Family of Dr. Nat White establishes fellowship with CCC Foundation


The $100,000 donation is meant to help CCC faculty and staff with professional development to better serve students and the college.



FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - If it hadn’t been for the caring of a gifted teacher, Dr. Nat White might not have gone to graduate school and ended up an astronomer at Lowell Observatory.


He hadn’t been known for good grades during his educational journey, but his astronomy teacher, after watching White fix a telescope and love doing it, got him to be considered for a graduate program, and if he did all right in his coursework, the graduate program would consider him.


“His stepping out of the box to get this waif pointed in a direction that was useful made a difference in my life,” Dr. White said, and the rest has been his history.


To  help faculty and staff at Coconino Community College continue to grow professionally, White and his family have created a $100,000 fully endowed White Family Fellowship with the CCC Foundation.


“It’s an indication of our appreciation to this college’s wonderful faculty and staff,” Dr. White said, adding that his wife Jean and his children – adults and successful in their lives – all loved the idea.


Jean White said, “As an educator for about 30 years, I have experienced the challenges and satisfaction of planning, grading papers, trying to meet all of the students’ needs – sometimes successfully, sometimes not.”


She added that dedicated and deserving faculty or staff person would benefit, not only professionally, but personally by having an opportunity to pursue their ideas would directly benefit the profession, the students and CCC.


“That is what I had in mind when Nat and I discussed donating to the Foundation for this purpose,” Jean said.


Dianna Sanchez, Chief Development Officer for the CCC Foundation, said, “The White Family Fellowship is a truly extraordinary gift for the Foundation and CCC. As the largest private contributor in the history of the Foundation’s endowment, the White’s generosity will help support staff and faculty professional development for generations.”


White, a member of the CCC District Governing Board since 2000 and current chair, said that he’s had the opportunity to see the CCC faculty and staff working up close, and he admires their passion and their desire to be helpful, even when resources are scarce.


“We felt there were many opportunities for student scholarships and very few opportunities for homegrown faculty and staff scholarships,” White said, adding that he’s heard stories of faculty and staff using their own money to grow professionally, to develop new curriculums and to grow their skills to be helpful to students and the mission of the college.


White has long been a supporter of the community college’s mission.


“I see what the community college does, especially in a rural community and county like ours,” White said. “There aren’t the opportunities for education like in urban centers, and our community college fills a need for training and education for area residents.”


A community college like CCC is a place to receive more personalized attention through smaller class sizes and accessible faculty and staff. He appreciates the focus by CCC’s faculty and staff on community service because it can have such a profound effect on the course of the lives of others – just like that attention affected the course of his life. Because of caring faculty, White, a resident of Flagstaff since 1969, became a pre-eminent astronomer, served on the Flagstaff City Council, and now in his retirement, dedicates himself to serving the community that embraced him, Jean and his family so many years ago.


“Education is so important for the strength of a community,” White said.


For more information about the CCC Foundation and its mission, visit



Friday, 5th August 2022

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  • Friday, 5th August 2022