Amarillo College launches public phase of $45 million campaign

Amarillo College today launched the public phase of an ambitious $45 million fundraising campaign that supports three specific initiatives intended to transcend the College and transform the economic vitality of the region.

Badger Bold is the first comprehensive campaign in the school’s 93-year history, and the public phase follows a highly successful “quiet phase” that since 2020 has garnered $31.5 million in gifts and commitments – a full 70 percent of its goal.

Clearly, the momentum continues to build for AC, which is currently a finalist for the second time in succession for the nation’s signature recognition of community college excellence – the Aspen Prize.

“The timing is ideal to embrace bold new directions for Amarillo and its College,” AC President Russell Lowery-Hart said. “I believe it is incumbent upon Amarillo College to foster a vibrant economic future across the full extent of our reach.

“Through Badger Bold we will empower our students and faculty to unleash their unlimited potential, generate the workforce of the future, attract the jobs of the future, and serve as a primary impetus for economic growth throughout our region.”

Spearheaded by the AC Foundation, with pivotal support from a distinguished campaign steering committee, Badger Bold supports these three initiatives:

  • Student Experience – Access and Completion; STEM Scholars Program; Earn & Learn; and Athletics
  • Faculty & Staff Enrichment – Endowed Faculty Awards; Program Development
  • Capital Enhancement – Innovation Outpost; Enrollment Center; Athletic Center

“Collectively, these initiatives will ensure that AC continues serving as a primary catalyst for creating jobs of the future and spurring vital economic growth at a pivotal time – when artificial intelligence, robotics and bioscience are fundamentally changing how we function and work,” Lowery-Hart said.

A quiet phase is a key component of any comprehensive campaign. It is designed to test the interest of donors; it is common practice for a campaign to shift into the public phase once 60 to 70 percent of the goal is reached.

During the quiet phase of Badger Bold, the College received six contributions of $1 million or more. One such gift came courtesy of the Amarillo Economic Development Corporation (AEDC), which approved $3 million over the next five years to support AC’s new Innovation Outpost.

“We believe in what Amarillo College is doing to upskill our local workforce,” Kevin Carter, president and CEO of the AEDC, said. “The Innovation Outpost is going to be a game-changer for our community and our workforce for years to come.”

With the launch of the public phase of Badger Bold, the AC Foundation is now tasked with acquiring $12.5 million over the next three years in order to meet it’s $45 million goal. AC Vice President of Institutional Advancement Joe Bill Sherrod said he is both hopeful and optimistic that the Foundation can actually exceed that target.

“The support for Badger Bold has been phenomenal and we are elated at this point,” Sherrod said. “All forms of giving are impactful to the institution, from small gifts given year after year to major gifts and planned gifts, which denote Amarillo College as the beneficiary in a will.”

Oct 5, 22