Mike Drummond, Harkins Builders
For Mike Drummond, construction vice president, support of education has always been a priority. After connecting with the Howard Community College Educational Foundation through Leadership Howard County, he worked within Harkins Builders to grow and foster a long-term relationship between the two organizations.
With Drummond as a champion, Harkins has become a President’s Circle level supporter of the college. Starting with a sponsorship of the Columbia Classic Grand Prix event in 2002, Harkins’ support has grown to include scholarships for students studying construction management, plus premiere sponsorship of the Silas Craft Collegians Dinner, Vino Scholastico, the HCC 5k Challenge Race. In 2017, Harkins will also sponsor the President’s Gala, celebrating the opening of the new Science, Engineering, and Technology Building. The company also hires construction management interns from HCC’s program.
For Drummond, the relationship is personal. He teaches at the college, serves on the Foundation Board, and helped spearhead the creation of the HCC 5K Challenge race event in 2014.
“I get more out of it than I give,” says Drummond. “It makes me realize how blessed I am.”
As an adjunct professor for the construction management program in the Science, Engineering, and Technology division, Drummond has first-hand knowledge of how community colleges serve various types of students.
“I have students who are high achievers but struggle to pay tuition; adults who juggle college with family and jobs; and kids who never imagined they would be able to attend college but are here and thriving,” he says. The financial need also became apparent.
“I remember driving home one winter night, and I saw one of my students walking home from class,” he recalls. “I stopped to give him a ride and learned that he could only take classes at night due to his full-time job. He could not afford a car. Walking was the only way to get back and forth from his classes, even in the bitter cold.”
Drummond notes that because Howard County is among the wealthier counties in the nation, people may not be aware of how many students struggle to afford college. He encourages his peers to get involved with the college, whether as a donor, or through teaching and mentoring. “Not only is this a way to connect with the need, but it is also a great way to meet and recruit potential interns and future employees,” he explains.
Recalling his own experience as a community college graduate, Drummond says, “I attended community college, played lacrosse, and was able to explore the options in front of me. It was a stepping stone to my future, and I am glad to be able to give back in a way that helps others find their own path.”