Sierra College Foundation Names New Board Leadership; Receives Large Grant from Sutter Health

October 16, 2023

Sierra College Foundation Continues to Raise the Bar in Supporting Local Students through its Basic Needs Center while Naming a New Foundation President and Directors

Sierra College Foundation (SCF) began Academic Year 23-24 with some exciting changes and additions to its Board, while receiving a $100,000 grant from Sutter Health for its Basic Needs Center. Adored and revered former Placer County Sheriff Ed Bonner took the reins as Foundation President from long-serving Robert Dugan. Dugan, a fixture in Placer County and also a publicly elected official with the Placer County Water Agency served as President of the Foundation for over 12 years. He led the organization through an exceptional period of growth, 2018’s successful Measure E, and the Pandemic. Dugan will stay on the Foundation’s Board of Directors. 

“Serving the students of Sierra College and this community for over a decade has been one of the greatest honors of my life,” said Dugan. “Investment in education at the local level is critical to the long-term success of our industries, neighborhoods and families. Sierra College is the heart of this County and I look forward to continuing to serve on the Foundation Board under President Bonner’s leadership. We will continue to achieve great milestones.”

In addition to the new SCF Board President, it also added new directors Placer County Clerk-Recorder-Registrar of Voters Ryan Ronco, Rocklin Chamber of Commerce CEO Robin Trimble, Josh Hart with iHart Mortgages and Michael Wagener with Marquee Media. Ronco and Trimble are graduates of Sierra College. These new Directors were asked to join the SCF Board of Directors because of their commitment to Sierra College students, their passion for the Placer Community, and their experience with various philanthropic and fundraising boards.

“We are very excited to have these four individuals join our Board of Directors,” said SCF President Ed Bonner. “The notoriety and experience they bring in their respective fields will not only help our students, but the Foundation, as well, continue to grow as we plan ahead for the organization’s future.”

Additionally, SCF was awarded a $100,000 grant from Sutter Health for the College’s Basic Needs Center. The Center, which opened on campus this Fall, assists over 300 students each week with everything from food, clothes, school supplies, computers, personal hygiene products, gas gift cards and more. Over 60 percent of Sierra College students are eligible for some kind of assistance. Data shows that when a student is welcomed and assisted by SCF their chances for success, graduation and continuing education are extremely high. 

“People assume Sierra College students don’t need assistance because community college is nearly free,” said Sonbol Aliabadi, SCF executive director. “That couldn’t be further from the truth. While registration fees might be affordable, cost of living as we know is not. Students need help with food, housing, transportation – the basic needs. That’s why we’re so excited about our Basic Needs Center and this wonderful grant from Sutter Health.”

Celebrating its 50th anniversary, SCF was founded in 1973 and serves as the advancement office for Sierra College. SCF is committed to aligning with Sierra College’s mission: Student success for all while closing equity and achievement gaps. Students often struggle, and financial limitation is the biggest hurdle to student success. SCF supports students by raising money through private donations, corporate giving, grants and events. 

Sierra College Foundation is independently audited and governed by a volunteer Board of Directors, most of whom live and work in the communities served by the Sierra Joint Community College District of Placer, Nevada, and parts of Sacramento and El Dorado Counties. For more information about Sierra College Foundation and how to give or volunteer, visit: