Pensacola State College celebrated the generosity of two donors – the family of Sharen Siefert and the Highpointe Hotel Corp. ─ who contributed significantly to student scholarships and institutional growth at a press conference on Tuesday, July 19, in the Dona and Milton Usry Board Room on the Pensacola campus.
Tuesday’s event was attended by numerous PSC officials as well as members of the Siefert Family and Highpointe Hotel Corp. CEO/President Darryl Lapointe.
The late Sharen Siefert committed $120,000 to support education and her family is proud to see the College establish the Sharen Siefert Memorial Endowed Scholarship in her honor.
Siefert, well-known in the community for her volunteer work and charitable spirit, died in September 2019.
The Sharen Siefert Memorial Endowed Scholarship will give preference to students pursuing a vocational or nursing program and who do not have access to other financial aid sources. Preference also will be given to displaced homemakers, single parents, children of single parents, first-generation college students and graduates of female recovery programs.
“The Sharen Siefert Memorial Endowed Scholarship honors Sharen’s selflessness by serving students who would otherwise not be able to pursue higher education,’’ said Mikenzie Francis, PSC Foundation Donor Relationship Manager. “We are sincerely humbled that Pensacola State College was chosen to continue Mrs. Siefert’s legacy of caring by honoring her wishes to establish a scholarship.”
Siefert worked 15 years as a civil service employee, including a stint at CNET at Naval Air Station Pensacola. She would later become office manager of D&D Welding, a family business she operated alongside her husband, David Siefert.
She is survived by her husband; children ─ Kate, Jill and Joe Siefert; grandchildren ─ Camden and Sadie Siefert; numerous family members and friends.
The Highpointe Hotel Corp. and four of its properties – Homewood Suites by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Inn by Hilton and Residence Inn by Marriot – have committed $50,000 to the proposed PSC Training and Conference Center. Highpointe Hotel Corp. has already given PSC $25,000 of the $50,000 commitment.
Initial plans are for a 13,000-square-foot conference and training center that will house activities such as job fairs and small conferences, as well as provide meeting space for faculty and serve as a host location for staff seminars and workshops. The facility also will be used by the PSC Nonprofit Center for Excellence and Philanthropy ─ enabling the organization to host larger groups.
“These generous hoteliers are investing in the College’s planned training and conference center,’’ said Andrea Krieger, PSC Executive Director of Institutional Development. “While they could choose to use their funds to meet hotel needs, they recognize the importance of a center that can be used to train the local workforce. Their investment will help us build a space close to the airport that is suitable to host guest speakers, training, student job fairs, disaster recovery and community events. We hope their investment will spark additional interest in this planned community asset.”