Isothermal Community College

Polk Center

Polk County Campus ICC Foundation, Inc.

The Polk County Center (PCC) Isothermal Community College (ICC) Foundation is comprised of local volunteers. Currently board members include: Elizabeth Boone, Betsy Carr, Barbara Clegg, Joseph Crowder, Thad Harrill, Linda Knippa, Paul Nelson, Audrey Ortiz, Sherril Wingo, and Priscilla Yeager. Our ex-officio members are ICC’s president, Walter Dalton, and Polk Center’s Director, Kate Barkschat.

Anyone interested in joining the board is welcome to contact the Polk Center Director at (828)-894-3092 or email us at

The ICC Foundation Board's primary focus is the development of higher education resources and financial support for students in our community. We support several scholarship programs, a facility improvement fund, and assist with promoting existing programs and increasing community awareness of the offerings at ICC Polk Center.

In 2010, we received a generous bequest from Ms. Mary F. Kessler, a local supporter of Polk's Isothermal Community College. In 2015, we received another very large bequest from the estate of Mr. D. William “Bill” Bennett. These gifts were used to create the Polk County Campus ICC Foundation Special Projects Fund which directly assists the ICC Polk Center with equipment purchases, facility upgrades, or other requirements of that nature.

One of the major scholarship programs our board supports is the Polk County New Century Scholars fund. This program now selects six seventh-grade students each year and mentors them through high school graduation. If the Scholar maintains good grades, actively participates in community service, and remains drug and alcohol-free, he or she is guaranteed two years of tuition-free education at Isothermal Community College (Polk or Spindale). In 2015, the board increased the number of annually-selected Polk County seventh graders from three to six students each year and has added scholarship coverage for book expenses.

Another of our scholarship funds, the Howard Olson Financial Assistance Fund, awards scholarships to adult residents of Polk County for courses at the Polk Center or Spindale Campus.

To raise money for our scholarship programs and facility fund, the Foundation annually hosts a major fundraising event.  Proceeds from previous fundraisers have also allowed us to start an endowment fund at the Polk County Community Foundation. With more students joining the program each year, this fund will help to ensure our programs’ sustainability.

Donations to any of these programs may be made to the Polk County Campus ICC Foundation, 1255 W. Mills Street, Columbus, NC 28722. Please note if there are any restrictions on your gift.