Ventura College Foundation Confers Board Emeriti Status On Ruth Hemming, Ed.D. and Donna Santo, Esquire
The Ventura College Foundation Board of Directors conferred Board Emeriti status on Ruth Hemming, Ed.D., and Donna Santo, Esquire for their years of leadership and service to thousands of students and alumni of Ventura College. Both served on the Ventura College Foundation board until last year.
Hemming was on the Ventura College Foundation board for 17 years. Before that, she gave decades of service to the Ventura County Community College District as an English and journalism instructor, dean and vice-president at Moorpark, Oxnard and Ventura colleges. She was interim president at Oxnard College. She joined the Ventura College Foundation board after her retirement.
Notable successes of the foundation under her leadership and tenure include awarding scholarships to over 4,000 Ventura College students, launching the foundation’s David P. Bianco Textbook Lending and Reserve Library program, and creating the VC Promise program, where students could attend college tuition-free.
"Ruth's passion for students is deep, constant, and undeniable," says Rob van Nieuwburg, Immediate Past Board Chair. "She expects that all of us serve our students well, especially those students who have been marginalized. She is a role model for many education leaders across the county."
Donna Santo was on the Ventura College Foundation board for 19 years and held many titles including Board Chair. A family law attorney, she was a founding donor for the foundation's Phoenix Scholarship Program, created by a group of attorneys who set out to support returning students who had taken a break from their education due to a hardship or their need to support their families.
Additionally, during her leadership, the foundation built the Osher Scholarship Endowment Fund to support students in need and took advantage of a matching funds opportunity from the Bernard Osher Foundation. Today, this fund is worth $2.4M and supports 50 to 70 Ventura College students annually.
"Donna is a passionate and devoted leader and philanthropist," says Anne Paul King, Ventura College Foundation executive director. "Her 19 years on the board have made a lasting impact on every Ventura College student."