The History of the HCEF

Why Was the Harvard Education Foundation Established?
During the 1990 School year, Harvard Community Unit School District #50 had to make over $500,000 in programming cuts due to limited tax dollars. Class sizes were increased. Field trips, freshman sports and extra programming were cut or eliminated. This austerity continued for a number of years and the School District continued to discuss thoughts for generating new dollars.
How Was the Harvard Community Education Foundation Formed?
The concept of a Foundation was suggested and in September 1995, Mr. Daniel Frost, a parent of four children attending the Harvard Schools, indicated he would be interested in becoming involved with a group that could generate funds for the schools.

Coincidentally, during a football playoff game that same fall, Mr. William L. Magnuson, a 1955 graduate of Harvard High School, approached the District 50 Superintendent, Richard D. Crosby to learn more about the Foundation.

He expressed his enthusiasm for Harvard and said, “Those of us who have been successful should help take care of future generations of students.” He further believed that the Harvard Community Education Foundation would be very useful in expanding and furthering educational opportunities for Harvard students. We all have a stake in ensuring the best education for our children.

Mr. Magnuson indicated that he would be in a position to contribute $5000 a year in addition to his former employer, Shell Oil, where he had been a petroleum engineer, would match his $5000 plus $500 yearly. From January 1997 through his passing on September 9, 2012 the William Magnuson Family and Shell Oil contributed nearly $160,000 in scholarship monies to the Foundation.
When Was the Harvard Community Education Foundation First Organized?
The first organizational meeting was held on May 2, 1996 with Daniel Frost as President and 18 Community Charter Members in attendance. The foundation is a private, nonprofit organization, governed by a Board of Directors separate from the School Board. The Foundation is a 501©(3) tax exempt organization.
What is the Purpose of the Harvard Community Education Foundation?
The purpose of the Foundation is to attract private funds to supplement regular educational revenues, to enrich and enhance educational programs and opportunities for students of Harvard Community Unit School District 50. Further and fundamentally central to the Foundation’s Goal was to establish a long-term self-sustaining program, providing funds in perpetuity, governed by an independent board of directors made up of local individuals.
How Does the Foundation Obtain Funds?
The Foundation has hosted an annual Black and Gold Ball since 1997, which requires a tremendous amount of organization and hard work on the part of the organizers, committees and friends. However, the ball generates bountiful returns for the Foundation and for the students of Harvard. A special thanks goes to all of the individuals who have worked tirelessly during these last 22 years as well as corporate sponsors and businesses and individual contributors.

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