Terra State receives $1M gift

FREMONT Terra State Community College has received the largest gift in the college’s history.

The gift totaling $1 million, is in the memory of former Terra professor Ron Neeley. The donation has resulted in the naming of the newest facility on campus, the Ronald L. Neeley Conference and Hospitality Center.

Neeley is the brother of Wanda Coldiron. Wanda and her husband Arnold Coldiron, pledged the gift.

“We are very grateful for the gift,” Terra State President Jerome Webster, said. “Generosity like this is life-changing for our college and our students.”

A scholarship fund in his name was created shortly after Neeley’s death in 2006. The Coldirons have endowed the Ronald L. Neeley Memorial Scholarship Fund in the amount of $72,000 to assure that a minimum of three $1,000 scholarships will be awarded annually for Terra State students.

Also, in 2011, the Coldirons donated $105,000 during a capital campaign for the renovation of the Bordner Arts and Health Technologies Center. The Ronald L. Neeley Performance/Exhibit Studio and the Ronald L. Neeley Art Studio were dedicated Sept. 30, 2011.

Attempts to reach the Coldirons were unsuccessful.

The conference and hospitality center was officially opened in November, and since then, many bookings have come in.

The 9,700-square-foot building is to serve students in the hospitality program with a culinary lab and the ability to cater events and conferences.

The hospitality program is one of Terra’s newest programs and is growing quickly, Webster said.

The hospitality center can host weddings and receptions, birthday parties and any corporate need, Webster said. The building is equipped with an entry and reception area, a full-service kitchen with a ventless dish machine, roll-in and section refrigerator, convection steamer, double convection oven, charbroiler, fryer, ice machine and more.

The building also has a 4,300-square-foot conference space that can seat 300 people. The space can be divided into five smaller rooms with sound-deadening dividers.

“We are beyond appreciative to the Coldirons for this donation,” Webster said. “We assure them that we will be good stewards of this gift.”