Retired U.S. Congressman Howard P. “Buck” McKeon speaks during a reception at College of the Canyons on March 29.

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Release No. COC-04.20.16-McKeonDonation
April 20, 2016

McKeon Donates $10,000 to Seed New Scholarship Fund

College of the Canyons hosted U.S. Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon (Ret.) for a special on-campus reception to officially endow the new McKeon Scholars Award annual student scholarship fund. 

McKeon spoke about the many benefits of civic engagement programs and the importance of a younger generation’s involvement in helping to better their community before presenting members of the College of the Canyons Foundation with a $10,000 check to help seed the new scholarship fund.

Debuting this spring, the McKeon Scholars Award will be available to College of the Canyons students with a GPA of 3.0 or higher who are majoring in political science and/or interested in pursuing a career involving public service and civic engagement. The annual $500 scholarship award will help defray the costs of college education, including tuition, textbooks and living expenses. 

“This is a tremendous honor to support student success at College of the Canyons, and inspire the next generation of community leaders,” McKeon said. “If we can encourage people to serve and be involved, the impact on our colleges, our community, and our country will be immeasurable.”

The event also featured several student speakers who were on hand to discuss their various civic engagement related activities, and share potential new initiatives with McKeon and other college administrators.

“We are proud to partner with Chairman McKeon in equipping a new generation of leaders,” said College of the Canyons Chancellor Dr. Dianne G. Van Hook. “Because of his generosity, today’s students will be inspired to complete their educations, pursue their dreams of public service, and become tomorrow’s leaders.”  
The generous donation is the result of a pledge McKeon made during the first installment of the McKeon Leadership Forum, a speaker series aimed at promoting civic engagement throughout the community. At the inaugural event held last November, McKeon was joined by Gen. John F. Kelly, Marine Corps commander of U.S. Southern Command, who spoke about the importance of civic responsibility among all citizens, while also commenting on some of the challenges currently facing the nation.

“We all need to reconnect to what makes America so extraordinary. To rediscover why we should be proud of who we are, what we stand for, to be part of something bigger to strive for something better, but to strive together,” Kelly said. “We can find this very easy in our county and our society, and that is through service.” 

About Civic Engagement at College of the Canyons

With an eye toward inspiring students to step up and be more involved personally in shaping their community’s future, College of the Canyons launched its Center for Civic Engagement during the fall 2015 semester.

As part of the college’s Service-Learning department, the center encourages students and community members to help make a difference in the civic life of their surrounding communities while at the same time developing the combination of knowledge, skills, values and motivation needed to effect positive change, and make difference, through both political and non-political processes.

The center also provides students and community members with information about, and access to, volunteer opportunities throughout the Santa Clarita and San Fernando valleys with organizations such as Help the Children, HandsOn Santa Clarita, LA Works, and Northeast Valley Health Corp.