The Mammoth Lakes Foundation and our supporters believe that availability of higher education and cultural enrichment in the Eastern Sierra enhances the quality of life enjoyed by residents, second homeowners, and visitors by balancing the recreational attractions in the community with cultural and educational opportunities. Higher education and the arts promote leadership, stimulate growth, and build a stronger year-round economy and community.
Dave McCoy's vision to cultivate higher education and the arts in the Eastern Sierra is shared by many. His focus has always been on what is best for the community, and in 1989, he saw a need for a local college. Mammoth Lakes Foundation carries that same sentiment as we continue Dave's legacy moving forward.
WHAT WE'VE DONE
We've accomplished a lot! We successfully brought a community college to Mammoth. We donated the land and helped build the facility. We then built a student housing complex to help grow and sustain student enrollment. We also built a 100-seat black-box theater and assisted Mammoth Lakes Repertory Theatre in programming it year round (prior to COVID-19).
Learn more about our accomplishments since 1989 below.
In the spirit of Dave, it's important for us to stay involved with our community and bring forward solutions to problems as they come up. As such, we are active with the Mammoth Lakes Chamber of Commerce, Mammoth Lakes Lions Club, and Mammoth Lakes Rotary Club, among others, to keep a pulse on the community's needs.
We are currently exploring solutions to the community's housing shortage with several other local entities.
The Mammoth Lakes Foundation was founded in 1989 by Dave McCoy and a few of his friends to be the catalyst in bringing higher education and the arts to the Eastern Sierra. At the time, local high school graduates and residents had few choices when it came to higher education.
It all started very humbly with a couple of instructors, a handful of students, a rented space in the Rite Aid Shopping Center strategically located next to the town pool hall. Cerro Coso Community College had been offering classes wherever they could find space, usually at the high school or in empty conference rooms.
Mammoth Lakes Foundation and a group of dedicated supporters secured a permanent building for the college and continue to support efforts to keep higher education an affordable option to those who wish to pursue it.
In 2014, 500 students enrolled between the Bishop and Mammoth branch campuses. Since 2003, when MLF started awarding scholarships to students, 750 scholarships have been awarded for Mono County students enrolled full time. Support for an individual scholarship ranges from $900 to $1,200 each semester and covers tuition and books.
The Dean of the Eastern Sierra branch campuses, Kimberly Blackwell, continues to work tirelessly to expand degree and certificate programs every year.
Students can earn an AA degree in a number of disciplines and have their credits fully transferred to a UC, Cal State, or to University of Nevada Reno.
With the cost of higher education a major barrier to many of the kids and families in the Eastern Sierra, Mono County residents can pursue two years of college right here at home and will receive a full scholarship from the Mammoth Lakes Foundation to help them realize their dreams.
Here are a few benchmark accomplishments the Mammoth Lakes Foundation and its donors achieved:
1989 Formed as a 501c3 nonprofit
1992 Influenced the annexation of Inyo and Mono Counties into the Kern Community College District making the area eligible for state funding of college facilities
1996 Built Edison Hall as a visible start to campus development
1998 Lobbied for Proposition 1A to secure state funding for the $7 million Dave & Roma McCoy Learning Center, which opened to students in 2003
1998 Received 265 acre land donation from Southern California Edison
1999 Completed a seven-year land exchange with U.S. Forest Service and donated land for the college
2003 Created the Mammoth Ski Museum
2003 Began awarding scholarships to Mono County residents
2008 partnered with Robin Morning to publish the first edition of Tracks of Passion - http://robinmorning.com/
2008 Opened the $8.5 million South Gateway Student Apartment facility
2009 Began partnership with the Mammoth Lakes Repertory Theatre to support community theatre
2010 Announced remodel of Edison Hall to include a theatre, art studio, and culinary teaching kitchen
2015 Launched the 5-day Mammoth Lakes Film Festival with the Mammoth Lakes Repertory Theatre
2021 Awarded first Transfer Scholarship to a graduating scholarship student who is continuing her education at a 4-year university
2022 Awarded first Roma Transfer Scholarship to a Dave's Scholar graduate who is pursuing further study in healthcare