Dinsdale new college foundation president

PUBLISHED: November 24, 2009 at 5:32 p.m. | UPDATED: May 8, 2019 at 3:15 a.m.

November 26, 2009
Northeastern Junior College Campus Sign

Chris Dinsdale, co-chairman of the Bank of Colorado and a prominent business and agriculture leader in northeast Colorado, has been elected president of the Northeastern Junior College Foundation’s Board of Trustees.
The new title is especially fitting considering that Dinsdale and his wife, Joy, helped start the Hope for Northeastern Colorado Scholarship program at the college three years ago. This scholarship program has been instrumental in helping to increase enrollment at NJC. The Dinsdales have been very involved in the planning and promotion of the annual Hope Gala, which is the primary fundraiser for the Hope Scholarship.
Dinsdale started a three-year term on the foundation’s board this past year and was elected president at the group’s September meeting.
Dinsdale says he is excited to be involved with the Foundation and has no immediate plans other than to lead a board that actively manages and safeguards Foundation assets. He does, however, hope to increase involvement in the Foundation by individuals and businesses throughout the five-county region of northeast Colorado.
When asked why he is choosing to give his valuable time to the college, he was quick to reply.
“NJC provides a great opportunity for students to further their education at a lower cost than most other colleges,” he said. “The college enhances the economics of our community and our area, and it is here in our town, so I need to be involved.”
Dinsdale notes that just because the college is located in Sterling doesn’t mean it only benefits Logan County. “The entire corner of northeast Colorado benefits by having a college in our area. The students are able to get a high quality, yet affordable education close to home, plus there’s workforce training going on all of the time and that helps us all. The college brings in a tremendous influx of students from outside this part of the state who bring their dollars into our economy. I want other areas outside of Logan County to recognize this and want to be part of the Foundation and the work it is doing to support and build increased enrollment.”
Dinsdale, who has served on a number of other non-profit boards including Special Olympics and TS Alliance, said he hopes to bring some of what he’s learned from these experiences to this leadership role. “Having Dr. Bolton to direct me should make it easy,” he says with a smile, the two obviously colleagues who respect one another. 
In 2007, Chris and Joy Dinsdale teamed up with NJC alumnae Sally Schaffer to donate the seed money necessary to begin the Hope for Northeastern Colorado Scholarship program. Through the program, scholarships are made available to students from the five counties in northeastern Colorado who choose to come to NJC directly following high school graduation, provided that they have a 2.5 cumulative grade point average during their senior year. The scholarship may pay the cost of tuition for up to nine credits per semester during a student’s freshman year and then up to six credits per semester after their freshman year. So long as the student is attending full-time and maintaining a 3.0 grade point average at the college, or logs the necessary hours per semester in the tutoring center on campus, he or she may keep the scholarship until they graduate. The scholarship provides financial aid secondary to federal aid. Qualification for this scholarship is affected by the level of federal student aid received. Last year 100 students received the scholarship in both fall and spring semesters. This year NJC already has 128 Hope Scholarship recipients. 
While the scholarship is designed to entice students from this area to choose NJC right out of high school, if they don’t immediately qualify, they may enroll at NJC and then earn the scholarship through good academic performance. The academic standards are the same — earning a 3.0 cumulative grade point average or logging 50 hours per semester in the tutoring center.
It was Dinsdale who insisted that the Hope Scholarship be designed for the student who has had an average academic history. “There are all kinds of scholarships for the students who do really well academically and for students in specific categories — single parents for example — but very few for the average student who wants to go to college but isn’t sure how to pay for it,” Dinsdale explained. “It is important to Joy and me that every student in this area capable of going to college has an affordable opportunity available to them.
“I wasn’t the best student academically in high school,” he recalls.
Both Joy and Chris Dinsdale are serving on the NJC Foundation’s Board of Trustees this year. Under the leadership of Brad Anderson of Wells Fargo Bank, who served as Board president for three of the last four years, the total assets for the Foundation rose from slightly under $3.2 million to nearly $5.5 million. During this same time period, scholarships awarded by the Foundation have almost quadrupled. Dinsdale picks up the reins at a good time, when the organization has been strengthened by tremendous gifts of time, talent and finances from the northeast Colorado community. He will proudly carry the torch.
“My wife and I support causes where we live and make our money. Living and prospering without sharing is of no interest to us,” he said.

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