Peck Gives Montgomery College $1.3 Million to Support Humanities and Art Programs

ROCKVILLE, MD, March 24, 1999 – Paul Peck, a McLean (VA) computer systems manager and private investor, today found Montgomery College to be a sound investment when he donated $1.3 million to the College’s Humanities Institute and Art Department. A Computer Systems Manager for the U.S. Customs Service, Peck has donated the largest individual gift ever to a Maryland community college. As part of the gift announcement, Montgomery College has named the Humanities Institute and the Rockville Campus’s Art Building in Peck’s name.

"Recently, there is a growing awareness that a major gift to Montgomery College goes a very long way in enhancing the educational achievement of our students," says Dr. Charlene R. Nunley, MC President. "Because of our reasonable pricing structure and high productivity, a major gift can support scholarship development opportunities for many students, professional development opportunities for many faculty, internships in world-class museums, businesses, or facility improvements that enhance our learning environments."

The gift will be used to support the ongoing work of both the Humanities Institute and the Department of Art and their contributions to the quality of life for Montgomery County.

According to Nunley, Peck’s gift also meets the federal requirement of the Humanities Institute’s National Endowment for the Humanities matching grant, making the total effect of the gift to be nearly 1.5 million new dollars for Montgomery College.

"Many years ago, I received a small grant that changed my life. It gave me hope," says Peck. "Montgomery College is filled with wonderful people who inspire hope and I want to help the College achieve its goal of maximizing the potential of every student."

"Montgomery College is first and foremost a teaching institution. Our faculty are here to teach, foster learning, and support the academic success of their students," says Nunley. "Gifts such as that of Mr. Peck will add a valuable dimension to help our humanities and art faculty to be better at what they do. And, a lot of what we do is changing the lives of students who might not have the opportunity for the collegiate experience without us."

Peck has a longstanding commitment to education. In addition to his gift to Montgomery College, Peck is also founder, benefactor, chairman, and CEO of the Stand Tall and Reach (STAR) Scholarship Program, a not-for-profit organization that awards grant-in-aid college scholarships to African-American students in Arlington, VA. Established seven years ago, the foundation has awarded more than 34 $1,000 scholarships and 26 $250 scholarships.

Peck, who holds the BA in Electrical Engineering (Drexel University) and the MBA (University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business), is a self-made man who has earned money through private investments in the stock market over a long period of time.

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