Skip to main content

Alumnus Jay Faulkner Gives High School Students Chance to Go Far, Close to Home

May 27, 2014

Wanting today’s youth to enjoy his college experience of “going far, close to home,” Jay Faulkner, Class of 1947, continues a decade of generosity to Phoenix College with a donation of more than $55,000 to his established scholarship endowment.

In announcing the gift, Phoenix College President Anna Solley said, “This builds on Jay’s long history of enriching the college as a renowned and supportive alumnus. Giving youth the opportunity for the academic and personal success is a reflection of his lifelong service to others. I am deeply grateful for Jay’s generous spirit. He is changing lives and enriching our community.”

Born on an Arizona farm just west of Phoenix College, Faulkner says that going to North Phoenix High School with 2,000 students was a culture shock after the close-knit comfort of his small, rural Alhambra Elementary School. At what was then Phoenix Junior College, he found a wealth of friendships, inviting atmosphere and one-on-one engagement that he missed at the large, urban high school.

“Attending Phoenix Junior College was like coming home,” said Faulkner. “Everyone knew everyone and the administration and faculty were inspiring and very much a part of our lives. The first president of Maricopa Community Colleges, Dr. Robert Hannelly, sat down and played piano for me one morning. ”

In 2004, Faulkner made his first contribution to the ACE (Achieving a College Education) scholarship program with the establishment of the Jay L. Faulkner Scholarship Endowment. In July 2012, he contributed additional funding to the college’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) scholarship program. Now, he has again donated to his endowment for ACE scholarships bringing the total to well over $150,000.

Faulkner says that he gives to ACE so that generations to come will benefit from the community college’s legacy of educational inclusivity and inspiration. The ACE program takes students identified as at risk of not finishing high school and places them in a nurturing but rigorous program designed to help them not only graduate but with 18 to 24 college credits.

Jacklyn Angel began her studies in the Phoenix College ACE program when she was a junior at Carl Hayden High School. It changed her life.

“College was absolutely not in my plans because I had been convinced it wasn’t for me. The ACE program gave me the support, tools and encouragement to go to college,” she said.

Angel became salutatorian for the Phoenix College Class of 2008 and the first member of her family to graduate with a college degree. She earned her bachelor’s from Arizona State University and began a career that has focused on community organizations. Her first position was with Friendly House and now she is at the Be A Leader Foundation where she works to prepare middle school students for college.

Faulkner says at the heart of his continuing contributions is the desire that future generations might find the seeds to success in life. The scholarships he supports represent a hope that individuals who succeed at Phoenix College will enrich their own lives, their families and the world beyond.

For information on contributing to ACE or Phoenix College, contact Karen Staley, director of Development and Alumni Services, at Karen.Staley@phoenixcollege.edu.