Hawkeye's New Adult Learning Center to be Named After VGM Founder, Philanthropist Van G. Miller

posted on Tuesday, September 25, 2018 in  College News

WATERLOO–Hawkeye Community College’s new Adult Learning Center in Waterloo will soon bear the name of Van G. Miller, a prominent Cedar Valley philanthropist known for his generous support of community projects and services.

The Van G. Miller Charitable Foundation has pledged $2 million in support of Hawkeye’s new downtown Waterloo location, the largest single donation in the college’s history. The college’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved naming the building the Van G. Miller Adult Learning Center, after receiving a recommendation from Hawkeye’s president, Dr. Linda Allen.

 “On behalf of the students and staff at Hawkeye, I would like to thank the Van G. Miller Family Charitable Foundation for this extraordinary investment in our college and community,” said Dr. Linda Allen, president of Hawkeye. “This is history in the making – and a reason to celebrate in the Cedar Valley. This donation will benefit the community for decades to come by helping our students pursue their dreams.”

Miller, who passed away in 2015, launched VGM and Associates in 1986. Today, the Waterloo-based company employs approximately 930 workers in a variety of businesses primarily connected to the home medical equipment industry, club and golf services, and food supply chain. It was recognized as the best large employer in Iowa last year by the Des Moines Register.

“Van appreciated the value of an education….he himself attended a community college,” said Jim Walsh, Board Chair and General Counsel for VGM Group. “He had a deep respect and love for his community. He was committed to efforts to revitalize and grow Waterloo, especially in the city’s historic business district where he spent considerable time in his youth. I know Van would be proud of this investment in Hawkeye Community College – as well as the community he credited his success with.”

Hawkeye’s new adult learning center is currently under construction at the intersection of Jefferson Street and West Mullan Avenue in downtown Waterloo. The center will combine the programs and services offered at the college’s Metro Center and the Martin Luther King Jr. Center. The facility will allow for an expansion of Hawkeye’s current programs in a new, three-story, 45,000 square foot building. In addition, the center will feature more than a dozen services and double the capacity of students that can be served.  Hawkeye’s new center will provide access to education and workforce training, as well as access to community partnerships and services that enhance student support, persistence, and success.  Wrap-around support services will be provided through partnerships with local non-profit agencies, healthcare providers, and public service agencies.

The adult learning center is the first major building project primarily funded from the February 3, 2015, bond referendum, which was overwhelmingly approved by voters in Hawkeye’s 10 county service region. The donation from the Van G. Miller Charitable Foundation helps to cover the cost and make it an even more effective and high-quality facility. The center is expected to open in January 2019.


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