Weatherford College board of trustees approved a change to a policy related to employee fringe benefits during their meeting on Thursday afternoon in the Doss Student Center. 

DEB (Local) allows full-time college employees, board members and their dependents to take courses with the college tuition free. Student Services Executive Dean Adam Finley proposed that compulsory fees also be waived for those individuals as well, and the board approved this. 

Compulsory fees are those required of all students and not course-specific, like lab fees, Finley said. The institutional enrichment fee approved last month counts as a compulsory fee. 

WC Foundation Executive Director Brent Baker gave a report on the foundation. Contributions have more than doubled this year, increasing from $253,000 to $592,000. 

“I think most of the credit for that goes to our donors,” Baker said. “We have some very generous donors that just love this college, but also the sesquicentennial has really kickstarted our program. The leadership of [WC] President [Tod] Farmer has been tremendous for our foundation, and Bob Glenn, who’s been a tremendous president of our foundation.” 

In total, the foundation gave $290,000 in scholarships last academic year, which is a record for the college, Baker said. 

“Those are lives being changed right there,” Baker said. “Try not to think of them as dollars. I try to think of them as people and as our students.”

Since May 1, there have been 10 new scholarship endowments added to the foundation, Baker said. The endowments include a minimum of $10,000 given and are permanent. Baker credited Glenn to helping get these new endowments. 

“Bob Glenn, I call him the machine,” Baker said. “He is an incredible fundraiser, and as I’ve told you previously, since May he has been volunteering with us several days a week to raise funds, and he is amazing. He is an amazing fundraiser and he cares about this college and its students.” 

Baker also updated the board on the All-Steinway School project to bring in Steinway or Steinway-designed pianos for the college’s fine arts program. The first new Steinway grand piano was delivered to the college last week. 

“When we started this campaign less than a year ago, we had one Steinway grand piano for our fine arts students,” Baker said. “By the end of this year, we’ll have 11 either Steinway or Steinway-designed pianos for our fine arts students. Not only is this bringing the finest equipment to those students, but we really think it’s elevating the entire college’s visibility as well.” 

The Steinway program has raised $390,000 in gifts and pledges, including about $28,000 from WC employees, Baker said.

The board also heard reports on the Guided Pathways program, the demand study, the vet tech program and the access and affordability.

The next WC board meeting is scheduled for Nov. 14.

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