Dave McCoy was instrumental in creating what Cerro Coso’s Eastern Sierra College Center is today. He and his family contributed (and continue to contribute) significant funding to both the Mammoth Lakes Foundation and the Eastern Sierra Foundation. These foundations were initially established to secure land and build permanent facilities for Cerro Coso Community College programs in both Mammoth Lakes and Bishop.
As part of this mission, the foundations helped influence annexation of Inyo and Mono counties into the Kern Community College District making the area eligible for state funding of college facilities. In 1996, the Mammoth Lakes Foundation built Edison Hall as a visible start to campus development, then lobbied for Proposition 1A to secure state funding for the $7 million Dave and Roma McCoy Learning Center (the Mammoth campus). The Mammoth Lakes Foundation received a 265 acre land donation from Southern California Edison, which was used in a land exchange with the US Forest Service and a portion donated to the Kern Community College District for the Mammoth campus. The Eastern Sierra Foundation, with financial support from Dave McCoy and the McCoy family, among others, pursued a similar path to secure land and funding to build the Bishop campus. Both facilities opened in 2003 as the Eastern Sierra College Center, Cerro Coso Community College.
Once ESCC was up and running, both the Mammoth Lakes Foundation and Eastern Sierra Foundation turned their focus to scholarships. Since 2003, any and all Inyo and Mono County residents who attend ESCC full time are eligible to have 100% of their enrollment fees covered and receive $300-500 per semester for books. In addition, the Mammoth Lakes Foundation built the $8.5 million South Gateway Student Apartment facility, which opened in 2008, to provide access to safe and affordable housing for ESCC students.
We are grateful to work with staff and board members to achieve more success through higher education in the Eastern Sierra, Dave McCoy’s vision and generosity have been transformational for our students and their families. Since the Eastern Sierra College Center opened, through both campuses have awarded 837 certificates and degrees and the foundations have awarded over 2,000 full scholarships to local students. Dave McCoy’s legacy will live on in the lives of Eastern Sierra students and their families who have benefited from local, affordable access to higher education.
Please take a moment to remember and thank Dave McCoy and to continue his legacy of higher education in the Eastern Sierra!