Foundation News

News from 2023 

Through the generous support of individual, foundation and corporate donors, the Bunker Hill Community College Foundation raised more than $3.5 million in Fiscal Year 2023 in direct support for students and for programs that help them achieve their dream of a college education. 

Scholarships continue to provide the greatest financial assistance for BHCC students. Awards are based on financial need and help fill the gap between what a student receives through state and federal sources and what they  need to live and go to school in Boston. The Foundation awarded more than $900,000 in scholarships during the 2023 academic year and nearly $170,000 in emergency and basic needs support to more than 500 BHCC students.  

At the start of the 2024 academic year, the BHCC Foundation received $1.0 million to provide scholarships for students unable to access federal financial assistance due to their immigration status. These scholarships are transforming lives. 

Additional efforts in the higher education space to award students the support they need to stay in school includes a donor-funded pilot program at BHCC and Northern Essex Community College, which is providing cost-of-living stipends to Pell-eligible students.  The impact of these stipends during a two-year period will be studied and the data used to advocate for increased federal funding for Pell grants. 

Since 2020, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has appropriated funds for an Endowment Incentive Program, providing donors the opportunity to increase the impact of their gifts by matching $1 for every $2 raised for endowed funds. The BHCC Foundation successfully completed the challenge last year and added nearly $1.4 million to its endowment. The state has appropriated funds for the Endowment Incentive Program again this year, giving the BHCC Foundation an opportunity to further increase its endowment. The current incentive program runs through June 30, 2024. We encourage anyone who is interested in contributing to get in touch with us. 

The College celebrated numerous news-worthy activities during the past year. These activities show the breadth and depth of BHCC’s efforts in providing education to all who seek it. 

News from 2022

In 2022, generous donors to the Bunker Hill Community College Foundation have continued to help students stay in school and achieve their dream of a college education. We are pleased to share with you some of the “good news” relating to the support from individuals, foundations and corporations.

Scholarships continue to be one of the most impactful ways to assist BHCC students. Scholarships are based on financial need and help fill the gap between what a student receives through state and federal sources and what they actually need to live and go to school in Boston. Close to $700,000 in scholarships from 225 donors were donated during the 2022 fiscal year. In addition to supporting existing scholarships, the following endowed or current use scholarships were established this year:

The Kwittken Caldwell Families Scholarship
Edera Mustacchia Memorial Scholarship
The Randy Michael and Dale Richard Pugh Legacy Scholarship
Thomas Scanlan Memorial Book Award
The Scholer Peterson Legacy Scholarship
Bolivar del Jesus Soto, Jr. Scholarship

PepsiCo Foundation Presents Bunker Hill Community College with $400,000 Uplift Scholarship Program Donation. Read more in BHCC News. 

BHCC’s Learn & Earn program was recently featured in the Washington Monthly magazine

Two local foundations with a non-risk averse and entrepreneurial mindset funded the initial expansion of Learn & Earn to include non-profits and small businesses—The Fish Family Foundation and The Herb and Maxine Jacobs Foundation— and they continue to support the program. Nine entities contributed $276,000 to Learn & Earn this year, including two new donors:

The Impact Collective
The John and Naomi Tomfohrde Foundation

In addition, 140 benefactors contributed $152,000 for books, transportation, child care, emergency assistance and the DISH (Delivering Information, Sustenance and Health) food pantry.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has once again funded the Endowment Incentive Program, providing donors to endowments the opportunity to increase the amount of their gifts.  The program began on January 1, 2022 and runs through June 30, 2023.  The BHCC Foundation has the opportunity to add $1.0 million to endowed funds through the program, as the state will contribute $1 for every $2 raised.  As of June 30, 2022, 10 donors have given $86,144 to endowed funds, qualifying the Foundation to apply for $43,072.  We have a long way to go to “max out” the incentive and encourage anyone who is interested to get in touch with us.

COVID-19 Update

The COVID-19 pandemic hit BHCC students hard. The College implemented a lot of supports but pandemic-related life disruptions continue to cause tremendous stress and anxiety among our students.  State and federal COVID relief funds have been a lifeline for students, as has support from private foundations and individual donors.

Significant commitments for COVID-19 related student needs include:

  • $250,000 to purchase Chromebooks, laptops and expanded broadband services for students;  from The BHCC Foundation, the Paul and Phyllis Fireman Foundation, and the City of Boston through the Frieze Family Foundation GRAD Last Mile Fund
  • $270,000 to help DACA, TPS and other immigrant students ineligible for federal COVID funds, from private donations
  • $300,000 to the President’s Discretionary COVID-19 fund, from a private family foundation
  • $80,000 to help Allied Health students prepare for and take credentialing exams, from the Boston Economic Development and Industrial Corporation
  • Contributions to the operations of the College food pantry, DISH (Delivering Information, Sustenance and Health) including food, hygiene products and delivery services

Students struggling to stay in school find that even a small amount of financial assistance makes their lives easier. They are grateful and encouraged by this support. They tell us they feel as though someone “has their back” and truly cares about their personal and academic success.  We are extremely grateful for your generosity during these challenging times.

News from 2021

Significant commitments since the beginning of 2021 include a $400,000 grant from PepsiCo Foundation for scholarships and emergency assistance for students of color; an anonymous $300,000 gift of stock for the Promise for Student Success Scholarship Endowment Fund; a $250,000 renewal of funding from JP Morgan Chase for the Career Pathways Impact Project; $200,000 from the Jacobs Foundation and $150,000 from the Boston Foundation for continued funding of the College’s Learn & Earn paid internship program; and, $100,000 from the Cummings Foundation for workforce development.

Generous donors have established the following new endowed and current use scholarships:

  • Nick Chau and Wey Chin Legacy Scholarship
  • Chowen Lee Yue Memorial Scholarship
  • The Fry Family Scholarship
  • Merfeld-Friedman Family Scholarship
  • Irving and Anne R. Umansky Scholarship
  • The Keane Family Scholarship

The Foundation also received funding for programs covering childcare, peer mentoring, and dual enrollment.

News from 2019-2020

COVID – 19 Student Relief Fund

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March, 2020, Bunker Hill Community College’s student population experienced enormous challenges, due to the switch to remote and on-line learning, a burgeoning unemployment rate, and lack of access to College resources. To help our students continue to succeed, the BHCC Foundation established the COVID-19 Student Relief Fund. This flexible fund enables the College to respond quickly to student needs caused by or resulting from the COVID-19 crisis. To date, the following Foundations and individuals have supported COVID-19-related needs:

  • The Paul and Phyllis Fireman Charitable Foundation, the City of Boston GRAD Last Mile Fund supported by the Frieze Family Foundation, and the BHCC Foundation provided $250,000 for the purchase of Chromebooks, laptops, and other technology to assist students with on-line learning;
  • The Barr Foundation and Barbara and Amos Hostetter contributed $250,000 and Combined Jewish Philanthropies contributed $20,000 to support students not eligible for assistance from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act
  • Numerous individual made gifts ranging from $5 to $5,000 and totaling $25,000 for emergency student assistance.

 Scholarship Support

Although the BHCC Foundation was unable to host its annual gala this year due to the COVID-19 crisis, our generous donors continued to support our “total cost of attendance” scholarship program with more than $162,000 in sponsorships. In addition to the current use funds raised for the gala scholarship awards, the BHCC Foundation raised $152,000 to endow permanently this successful scholarship initiative. Funds for the newly created “BHCC Foundation Promise for Student Success Scholarship” were matched through the Commonwealth Public Higher Education Endowment Incentive Program. The incentive matched $1 for every $2 donated to any endowed fund by a donor who had not given to endowment in the past.

The BHCC Foundation ultimately raised $277,118 in qualifying donations, earning $138,569 in incentive funds in support of endowments for student assistance. In addition to The Promise Scholarship, newly endowed scholarships include:

  • The Sophie S. Fifield Memorial Scholarship, for a first generation student majoring in Visual and Media Arts
  • Nick Chau and Wey Chin Legacy Scholarship, for academically motivated students who also have served the community in some way
  • The Nye Family Scholarship, to help cover total cost of attendance for students with strong academics and deep financial needs
  • The Village Scholarship, for students juggling the demands of parenthood along with attending college
  • Merfeld-Friedman Family Scholarship, for students who are not eligible to apply for federal financial assistance
  • Chief Charles G. Voke Memorial Scholarship, for graduates of Chelsea High School who enroll full-time at BHCC.

 Generous donors also created named scholarships for current use with gifts of $5,000 or more.  These include:

  • Heather and Robert Keane Family Foundation Scholarship
  • JobGet Grit Scholarship
  • George H. Tilton Scholarship
  • Florence and Norman Simon Memorial Scholarship

Expansion of Learn and Earn Internship Program

BHCC’s award-winning paid internship program, Learn and Earn, has expanded to include non-profits, small businesses and civic organizations.  Beginning with a pilot project at one community health center, funded by the Fish Family Foundation, there are now 15 partner sites employing approximately 50 interns. Following the successful pilot, the Fish Family Foundation contributed more than $100,000 to the expansion of Learn and Earn.  Additional funders include Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation, the John H. and H. Naomi Tomfohrde Foundation and the Herb and Maxine Jacobs Foundation, which has contributed $350,000 to the expansion.  As a result of these generous donors, BHCC students can pursue a broad range of experiential learning opportunities, earning academic credit and a salary.


The Foundation welcomes all inquiries and the opportunity to work with prospective donors.

Marilyn K. Kuhar, Executive Director of Development and of the Foundation
Charlestown Campus
Phone: 617-228-3290 | Fax: 617-228-3273 | Email:

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