Greehey digs in
18 Oct 2018
When Bill Greehey graduated from Fort Dodge Senior High decades ago with dreams of going to college, today’s Iowa Central Community College didn’t exist.
But now his name will always be tied to the college.
Greehey, from Texas, joined about 150 people, including members of his family, college leaders and local officials for a Wednesday afternoon event to formally launch the construction of the Greehey Family Student Success Center on the Fort Dodge campus.
A $3 million donation from the Greehey Family Foundation is helping to pay for the roughly $6 million center.
“You’re not really a success until you share that success, so I’m proud that we’re able to share this success with the community college,” Greehey said.
He is a former chairman and chief executive officer of Valero Energy Corp. who established the Greehey Family Foundation, which donates between $10 million and $11 million every year to various causes. The foundation has donated more than $110 million since its founding in 2006.
Previously, the Foundation gave Iowa Central $1 million for a scholarship.
“Today’s a landmark day for Iowa Central Community College and our region that we serve,” college President Dan Kinney said as he welcomed people to Wednesday’s event. “More importantly, I think it’s a landmark for students that we serve.”
“This gift will help Iowa Central better serve our students and region by moving all of our student services to a one-stop shop,” he added.
The building, Kinney said, “would not have been possible without his gift.”
Mark Crimmins, president of the college’s Board of Directors, said he had been authorized by the board to express its gratitude to Greehey. But he seemed to struggle to find the right words to say thank you for a gift of the magnitude of Greehey’s donation.
“I thank people who buy me dinner,” he said. “I don’t know how to thank people who do something this generous and I don’t think I could come up with anything better than thank you very much.”
Tim Burns, president of the Iowa Central Community College Foundation, also thanked Greehey.
“Our wish is for every student to have a great experience here at Iowa Central and discover their own path to success,” he said.
“Folks, this center is going to remove barriers for our students,” he added. “Fewer barriers will mean increased potential for success, which is the heart of our mission.”