Phoenix College Alumnus’ $4.7 Million Bequest Removes Barriers for Students

Jay Faulkner, Phoenix College (PC) alumnus, became the largest individual donor to the college, the Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation and the Maricopa County Community Colleges District (MCCCD) with a bequest of $4.7 million. His gift supports the Jay Faulkner Achieving a College Education (ACE) Endowment, which Faulkner established in 2004 to provide financial support to first-generation and minority students.

“Carrying out Jay’s desire and passion for helping our students follow their dreams of higher education is an honor,” said Brian Spicker, president and CEO of the Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation. “Jay is the epitome of humility. His outsized gift belies the incredible size of his heart and spirit of care and will allow for endless possibilities for student success.”

The ACE Program, which is available at all 10 of the MCCCD colleges, is recognized for providing support for first-generation students. ACE students participate in the program during junior and senior years of high school and can earn up to 24 college credits, with more than 70 percent of the students transitioning to a community college or university. The PC ACE Program enrolls 320 students annually with a completion rate of 90 percent. 

Faulkner grew up on a family farm near the PC campus, attending Alhambra Grammar School and North Phoenix High School. At PC, Faulkner was a leader in many campus organizations, including the President’s 13 Club and the Los Vaqueros horseback riding club. Faulkner passed away in February 2021.

“Jay Faulkner’s legacy at Phoenix College is indelible and will change the lives of thousands of students and families,” said Phoenix College Interim President Dr. Clyne Namuo. “We are truly honored to be entrusted with Mr. Faulkner’s invaluable and remarkable legacy.”

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About Julie Coleman

Julie Coleman is a contributing writer for Frontdoors Media and helps individuals, families and businesses maximize the impact of their philanthropy.
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