College gifted $2.4 million

Lois C. Mottonen.

The Laramie County Community College Foundation recently announced that it has received an estate gift worth $2,482,900 from Lois C. Mottonen, who passed away in December of 2017.

The money will fund two different programs for business students: Rediscover LCCC scholarships, which helps students over 25 who don’t have a post-secondary credential, and the Center for Essential Student Experiences. President Dr. Joe Schaffer said that $1 million will go toward the Rediscover LCCC scholarship program to establish long-term scholarships for returning business students. He said that another $200,000 will be used to issue Rediscover LCCC scholarships immediately.

“One is an endowment that will be there to fund students in this type of scholarship pursuing specific programs, in this case business,” Schaffer said. “That is a million dollar endowment.”

Lisa Trimble, associate vice president for institutional advancement, stated that around $35,000 to 40,000 will be available for use annually. Schaffer also added that roughly 10 to 11 students will receive this scholarship.

“Scholarships are approximately $3,400 a year,” Schaffer said. “The idea behind the scholarship is that we actually pay for tuition and fees and have students file for financial aid in hoping that any additional aid will help them with the other costs.”

On top of that, Schaffer said that the concept of the Center for Essential Student Experiences is to help prepare students gain the skills necessary to find a job or successfully transfer to a four-year institution.  

“The three experiences are relationship building and collaborative learning, emmerision and synthesis and application, are an implied learning component of that,” Schaffer said. “We anticipate establishing this center because we know it will take a coordinated effort and significant resources to be able to scale up. So that every degree- and credential-seeking student that comes here has an opportunity to satisfy those three experiences in some form or fashion.”

Schaffer also added that the college doesn’t have an exact amount of how much the Center for Essential Student Experiences will cost, but it will probably establish a $900,000 endowment. These experiences are designed around what Schaffer said the college knows makes students more successful.

Trimble added that the Rediscover LCCC scholarships  are based in financial aid while the Essential Student Experience part is more programmatically driven.

“At the same time, depending on how the funds are being used, it really could be used as a financial assistance component not directly tied to financial aid,” Trimble said. “It could provide financial assistance for students to be able to engage or take part in an essential student experience, an immersion opportunity or an applied learning opportunity.”

Both Schaffer and Trimble said they are grateful to have received this gift from someone who thinks education is important. Trimble also included that it’s a nice legacy to leave for her.

Mottonen attended Rock Springs High School, graduating with an honors. She then earned a tuition scholarship at the University of Wyoming, and became the only woman in her class to graduate with an accounting degree. Mottonen was the second woman in Wyoming to receive a certified public accounting license.


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