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Major Gifts

Jefferson College Foundation Receives $1 Million Property/Bequest Gift - Largest in Organization's History

The Jefferson College Foundation received the single largest donation in the history of the philanthropic organization thanks to a gift of over $1 million from businessman David G. Ault.

Ault, who is the president and owner of Fox Run Golf Club, Fox Run Builders, and Eureka Springs, Inc., signed a $500,000 bequest and gifted a new, fully furnished 4,400 square foot eco-friendly home with accompanying golf club membership at a total combined value in excess of $1 million. The donation signifies his commitment to higher education in our community and region during a period of declining state financial support.

“I decided that it was the right time to do this, and by spreading the word, perhaps others will follow,” said Ault regarding the $1 million plus donation. “Jefferson College is a valuable asset to our community and its excellence is demonstrated in the thousands of graduates that live and work throughout the region. I’m proud to support the college and the good things it does to prepare students for a better quality of life.”

“Jefferson College and the Foundation owe an extreme measure of gratitude to David for his generosity and loyalty,” said College President Dr. Raymond Cummiskey. “It’s also important to thank those individuals whose participation and personal contact were vital in making this extraordinary moment possible. David’s unselfish act will provide a lasting legacy for others to follow in support of the college, and, ultimately, our community.”

Ault’s decision to provide the $1 million gift follows communication and involvement with current and past Jefferson College presidents and current/past Foundation presidents and board members, spearheaded by Foundation Interim Executive Director Tom Burke over the past three years.

“My relationship with David began with an invitation to lunch in 2005, at which time he expressed an interest in making a gift to the Foundation, continued as he so generously donated use of the house for last year's Monticello Society reception, and culminated with his recent multi-faceted gift which will impact the fulfillment of the Foundation’s mission today, tomorrow, and for years to come,” said Foundation Interim Executive Director Tom Burke. “I can’t thank him enough.”

The energy-efficient, luxury home will be used by the college for cultivation, solicitation and stewardship of donors and prospects in order to raise funds that will help students meet their goals and have a higher quality of life. Specific uses will include faculty/staff receptions focused on cultivation of prospects for targeted gifts; stewardship activities such as the annual Monticello Society recognition ceremony; cultivation lunches, dinners, and parties for individuals or small groups; cultivation of individuals prospects via golf; business and industry prospect activities; Alumni and Friends Association receptions; and selected Foundation and college-approved meetings.

“The Foundation is to be commended for securing this monumental gift on behalf of Jefferson College and its students,” said Board of Trustees President Krystal Hargis. “It's very exciting, and it really touches me to see the generosity and commitment of Mr. Ault.” 

The Foundation provides opportunity and access to higher education through scholarships and financial support. During the extended period of economic uncertainty, the organization has assumed a major role in meeting the needs of the college and its students. The commitment of donors—individuals, alumni, organizations and businesses alike—has taken on a greater role of importance more than ever before.

“David’s gift represents a new energy and course of direction as established by past-president Dennis Kehm and the Foundation Board,” added current Foundation President Michael Walsh. “His generosity sets a standard for others who may be in a position to support the college through the donation of property or similar bequests.”


Connecting Careers and Education: Dobbs $50,000 Gift Supports Automotive Technology at Jefferson College  

As part of a five-year $50,000 pledge by Dobbs Tire and Auto Centers for use in the Jefferson College Automotive Technology program, company representatives presented a check for $10,000 as part of the Viking Fund campaign.

Dobbs President and CEO David Dobbs and Customer Relations Manager Jerry Dunlap presented the check to Jefferson College President Dr. Raymond Cummiskey, Jefferson College Foundation Consultant Tom Burke, and Foundation President Dennis Kehm at the Dobbs corporate offices in High Ridge. 

As one of the top tire and automotive centers in the nation, the contribution is one of many ways that Dobbs supports higher education and community development. Other corporate efforts include hiring Jefferson College automotive graduates, serving on Jefferson College’s Automotive Technology advisory committee, donating equipment and supplies for instruction, and supporting events sponsored by the Jefferson College Foundation.   

This marks the second time that Dobbs has supported Jefferson College with a $50,000 contribution. Previous funds in 2005-09 were used to purchase a variety of automotive instructional equipment such as an engine simulator scan tool, lab scope, and AC recycler; an on car brake lathe; a wheel balancer; and a master wheel weight assortment.

With the need for well-trained technicians who must continually adapt to changing technology and repair techniques, the college will use the additional funding from Dobbs to support state-of-the-art instruction, giving students the opportunity to learn through hands-on lab experience using advanced diagnostic equipment.

“Dobbs Tire and Auto has developed a long-standing relationship with Jefferson College and its outstanding automotive instructors,” said David Dobbs. “We’re pleased to partner with the college in giving local residents better opportunities for high-quality training, education and employment. We applaud Jefferson College’s plans to make the Automotive Technology program more accessible to students while upgrading the technology used for teaching.”

The college’s long-standing partnership with Dobbs is helping to address the long-term projected growth for technicians in the ever-changing automotive industry. After completing their training at Jefferson College, graduates are able to choose from many opportunities for employment throughout the St. Louis region.

Pictured, from left, is Jefferson College Foundation Consultant Tom Burke, College President Dr. Raymond Cummiskey, Dobbs Tire and Auto Centers President and CEO David Dobbs, Jefferson College Foundation President Dennis Kehm, and Dobbs Customer Relations Manager Jerry Dunlap.


Commerce Bank and The William T. Kemper Foundation

In appreciation and recognition for a gift by Commerce Bank and the William T. Kemper Foundation to create an art gallery on the Hillsboro campus, the Jefferson College Foundation hosted a public reception to commemorate the opening of the artistic space.

The $25,000 contribution enabled Jefferson College to provide a venue for displaying the talents of its art students, faculty, and community members; create an additional source of art and cultural enrichment within Jefferson County; and transform the location into a pleasing reception area where both the college and Foundation can entertain or recognize special guests.

Jefferson College and the Foundation are extremely grateful for the generosity and vision of Commerce Bank and the William T. Kemper Foundation in supporting arts on campus and in our region.