In 2020, the Black Hawk College East Foundation received its largest estate gift in the foundation’s history – a $240,000 gift from the late Donal J. “Bud” Ward of Walnut.
Three years later, the trustees of the Donal Ward Living Trust have made an additional gift of $150,000.
“I was simply shocked by yet another transformative gift from his estate,” said Danielle Williams, executive director of the BHC East Foundation.
“We are beyond grateful for Donal Ward’s generosity to the East Campus,” she said.
Ward was a longtime supporter of Black Hawk College and contributed to the ag program at the East Campus in numerous ways.
Much of the initial donation from his estate was used to create two livestock judging scholarships ($150,000) and to support the Livestock Judging Team ($50,000). The remainder went to the foundation’s general fund as unrestricted contingency funds to be used at the East Campus.
The new $150,000 gift will be used as follows:
- $75,000 to establish the endowed NACTA Travel Fund to supplement the college’s teams and coaches attending the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Judging Conference each spring. The first award will be for the 2027 NACTA trip.
- $25,000 to establish the Donal Ward Vet Tech Endowment. Veterinary technology faculty members will select one student from Illinois each year to receive the scholarship. The first award will be in Fall 2026.
- $25,000 to establish the Donal Ward Ag Scholarship Fund for a student who is pursuing a career in agriculture. The first award will be in Fall 2024.
- $25,000 to establish the Donal Ward Mini-Grant Fund to supplement the East Foundation mini-grant awards with preference given to ag-related initiatives.
Ward passed away in January 2019 at the age of 95. He farmed in the Van Orin area early in life then was a grain and livestock farmer in the Deer Grove area for 60 years before retiring at the age of 88.
His farm served as a work experience site on multiple occasions. Ward was heavily involved in diversified agriculture with an interest in new production techniques raising corn and soybeans. He also raised milking Shorthorns and was a commercial pork producer.
After his wife passed away in 2000, he established the Rosemary E. Ward Memorial Scholarship in her memory through the BHC East Foundation. It is awarded to an outstanding sophomore agriculture transfer student. More than 20 students have received the scholarship.
“Witnessing Mr. Ward’s impact over the last few years has made it clear that his legacy is alive and well,” Williams said.