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Howard Community College Receives Largest Private Donation in History with $2 Million from The Kahlert Foundation

Dr Willis and Mr Kahlert holding a plaque at last basketball games.

Howard Community College (HCC) announces its largest private donation in college history with a generous gift of $2 million from The Kahlert Foundation to provide students with financial support and wrap-around services to reach their educational goals. The funding will go toward tuition assistance for a future Early College program and for student parents in the college’s Career Links program, scholarships for students studying science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), and support for the on-campus food pantry and the college engineering program.

In honor of the donation, the college will name its future mathematics and athletics building as The Kahlert Foundation Complex. Currently under construction, the complex will replace inflexible instructional space for the mathematics program and an athletics center that is operating far beyond its structural life. The Kahlert Foundation Complex will open for classes in spring 2025.

The college celebrated the donation on Saturday, December 10, during a special event with Greg Kahlert, board president of The Kahlert Foundation. The event took place during “The Last Game,” which marked the final men’s and women’s basketball games in the gym before it is demolished to make room for The Kahlert Foundation Complex.

“The Foundation is pleased to support the new Early College access program, STEM scholarships and many other vital programs that will benefit students,” said Greg Kahlert, president of the board of directors of The Kahlert Foundation. “My daughter attended HCC. She is now working toward a Master of Business Administration at the University of Utah and credits her outstanding educational experience at HCC as a springboard for her success. We are proud to provide this support so the college can do this for so many other members of the community.”

The Kahlert Foundation has been a long-time donor to the Howard Community College Educational Foundation (HCCEF). Past gifts to HCCEF included support for cohort programs on campus, disability support services, and student scholarships. HCCEF is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that provides funds to support scholarships and programs that benefit students at Howard Community College.

The Kahlert Foundation was established in 1991 by William (Bill) Kahlert, co-founder of Evapco, Inc., a global manufacturer of evaporative cooling products, based in Taneytown, Maryland. The Foundation was created with the desire to make a difference in the communities where Mr. Kahlert lived and worked.

After his passing in 2011, Mr. Kahlert devoted a large portion of his estate to the family foundation, which enabled the Foundation to make more and larger grants. The Kahlert Foundation’s annual grant budget makes it one of the largest private foundations in Maryland and Utah. It continues to provide ongoing support to local organizations, initiatives, and programs that have the potential to make a long-lasting, positive impact on the community.

“We are incredibly grateful for this very generous gift from The Kahlert Foundation,” said Dr. Daria Willis, president of Howard Community College. “The Foundation has been a strong supporter of Howard Community College students since their first gift in 2014. Working together, our partnership will continue to move students along their educational pathway, continue to strengthen our community, and continue to provide students opportunities for success. The Kahlert Foundation’s gifts over the years have been a huge part of that.”

Greg Kahlert spent 30 years in sales at Evapco. When Bill Kahlert passed away, Greg Kahlert retired to continue his father’s generous legacy of giving at The Kahlert Foundation. Through the Foundation, Greg supports numerous charities that fall within the Foundation’s core focus areas of education, healthcare, youth, veterans, and human services. He personally visits many of those charities on a regular basis to help the organizations grow and thrive. The Kahlert Foundation continues to be a family effort, with his wife, daughter, and son serving on the board. His daughter, Heather, is leading philanthropy efforts in the state of Utah.

To learn more about how to support students at Howard Community College, visit

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