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Phoenix College Alumnus Bequests $4.7 Million to ACE Program Endowment

Jay Faulkner

Phoenix, August 27, 2021 - Jay Faulkner, Phoenix College (PC) alumnus class of 1947, became the largest individual donor to PC, the Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation and the Maricopa County Community Colleges District  (MCCCD), with a bequest of $4.7 million dollars to the Faulkner ACE Endowment. The bequest brings Faulkner’s lifetime giving to the PC ACE Program to $5.7 million dollars.

Faulkner was passionate about supporting disadvantaged students, and in 2004, he established the Jay Faulkner ACE (Achieving a College Education) Endowment to provide financial support to first-generation and minority students.

Born in 1926 in Phoenix, Arizona, Faulkner grew up on a family farm near the PC campus, attending Alhambra Grammar School and North Phoenix High School. At Phoenix College, Faulkner was a leader in many campus organizations including the President’s 13 Club and the Los Vaqueros horseback riding club. After college, Faulkner worked at the Phoenix Veterans Administration, then transitioned to Arizona mining operations before moving to California and working for two decades at an international steamship company. Faulkner passed away in February 2021.

In 2014, in recognition of his contributions to Phoenix College, the Jay Faulkner Memorial Atrium was dedicated in his honor, and Faulkner was celebrated and named to the Phoenix College Alumni Hall of Fame. In 2020, Phoenix College created the Jay Faulkner Memorial Mesquite Court, an outdoor seating area for students, employees, and the community to gather. 

“Jay Faulkner’s legacy at Phoenix College is indelible, and will change the lives of thousands of students’ and families”, said Phoenix College Interim President Dr Clyne Namuo. “We are truly honored to be entrusted with Mr. Faulkner's invaluable and remarkable legacy,” Namuo added. 

The ACE Program, which is available at all ten of the MCCCD colleges across Maricopa County,  is nationally recognized for providing support for first-generation students. ACE students participate in the program during junior and senior years of high school, and can earn up to 24 college credits, with more than 70% of the students transitioning to a community college or university.  The PC ACE Program enrolls 320 students annually, with a completion rate of 90%. 

The Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) and the Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation (MCCF) join Phoenix College in expressing deep gratitude for Faulkner’s incredibly generous gift, which helps remove barriers for students. 

“Carrying out Jay’s desire and passion for helping our students follow their dreams of higher education is an honor,” said Brian Spicker, President and CEO of the Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation. “Jay is the epitome of humility, his outsized gift belies the incredible size of his heart and spirit of care and will allow for endless possibilities for student success. We are deeply humbled by his generosity.”

Dr. Steven Gonzales, Interim Chancellor, Maricopa Community College District added, “Jay Faulkner’s commitment to creating better opportunities for our students, especially those participating in our ACE Program, is unparalleled.  The reach of this bequest expands beyond the program and into the lives of students across our entire community.  We are honored to play a role in continuing his legacy.”

PC Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Heather Kruse stated that “Mr. Faulkner's gift is beyond measure and helps ensure students who have the talent and potential but do not think higher education is possible, have the opportunity to begin their college education.”

To learn more about the Phoenix College Achieving A College Education Program, visit:  phoenixcollege.edu/ACE

About the Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation

The Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation, with its donors and partners, supports the Maricopa County Community College District, its students, faculty and staff, through Scholarships, programs, equipment, and financial and human capital. Visit www.mcccdf.org to learn more.

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