In tough, uncertain economic times, and with so many opportunities to improve lives in Southeast Arkansas, why do contributors choose to support Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas (PCCUA)? Contributions to higher education represent faith and hope in the future, believing that we can change lives resulting in increased earnings and improved lifestyles and also that we should pass on that opportunity to the next generation. On Tuesday, April 16, PCCUA will hold a special luncheon to honor and recognize the contributors to the Phillips Community College Foundation (PCCF), who provide educational opportunities for students. This year's contributors will be recognized for playing a significant role in the excellence in education that PCCUA has achieved. Scholarships provided through the Foundation are made possible solely through private giving to the PCCF, which is a non-profit organization that assists the college in funding various activities that state funding doesn't provide. Rhonda St. Columbia, PCCUA vice chancellor for college advancement, noted, “Private giving has strengthened PCCUA and our community in countless ways. Did you know that higher levels of education are shown to produce higher earnings and decreased unemployment rates and poverty and that college graduates have lower smoking rates, better awareness of personal health and lower incarceration rates than those without a college education?” She added that thanks to the leadership of PCCUA's administrators, boards, alumni, and friends, PCCUA continues to thrive despite recession-driven declines in public funding. “Gifts to our Foundation are an educational investment,” said St. Columbia. “We invite you to join the Foundation as a contributor today and see how it not only changes students' lives, but entire communities, as well. To make a donation or establish a scholarship, call St. Columbia at (870) 338-6474, ext. 1130.