Linn-Benton Community College President Greg Hamann is saying goodbye to his position this summer, and on Valentine's Day, he announced a parting gift: a $25,000 endowment.
The Greg and Rita Hamann Freedom Fund will support freedom of expression, academic freedom, open inquiry and the ability to learn from different points of view.
"We really thought about how we could support something that we feel is special," Hamman said of the decision he and his wife, Rita, made. "We feel this work is important and supports learning as a process and exploration of the mind."
During his 10 years at LBCC, Hamann has supported the college in its work on free expression through policies. The endowment is set to continue that work.
"The funds from this endowment will be instrumental in bringing speakers to campus, providing stipends for students, making art displays possible and much more," said Jennifer Boehmer, LBCC Foundation executive director. "LBCC is a pioneer among community colleges in supporting freedom of expression and viewpoint diversity."
During Hamann's tenure, the school was recognized by the Heterodox Academy, a nation nonprofit, non-partisan organization that works to improve the quality of research and education around free expression in higher education. LBCC was the first community college to receive the designation.
"We wanted to make sure that this work would be something that the institution feels empowered to support after I am gone," Hamann said. "We are excited to be a part of this and to lend our hand to something that we love and that we feel is important to our students and our community."
To learn more about the endowment or to contribute, contact the LBCC Foundation at 541-917-4200.
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