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Silas Craft Collegians Event on March 5 Raises Funds for Scholarships

Unique Howard Community College Program Unlocks Greatness in Students
a photo of past Silas Craft students

Hundreds of community members, elected officials, and Howard Community College (HCC) faculty and staff will join at Hunan Manor Restaurant in Columbia from 5 to 8 p.m. on March 5, 2018, to enjoy a sumptuous buffet in support of the college’s Silas Craft Collegians Program. Named after Howard County educator and civil rights leader Silas Craft, the program offers students mentorship and personalized attention in a supportive academic cohort to promote scholastic achievement, graduation, and transfers to four-year institutions.

This marks the 19th year Hunan Manor, located at 7091 Deepage Drive, will host the event, which has raised over $380,000 and helped 1,423 Silas Craft Collegian students since its inception. All proceeds from the dinner will benefit the Silas Craft Collegians program and student scholarships.

HCC President Kate Hetherington, Howard Community College Educational Foundation board members, and elected officials, will deliver motivational remarks, and the Collegians will be in attendance to share their stories. Mrs. Dorothye Craft, the widow of Silas Craft, an educational pioneer in Howard County who opened the first senior high school for African American students, will also be in attendance. Mrs. Craft, who turns 95 on March 6, 2018, has attended every Hunan Manor fundraiser since it began in 2000. She also attends the Collegian’s new student retreat annually, and writes inspirational letters to the Collegians throughout the year.

As committee chair for the Silas Craft Collegians Dinner, Barb Van Winkle says she is honored to raise money for such a terrific program.

“The program makes a tremendous difference in so many students’ lives,” she said. “Over the years, I have spoken with many of the Silas Craft students and heard how life-changing this program is for them; the professors and mentors involved with the students deeply care, and help students move on to greater things.”

Dinner tickets are $45 or $30 for employees, retirees, and seniors (60+) and can be purchased online or at the door. HCC student tickets are $15 and can be purchased in person at the Foundation Office in McCuan Hall 102. For more information, or to purchase tickets online, visit

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