By Becky Orr, Cowboy State Daily
CHEYENNE – Longtime Cheyenne resident Lois Mottonen appreciated the value of education and the doors it could open.
Mottonen, who died in December 2017 at the age of 88, left an education legacy that will benefit generations of Laramie County Community College students and help them share in her appreciation.
A $2.4 million gift from Mottonen will provide new scholarships and education programs at the college.
An honors graduate from Rock Springs High School, Mottonen earned a tuition scholarship to the University of Wyoming, where she was the only woman in her class when she majored in accounting. She was also the second Wyoming woman granted a certified public accounting license.
The gift from Mottonen is really about her own story and Wyoming’s story, said LCCC President Joe Schaffer. Mottonen “pulled herself up by her bootstraps” on her own and overcame barriers, he said. “She should be an inspiration to students.”
Lois C. Mottonen Scholarship
LCCC will use $1 million of the gift to create the Lois C. Mottonen Scholarship, said Lisa Trimble, the college’s associate vice president of Institutional Advancement. Scholarships will provide up to $15,000 per student.
“Her gift will continue to open doors, provide opportunities and inspire others to make an impact,” Trimble said.
The endowed fund will provide scholarships for students who are 25 years old or older and who enroll full-time in identified programs that are part of the Rediscover LCCC.
Rediscover LCCC is a pilot scholarship program that will pay for students’ tuition and fees in high-demand degree and certificate programs for up to two years.
Scholarships will be for students who want to return to college to get a degree and who don’t qualify for most traditional scholarships, Trimble said. Endowed funds from the Mottonen scholarships will be available in the fall of 2020.
For business students, programs available in Rediscover LCCC include accounting, financial services concentration, business and finance, business management, business management supply chain concentration and entrepreneurship. These are designed for a student to complete and find a job or transfer to a university to obtain a bachelor’s degree and then enter a career.
Students who apply for the Mottonen scholarships:
- Must be a Wyoming resident 25 or older, have lived in the state for three or more years and have a demonstrated financial need;
- Cannot previously have earned an associate, bachelor or graduate degree, and;
- Must choose one of the identified business programs and attend as a full-time student who maintains a B averages or above.
Center for Essential Student Experiences
Another $982,900 will be used by the college to develop a Center for Essential Student Experiences and establish the Lois C. Mottonen Student Experience Fund. The goal is to make students more marketable when they enter the workforce by giving them access to hands-on learning experiences such as internships or studying abroad, Trimble said.
“Essential experiences are opportunities designed to provide LCCC students with real-life experiences prior to completing their degrees,” she said.
This fund will be available in fall 2020.The college also will contribute $200,000 of Mottonen’s gift to Rediscover LCCC to help support students who take part in its business programs.
LCCC will use $300,000 of Mottonen’s gift to help develop and design a new innovative business program for students and provide scholarships to the first participants, Trimble said.
The gift will help jump start the college’s efforts to create an applied baccalaureate or bachelor’s degree of applied sciences in applied management, Schaffer said.
Endowed funds means that Mottonen’s legacy will extend into perpetuity, Schaffer added.
“LCCC is lucky to have community members such as Ms. Mottonen, whose planned giving support will impact generations to come,” he said.
For more about how to apply for scholarships, call LCCC, 307-778-5222.