KCC Foundation receives $1 million gift for student scholarships; ceremony to honor donor Dean Barnum to be held Nov. 5

A photo collage of images featuring donor Dean Barnum with text that reads, "Thank you Dean O. Barnum. Educator. Outdoorsman. Conservationist. Sports Enthusiast. Basketball Player. Friend."
Dean O. Barnum
Dean O. Barnum

A posthumous donation of $1 million from former Kellogg Community College professor and longtime KCC supporter Dean O. Barnum will create two new scholarship funds to expand educational opportunities for students at the College.

The gift is one of the largest individual donations ever to the KCC Foundation and will establish the Dean O. Barnum Gold Key Scholarship and the Dean O. Barnum Scholarship for Student Athletes.

The College will officially announce the gift during an Honor and Recognition Ceremony for Barnum beginning at 5 p.m. Friday, Nov. 5, in KCC’s Miller Gym, located in the Miller Physical Education Building on campus at 450 North Ave. in Battle Creek. The ceremony will precede the first home basketball games of the season for KCC; the event and the games are free and open to the public, with complimentary hot dogs, soda and popcorn for attendees while supplies last.

Barnum, who passed away at the age of 87 in August 2020, was a lifelong resident of Battle Creek whose career at KCC spanned more than two decades starting in the mid-1960s. Barnum taught history and political science at KCC and served as the chair of the Social Science Department from 1965 to 1969.

KCC President Dr. Adrien Bennings called Barnum’s bequest “an amazing legacy to leave for future generations of Kellogg Community College students.”

“Dean Barnum’s generous gift is a true reflection of his passion and dedication for student success,” Bennings said. “Because of his generosity, KCC is better positioned to further its mission to enrich our community and the lives of individual learners. We’re extremely grateful for Dean’s gift and proud to recognize his contribution with these new scholarship opportunities for students.”

The Honor and Recognition Ceremony for Barnum on Nov. 5 will include remarks from Dr. Bennings, Athletics Director Tom Shaw and good friend Michael J. Rae, as well as an unveiling of a plaque and courtside graphics in the shape of Barnum’s signature, officially designating the court “Dean O. Barnum Court.”

Barnum played basketball on the court for more than 40 years as a member of the College’s employee/retiree Noontime Basketball Association (NBA).

KCC Athletics Director Tom Shaw said “Barnum’s incredible gift will impact our student-athletes long into the future.”

“It is incredibly appropriate that this basketball court is named after Mr. Barnum,” Shaw said. “After more than 40 years of playing basketball on this court I would say he has the most miles logged than anyone in the history of KCC. I am deeply touched that Mr. Barnum felt that KCC athletes were worthy of his thoughts and wishes with his donation.”

Barnum was a graduate of Battle Creek Central High School, Western Michigan University and the University of Michigan, and was also a member of the Army Reserve. During his 23-year career at KCC, Barnum served on several KCC committees and participated in many local, county and statewide organizations, including as a member of Ducks Unlimited, the Historical Society of Michigan, the Michigan Education Association, the Michigan United Conservation Club, the National Education Association and the Organization of American Historians.

In the 1960s, Barnum was a member of the Battle Creek Area Unification Committee and Battle Creek Human Relations Commission. He was heavily involved in regional and statewide political groups through the 1970s, including as a delegate to the Michigan State Democratic Convention and, from 1970-74, as advisor to KCC’s Campus Democrats.

He was recognized as an outstanding student by his alma maters, including as a Horace Rackham Scholar at the University of Michigan in 1959-60 and as a Lucinda Hinsdale Stone Scholars at Michigan State University in 1960-61. As a professor he was selected an Outstanding Instructor by KCC’s Student Senate in 1967. His sabbatical in 1976 included travel through 20 states during the U.S. bicentennial.

Throughout his life, Barnum was known by family, friends and KCC colleagues as an avid outdoorsman, bird watcher and conservationist as well as an outstanding and passionate educator.

As friend Michael Rae said, “Dean was a unique, bright shining light who was committed to making things better for Kellogg Community College, its students and the community.”

About the Gold Key Scholarship

The Gold Key Scholarship is the KCC Foundation’s most prestigious scholarship, awarding recipients $4,500 each year for up to two academic years to use toward tuition, fees and books. The scholarships are awarded to full-time freshmen to recognize and encourage outstanding academic and personal achievement, leadership and community service.

Applicants for the Gold Key Scholarships must be current high school graduates entering KCC as full-time students and have a cumulative high school GPA of 3.5 or higher. They must also demonstrate leadership experience, community and service activity and involvement in school activities. The KCC Foundation awards up to 20 Gold Key Scholarships per academic year.

For more information about KCC Foundation scholarships, visit kellogg.edu/kccscholarships.

About Kellogg Community College Athletics

Kellogg Community College is part of the Michigan Community College Athletic Association’s Western Conference and is a member of the National Junior College Athletic Association’s Region 12. KCC athletes are known as Bruins, the mascot’s name is Blaze and the College’s school colors are blue and silver.

Sports currently offered at KCC include baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s bowling, men’s and women’s cross-country, women’s soccer and women’s volleyball. The College serves more than 100 student athletes every year.

For more information about KCC Athletics, visit kelloggbruins.com.

For more news about Kellogg Community College, view our latest press releases online at https://daily.kellogg.edu/category/news-releases.