STARS: Students Transformed to Achieve Radiant Success


In the fall of 1996, driven by the high student loan default rate and a lack of scholarship opportunities available for SMCC students, faculty and staff initiated a fundraising campaign as a perpetual source of scholarship funding support. 

Two faculty members, Dr. Jerome K. Garrison Sr., and the late Lorraine Calbow, volunteered to lead the grassroots initiative. They exceeded their goal of raising a minimum of $100,000.00 in pledges and contributions from SMCC faculty and staff.

The acronym STARS (Students Transformed to Achieve Radiant Success) was chosen.  

In 2015, Several years after Loraine had retired from SMCC, Dr. Jerome Garrison was asked to establish a STARS Community Board and expand the fundraising efforts to include community members. As a result, two signature fundraising events emerged, The STARS Talent Show held in the fall and the STARS Gala held each spring.

Today the STARS fund currently has approximately $500,000.00 in donations and pledges. In addition, the college has awarded more than $160,500.00 of spendable funds to SMCC students in the form of scholarships from the fund.

Will you help us support students by donating to STARS? Your generous donation to STARS will keep giving for years to come because we award scholarships only on the spendable interest from the principle. By giving you would be helping to create a bright future for our society and for our dynamic first-generation college students.  


Shining Stars Talent Show and Fundraiser

This SMCC STARS scholarship has raised more than $500,000

The annual Shining Stars Talent Show and Fundraiser is a signature event at South Mountain Community College to promote the talent in the community and to support student success.

Be the Light of Life to a Student

Be the Light of Life to a Student

By providing current and future students an opportunity to live their dream, we are providing light to their life, and they will someday provide a light to the life of our community, our state and our world!

Learn More Here!

Local talent shines during the Annual Shining STARS Talent Show and Fundraiser

Local talent shines during the Annual Shining STARS Talent Show and Fundraiser

Shining Stars gives a stage to local talent, and helps fundraise for scholarships supporting SMCC students continue their education.

STARS Scholarship Fund

STARS Scholarship Fund

In addition to the Annual Gala and Talent Show fundraisers nearly $500,000 has been pledged and contributed, including by our very own faculty and staff. 

To date, more than 200 students have been awarded $100,000 in scholarships since the funds reached maturity. These principal funds will give in perpetuity, long after all of us are gone.

SMCC employees may have contributions deducted from their paychecks - Pledge forms are available at the SMCC Student Enrollment Services building or use this link. All other, please click the link below.

Donate to STARS!