RACINE - SC Johnson has donated $100,000 to Gateway Technical College for student scholarships, the college announced Monday.

The donation is being used to create an endowed scholarship fund for Gateway students in recognition of the college's 100th anniversary this year.

"We're very proud to be able to have the support from SCJ to be able to provide opportunities for students," Gateway President Bryan Albrecht said. "Our students in particular need financial support and the scholarships will help provide education to a lot of young people in our community."

Up to five $1,000 scholarships will be awarded annually to students enrolled in any associate degree program. The average cost of attaining a Gateway associate degree is $3,800 per year so the scholarships will make a difference, Albrecht said.

Students will be eligible for the scholarships if the are taking at least eight credit hours and meet criteria including being in good academic standing and participating in leadership activities like student organizations, community organizations or student learning, according to a Gateway press release and Jayne Herring, director of marketing and communication for Gateway.

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Students will be able to apply for the scholarships online during the fall semester, the release said.

Because of the scholarship fund donation, Gateway also announced Monday that the college's newly refurbished Racine campus student commons area will be named the SC Johnson Student Life Center. The student commons, in the Lake Building at the Racine campus, 1001 Main St., were redone with general Gateway funds and they include more spots for studying, a dining area and a student activities center with TVs and games like foosball, Herring said.

"In this, our centennial year, it is most fitting to name our student life center after a company that has supported the education and skill enhancement of its employees and the quality of life of its community for decades," Albrecht said.

He added the student center naming and scholarship donation came out of talks among Gateway and SC Johnson officials three months ago on how to bring more visibility to the partnership between the two entities. Since the 1990s Gateway instructors have taught courses at SC Johnson's Waxdale facility in Sturtevant, allowing SC Johnson employees to earn one of three associate degrees, a technical diploma and general education credits on site, according to Albrecht and the release.

"SC Johnson has deep roots in Southeast Wisconsin and supporting families in our community is at the core of who we are as a family company," Fisk Johnson, SC Johnson chairman and CEO, said in the release. "We're deeply committed to our relationship with Gateway Technical College and hope these scholarships will make a lasting difference in the community for many years to come."

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