $8 million which resulted in the expansion of the program to all 10 Maricopa Community Colleges in partnership with more than 70 area high schools, and with more than 2,000 students enrolled annually.

In 2008, Chancellor Rufus Glasper announced a reorganization of his Executive Council, and appointed Dr. Steve Helfgot as the Foundation’s first President and Chief Executive Officer. Under Dr. Helfgot’s leadership, the Foundation restructured and increased its fund raising coordination with the colleges and from 2011 – 2017 a District-wide “Campaign for Student Success” which raised over $50 million for specific college projects and general scholarships. When Dr. Helfgot retired in 2016, Christina Schultz replaced him as the Foundation President and CEO. Today, the Foundation is led by President and CEO Brian F. Spicker.


Everyone has the opportunity to improve their lives through education.


We boldly impact our communities through innovative and strategic partnerships for the growth and benefit of the Maricopa Community Colleges, its students, faculty, and staff.

Philanthropy Statement

Community Colleges serve as a gateway to higher education.  The Maricopa County Community Colleges are a valuable resource for students and play a central role in the economic vitality and workforce training of our community. Philanthropic support of the Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation by generous faculty, staff, alumni, and friends, improves college access, increases educational opportunity and equity, and positively impacts countless lives.