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  Partnerships, Scholarships, Service, and Recognition

What is the RCF?

The Rome College Foundation is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1966 and supported by the Rome Area Chamber of Commerce and other local groups. Located in offices of the Chamber of Commerce in downtown Rome, it is managed by a Board of Trustees representing local businesses, industries, professions and academic institutions. Staff services are provided by the Rome Area Chamber of Commerce at minimal cost to the Foundation. Additionally, the Foundation pays no dues or service charges to any national organization.

Contributions made payable to the Rome College Foundation, an IRS 501(c)(3) organization, are tax deductible to the extent provided by law; please consult your tax advisor.

The Mission

The mission of the Foundation is to promote and enhance the Rome community's needs for higher educational opportunities. Specifically, the goal of the Foundation is to develop, advocate and offer a wide variety of college programs for all area residents. As funds grow through grants, donations and bequests, the Foundation continues to expand its scholarship programs.

Commitment to Educating Students from Rome NY

There is a very low administrative expense connected with any of the RCF scholarship programs. Staff services are provided by the Rome Area Chamber of Commerce. Additionally, the Foundation pays no dues or service charges to any national organization. All contributions and bequests go to fund scholarships and programs for Rome students attending colleges and universities and to grants for other educational purposes.

The Board of Trustees meets monthly and continues to be a catalyst for higher education initiatives. The RCF also sponsors a variety of programs and events designed to support these initiatives. For more information, call the Rome College Foundation at the Rome Area Chamber of Commerce office, (315) 337-1700.

40th Anniversary of Rome College Foundation in 2006

In the mid 1960s, the Rome community became increasingly aware that Rome was the largest city in NYS without significant post-secondary college facilities. Mohawk Valley Community College operated a small number of evening classes at Staley Junior High School, and that was all. The need was first articulated by William H. Flinchbaugh, then the Executive VP of the Rome Chamber and underscored by the possible mission losses at Griffiss Air Force Base for that reason. In Feb 1965, Dana F. Higgins and Emlyn I. Griffith, Chairmen of the Chamber's Education and City Affairs Cmtes, respectively, were named co-chairmen of a special committee charged to study the potential of a public or private college and to establish a broadly based committee representing all segments of the community to do what would be necessary on a long-term basis to develop higher education opportunities in Rome.

On Aug 26, 1966, an absolute incorporation charter was granted, with Brig Gen Allman T. Culbertson, A.D. Ross Fraser, Emlyn I. Griffith, Dana F. Higgins, Henry A. Maurer, Lyndon H. Strough and William W. Weissman as incorporators. The charter specified that the education corporation, to be called Rome College Foundation, would be located in Rome. On Sept 19, 1966, an organizational meeting of the incorporators was held. A.D. Ross Fraser was selected as the first chairman, Emlyn I. Griffith was named secretary; and he later became the second chairman.

Simultaneously a similar effort was underway at the direction of then Oneida County Executive Charles T. Lanigan and community leaders in the Upper Mohawk Valley. It resulted eventually in creation of what we know today as SUNY Polytechnic Institute.

The Rome College Foundation directors, assisted by the Chamber staff, developed studies and data which demonstrated the need and the wisdom of expanding MVCC's presence in Rome, having determined that a separate public or private institution was unlikely. The State University's master plan was changed by the Board of Regents in the 1970's to allow an MVCC branch in Rome. Oneida County committed to the support necessary for the branch; the Air Force made available temporary facilities at Griffiss AFB; and Rome College Foundation raised money to modify those buildings into classrooms. Later the County Legislature made available the one-time County Hospital buildings on Floyd Avenue; and with the help of the NYS Legislature, raised funds for remodeling and expanding that site into a genuine branch campus of MVCC. Today, the Rome area finds itself having a true branch campus of one of the best community colleges in New York State and the whole country.