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California Community College Receives $1 Million Donation for Distance Learning Programs

Santa Monica College (SMC) has received a $1 million gift to grow and support its distance learning program, according to a statement released today by the institution.

Conrad Lee Klein and Joan Dempsey Klein, of Los Angeles, recently donated $1,025,000 to SMC to establish the Conrad Lee Klein Fund for Online Education. The donation is the single largest gift the college has received to support technology. The Santa Monica couple stipulated that $1 million dollars should be applied to online education programs while the remaining $25,000 may be used for other school priorities.

Approximately 20 percent of SMC students take classes online each semester, according to Donald Girard, senior director of government relations at the school, in a story reported by the LA Times. The school plans to use the dollars to expand its course offerings and boost instruction.

The Kleins said that higher education is a priority to them. Conrad Klein, originally of New York, spent part of his childhood in orphanages and foster homes before going on to earn business and law degrees at NYU and USC.

"Joan and I both understand the problems of poverty," said Klein, in a prepared statement. "We were fortunate enough to overcome them. We want to try to help others so they too can find their way up the ladder to success. We believe that through technology you can reach students of all economic levels."

About the Author

Kanoe Namahoe is online editor for 1105 Media's Education Group. She can be reached at knamahoe@1105media.com.

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