December Centennial Donor Stories
Gift #100: Gift Boosts Students to Finish Their Degrees and Follow Their Dreams
When Dayton Foundation donor Dr. David Ponitz agreed to participate in the 100 Gifts to the Community campaign, he chose a cause important to him and...
...his late wife, Doris: ensuring educational opportunities for others. David, who served as president of Sinclair Community College from 1975 to 1997, is making a $50,000 gift to his Dayton Foundation fund, the David Ponitz Completion Scholarship at Sinclair Community College. The fund, which was established by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute to honor Dr. Ponitz and his years of service as a board member, awards scholarships to Sinclair Community College students who demonstrate financial need and are nearing completion of their degrees.
“We are so grateful to Dr. Ponitz and his late wife, Doris, for their generous gift,” said Mike Parks, CFRE, president of The Dayton Foundation.
“This will help give students the boost they need to finish their degrees and follow their dreams and aspirations.”“So often, students may be only one quarter away from finishing their degrees and run out of the funding they need to complete them,” said David. “My hope is that my scholarship fund will help ensure more students are finishing their education, which I believe is key to personal development and success.”
As president emeritus of Sinclair and a founder of Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor, Michigan, David has dedicated his professional life and personal resources to helping others pursue higher education. During his tenure as president at Sinclair, enrollment grew from 7,500 students to 20,000 students. He continues to lend his advice and expertise as an international consultant in higher education, and now consults a wide range of emerging leaders and institutions. He also has been recognized by numerous organizations and institutions for his work. The David H. Ponitz Career Technology Center, a Dayton Public Schools High School that bears his name, swiftly is becoming an economic engine and model for other regions by producing students who are college- and career-ready.
David and his late wife, Doris, a well-respected community volunteer who championed many humanitarian efforts during her life, established the Ponitz Family Fund in 1998, shortly after their arrival in Dayton. The Donor-Advised Fund awards grants to nonprofit organizations and causes that are important to them, such as the arts, education and human services.
So what would the Dr. Ponitz like to see for Greater Dayton’s future?
“We are fortunate to have high-level, quality educational institutions in our community with Sinclair, Wright State University, University of Dayton, etc. Each of them has a unique function that serves the educational needs of our community,” David said. “My hope is that we continue to fund these institutions and create more opportunities for individuals in our region to complete their degrees.”
Learn more about the Foundation’s 100 history in Greater Dayton. Visit our Centennial Timeline page.
with Partner sponsors Buckingham Advisors and Fifth Third Bank.
Supporting sponsors include:^ top of page