Chris Abele to Give MATC $500,000 to the Promise Program Gift Will Advance Planning for Wisconsin’s First Adult Promise Program

Ginny Gnadt, Public Relations Coordinator

May 12, 2017

Chris Abele, Milwaukee County Executive and community philanthropist, announced today his personal pledge to give MATC $500,000 to expand the MATC Promise Program to serve more people with tuition-free college. Abele said he wants to especially target this gift in student scholarships and technical training for people living and working within the 53206 ZIP code. Beginning in fall 2016, the MATC Promise was made available to eligible high school students enrolling at the college. Private contributions cover the costs of tuition and fees, after federal and state financial aid is applied.

“With partners like Chris, MATC is redefining the future of higher education to create an affordable, accessible path to family-sustaining employment and career advancement," said MATC President Dr. Vicki J. Martin. “As a result of this generous gift, MATC can move forward with our planning to expand MATC’s Promise Program to adults. This puts MATC on the path to be the first college in Wisconsin with an adult promise program.”

Abele was an early investor in the initial Promise Campaign, where he made a personal gift of $250,000 gift in November 2015.

“MATC is a first class academic institution educating the students that will help close the skills gap in Wisconsin,” said Abele. “I am proud to invest in the expansion of this program to give more people access to a quality education.”

The announcement was made at MATC’s spring graduation ceremony, where Dr. Jill Biden served as this year’s commencement speaker. As the former U.S. Second Lady and a community college professor, Dr. Biden is a leading promoter of College Promise programs across the nation.

The gift will be given to the Milwaukee Area Technical College Foundation, Inc., a non-profit that secures private contributions to fund college programs and student scholarships.  

About the Milwaukee Area Technical College Foundation, Inc:

The Milwaukee Area Technical College Foundation, Inc., was founded in 1979 to raise funds for college programs and student scholarships. The Foundation currently manages more than 130 endowment and temporarily restricted funds worth $13 million dollars.

About MATC:

Milwaukee Area Technical College is a key driver of southeastern Wisconsin’s economy and has provided innovative education in the region since 1912. Approximately 40,000 students per year attend the college’s four campuses and community-based sites or learn online. MATC offers affordable and accessible education and training opportunities that empower and transform lives

in the community. The college offers 200 academic programs; nearly 400 transfer options leading to bachelor’s degrees; and the School of Pre-College Education, which assists people with completing high school, preparing for college or entering the workforce. Overwhelmingly, MATC graduates build careers and businesses in southeastern Wisconsin. The college is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, the national standard for academics and student services.