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10 April 2019

HACC Receives Nearly $1.3 Million Gift for STEAM Programs

Transformational gift is largest single contribution to the College

HARRISBURG, Pa. – What would you do with a gift of nearly $1.3 million?
“At HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College, there is no question – we will use it to support our students!” said HACC President John J. “Ski” Sygielski, Ed.D.
Sygielski announced a transformational gift of $1,295,305.30 from the estate of Mrs. Gloria W. Paxton to empower the HACC Foundation to establish the John E. Paxton and Gloria W. Paxton Fund for Excellence in STEAM.
“It is the largest single contribution to HACC and the HACC Foundation in the College’s 55-year history and will impact all HACC campuses, Central Pennsylvania and the world,” Sygielski said today, April 10, 2019, at an event broadcast online and thus throughout the world.
“Mrs. Paxton left 70 percent of her estate to HACC. We received the gift last month. While the Paxtons did not have children of their own, the impact they will have on approximately 18,000 students at HACC cannot be overstated,” Sygielski said.
“Because of Mrs. Paxton’s extraordinary generosity, this fund will provide access to innovative and advanced programing and technology that makes a significant difference for HACC students enrolled in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) programs. Given the right educational environment and opportunities, STEAM students are bound to make a lasting impact in their future jobs and the community,” Sygielski said.
Joining Sygielski in making the announcement were Linnie Carter, Ph.D., APR, HACC’s vice president of college advancement and executive director of the HACC Foundation; Mark Mateya, a Carlisle attorney who facilitated the bequest; and Stephen Ampersand, MSM, HACC’s vice president of student affairs and enrollment management.
During the announcement, Ampersand outlined possible programs that could benefit from the fund:

  • Full STEAM Ahead – A mentoring program for underrepresented or marginalized first-time college students enrolled in STEAM programs would help these students to overcome barriers to success and help them launch STEAM careers.
  • Virtualization – Virtualization would allow students to access complex software on any technological device from anywhere, at any time through a virtual desktop.
  • Zero Textbook Costs – Access to zero-cost textbooks would enhance affordability for students in STEAM programs and allow faculty to design and create fully Open Educational Resource (OER) degrees in STEAM disciplines.
“We are grateful and touched that the Paxtons chose to support HACC – the first and largest community college in Pennsylvania – with a gift of this magnitude. We thank them and hope they continue to rest in peace,” Sygielski said.
About the HACC Foundation
The HACC Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was established in 1985 to raise private and corporate revenues in support of HACC, Central Pennsylvania's Community College. The HACC Foundation provides funding for student scholarships, innovative academic programs, state-of-the art training equipment and modernized facilities. To learn more about the HACC Foundation, please visit To contribute to the HACC Foundation, please visit
About HACC
HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College, is the first and largest of Pennsylvania’s 14 community colleges. HACC offers approximately 100 career and transfer associate degree, certificate and diploma programs to approximately 19,000 students. Also, the College serves students at its Gettysburg, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Lebanon and York campuses; through virtual learning; and via workforce development and continuing education training. For more information on how HACC is uniquely YOURS, visit Also, follow us on Twitter (@HACC_info), follow us on Instagram (@HACC_edu), like us on Facebook ( and use #HACCNews.


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